Munster final camogie loss for brave Sacred Heart
Ursulines Waterford 1-12
Sacred Heart Clonakilty 0-5
Tom Lyons Reports
SACRED Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty were left broken hearted after defeat in the Munster colleges’ senior B camogie final – but they had no complaints.
Following an overnight downpour, this school’s decider was a real endurance test for the players on a sodden, grassy pitch in Clonakilty on Saturday afternoon but full credit to the teams who served up a thrilling, hard-hitting encounter.
The awful underfoot conditions, on a fine day, were bound to have a big effect and we witnessed a disproportionate amount of hurling rucks all through the game as players fought tooth and nail for supremacy.
In the end it was the stronger, more experienced Waterford girls who triumphed, with some outstanding, skilful hurlers in their midst, but the final score did little justice to Clon’s brave effort on the day.
In fact, it was Clon who led this final after 25 minutes but a period of supremacy just before the break indicated what was about to come in the second half as Ursulines grabbed control.
‘We knew we were up against a superb Ursulines side,’ admitted Sacred Heart coach Brian Daly.
‘No team has come anywhere near them this season and they won the semi-final by 18 points. But our girls gave it everything and we were hopeful of creating a surprise. They were cramping there at the end having given their all.
‘The conditions were atrocious but we did well to get the game played, very few pitches would have taken that amount of rain. They’re an up-and-coming school and are in the junior final as well and they were just too strong for us in the second half.
‘We can have no complaints, the better side won and we wish them well in the All-Ireland.’
Once the girls got used to the rucking type of hurling they had to play in the conditions, we were treated to a cracking contest.
With the half forward line of Orla Lowney, hard-working Orla Fahey and Ciara Ryan, dominating outfield and corner forward Katelyn Dineen causing trouble inside, it looked good for Sacred Heart in the first half.
Points from Fahey, Dineen and Ryan, in answer to an opening score from Ciara O’Sullivan, had the Clon girls two clear after ten minutes. When strong full forward Aoife Fitzgerald and Fahey swapped points it was Sacred Heart in front by 0-4 to 0-2 at the end of a lively first quarter.
The second quarter belonged to the Waterford school. Using their strength to good advantage, they began to wear down the opposition. Sacred Heart had to resort to fouling to stop the momentum and Annie Fitzgerald’s accuracy from placed balls proved vital as she rifled over three frees to give her side the lead by the 28th minute.
A fine point from play by Abby Flynn closed the first half scoring as Ursulines led by 0-6 to 0-4 at the interval.
Sacred Heart had a glorious chance to grab the lead in the opening minutes of the second half but failed to grasp the opportunity. When Orla Lowney was fouled in the 32nd minute, outstanding goalkeeper Daire O’Brien blasted the semi-penalty over the crossbar and a minute later a close-in free was driven wide. That pointed semi-penalty was, in fact, Clon’s only score in the second half as the Waterford girls went from strength to strength.
The crucial score arrived in the 38th minute when a free by Annie Fitzgerald from 35 metres out on the wing slipped into the roof of the Clon net and there was no catching the winners subsequently.
The rampaging Aoife Fitzgerald, flying winger, Abby Flynn, and Annie Fitzgerald added points and it was Ursulines in front by 1-9 to 0-5 as the last quarter dawned.
Sacred heart gave their all in the final quarter, with goalkeeper Daire O’Brien moving outfield, but despite the best efforts of Katie Sexton, Claire Kingston, Kate Whelton, Clara Crowley, Orla Fahey, Orla Lowney and Ciara Ryan, there was just no comeback for the Clon side.
Ursulines: Annie Fitzgerald 1-4 (1-4f), Aoife Fitzgerald 0-4, Abby Flynn 0-3, Ciara O’Sullivan 0-1.
Sacred Heart: Orla Fahey 0-2, Ciara Ryan, Katelynn Dineen, Daire O’Brien (1f) 0-1 each.
Ursulines: Leah O’Donaghue; Shauna Farrell, Lucy Hogan, Emma Flynn; Leah Sheridan, Collette Hogan, Hannah Flynn; Kate Lynch, Clodagh Carroll; Annie Fitzgerald, Niamh Murphy, Abby Flynn; Rachel Walsh, Aoife Fitzgerald, Ciara O’Sullivan.
Sacred Hear: Daire O’Brien (Enniskeane); Róisín Dullea (Barryroe), Kate Sexton (Kilbrittain), Kate Whelton (Barryroe); Grace Tobin (Barryroe), Claire Kingston (Ballinascarthy), Méabh Deasy (Clonakilty); Clara Crowley (Ballinascarthy), Hannah Sexton (Kilbrittain); Orla Lowney (Clonakilty), Orla Fahey (Clonakilty), Ciara Ryan (Clonakilty), Katelynn (Kilbrittain), Jessica McCarthy (Barryroe), Lorraine Dineen (Kilbrittain).
Subs: Annie Condon (Ballinascarthy) for J McCarthy (35), Anna Flynn (Ballinascarthy) for G Tobin (44).
Referee: Cathal Egan (Glen Rovers).