Piercestown hold on to their title
Piercestown 3-3 Rathnure 1-2
Conditions were great in Wexford Park last Tuesday as two of the heavyweights of Wexford camogie went at it again in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn A Camogie final. While many were at home watching the theatrics of grown men rolling around on a soccer pitch, those who attended this final saw no shortage of heavy pulling and girls bouncing up off the turf and getting on with it.
After last year’s disappointing final, it looked like it was going to be one of those days for Rathnure when Piercestown came racing of the blocks and goaled through Sarah Hobbert in the opening minutes. This early blow was followed up with a period of intense pressure that saw the Rathnure goal under siege. Piercestown forwards Sarah Hobbert, Orlagh Parle and Aoife Dempsey looked very dangerous in these early plays but time and time again the Rathnure girls held firm lead by a superb Amy Cahill in defence. Piercestown had to be content with a point from Amy O’Leary despite all of these early chances.
When Rathnure came alive they had a couple of great chances. Shauna O’Leary was unlucky not to finish off a good counterattacking move and Piercestown netminder Hannah Quirke had to make a very brave save to deny Fiona Guiney. The goal that Rathnure deserved finally came just before half time when Fiona Guiney slipped in behind the Piercestown defence to put her team back in it. Piercestown just had time to reply with a point from Aoife Dempsey to bring the halftime scores to 1-2 to 1-0.
The second half was just as competitive and the half opened with great saves at both end of the field. It was Piercestown who got the lucky break when Ashling Alouf saw her long range free hide in the blazing sun and sneak into the Rathnure net to open up a five point lead. Rathnure’s Shauna O’Leary converted a free to keep her side in it.
Rathnure then launched a brave fight back that saw them create many chances in the latter part of the half. Goalkeeper Sophie Roche was now out the field and this allowed impressive full back Amy Cahill to push up the field. The move nearly worked instantly when she broke through and saw a good shot deflected wide. Hannah Quirke had to make a goal line clearance from Mary Kate Doyle and Eva Mooney sent a great ball across the square that was crying out to be knocked into the net. Piercestown did not panic though and the defending of Aoife O’Connor, Fiona Esmonde and Claire Barrett had a huge bearing on the game.
Piercestown steadied themselves with a game settling goal from Aoife Dempsey in the 19th minute and Abbey Mulligan got a point to seal the deal moments later. Rathnure put over another free but the clock had run out and it was Piercestown who got to celebrate another great victory under sunshine in Wexford Park. For Rathnure they have the consolation of performing very well in the final and finishing the year as MiniSevens Camogie champions. These are clearly two very good team with lots of promise for the future.
~Seán Óg Whelan
Piercestown: Hannah Quirke, Aoife O’Connor, Camilla McGrath, Claire Barrett, Fiona Esmonde, Niamh Cullen, Aishling Alouf, Abbey Mulligan, Amy O’Leary, Sarah Hobbert, Aoife Dempsey, Chloe Doyle, Orlagh Parle, April Moran, Amy Fitzpatrick, Laura Divilly, Eileen Roe, Keara Furlong, Sinead Hegarty
Rathnure: Sophie Roche, Kellie Byrne, Amy Cahill, Amy Foley O’Connell, Eva Mooney, Roisin O’Connor, Shauna O’Leary, Katie Codd, Mary Kate Doyle, Aoife Wickham, Fiona Guiney, Ella Lyng, Zoe Mooney, Michelle Byrne, Eimear Morrissey, Carrie Ronan, Caoimhe Byrne, Shauna Byrne, Morgan Bishop