Courcey Rovers Book First Senior County Final After Overpowering Milford
Courcey Rovers booked their first appearance in a Senior Championship Final when they overpowered seasoned campaigners Milford in a hard-fought, titillating Semi-Final clash played at a blustery Castle Road on Sunday last.
Such was the tough outfield battle taking place with both defences working hard it took six minutes for a score to be registered courtesy of the lively Fiona Keating when she split the posts to give Courceys the lead.
Milford rallied and forced Sinead O’Reilly to pull off a save from Emer Watson, however, on 8 Rebecca Finn punished an O’Reilly clearance when she connected on the ground to send the sliotar back past her and into the Courcey net.
A minute later Emer Watson pushed the North Cork outfit three clear when she pointed but, Courceys were proving just as relentless in their pursuit of scores and when Christine O’Neill fired over the deficit was down to two on 11.
Both defences were proving hard to penetrate and with Elaine O’Riordan and Sarah Sexton marshalling the Milford rear guard it took another eight minutes before Keating once again broke the deadlock to fire over a great effort to cut the Milford lead to the slimmest.
A Jacinta Crowley placed ball from 40 metres levelled proceedings on 23, before O’Neill fired over from a move that started deep in her own defence to give Courceys the lead for the first time since the sixth minute.
On 24, however, Keating showed the Milford defence a clean pair of heels en route to goal and despite being hooked, pulled on the ground to fire past Katie Galvin to rattle the Milford net and push Courceys four clear.
Keating put five between the sides when she collected a clearance from the dominant Ashling Moloney at centre back to point on 30. However, Courceys were dealt a blow two minutes into injury time when a defensive error on the line was punished by Eimear O’Gorman who goaled to pull Milford to within two of the South East side to see the half time score Courcey Rovers 1-06, Milford 2-01.
Maria Watson cut the deficit to just one when she split the posts within two minutes of the restart, however, Crowley pushed the Courcey lead to two when she fired over a 20 metre free after Linda Collins was fouled. On 30 Emer Watson struck over a super effort under pressure to once again cut the deficit to the slimmest for the North Cork side.
Courceys pushed forward and with Collins and Keating in attack they set up Grainne Hannon who had a shot on goal superbly saved by a diving Deirdre O’Reilly which was deflected for a 45 metre free. Crowley duly converted to open up a two point lead on 49.
On 50 Collins collected the Milford puc out and soloed through their defence to blast goalward only to be denied by an outstanding Katie Galvin save. A scramble ensued and Courceys were awarded a 20-metre free which the unerring Crowley fired over to push Courceys three clear.
An Emer Watson placed ball pulled Milford to within two, however, Courceys opened up a five point lead on 55 when Collins collected a Siobhan O’Donovan long ball in to catch, turn and strike low to the corner of the Milford net.
Two Milford points via Finn and an Emer Watson free either side of a Crowley placed ball saw Courceys hold out with a four point advantage to book their place in the SE Systems Cork Camogie Senior Championship final on a score line of Courcey Rovers 2-10, Milford 2-06.
Courcey Rovers: S. O’Reilly, C. Hayes, K. Keohane, E. Moloney, A. O’Reilly, A. Moloney (c), O. Twomey, Elaine O’Reilly, J. Crowley, S. O’Donovan, C. O’Neill, Eimear O’Reilly, F. Keating, L. Collins, G. Hannon.
Subs: L. Collins for G. Hannon (59).
Milford: K. Galvin, C. O’Connor, E. O’Riordan, A. Galvin, S. Sexton, Á. Watson, L. Hanley, O. O’Mahony, D. O’Reilly (c), R. Finn, A. Thompson, L. Stack, E. O’Gorman, E. Watson, M. Watson.
Subs: S. Sheehan for Á. Watson (38), D. O’Brien for E. O’Gorman (52).
Courcey Rovers: F. Keating 1-03, L. Collins 1-00, J. Crowley 0-05 (0-04f, 0-0145), C. O’Neill 0-02.
Milford: R. Finn 1-01, E. O’Gorman 1-00, E. Watson 0-04 (0-01f, 0-0145), M. Watson 0-01.
Referee: Cathal Egan
Pics Credit: Trevor Patchett