Inniscarra Make it Three in a Row County Titles
Inniscarra captured their third consecutive county title in emphatic style when they saw off a gallant Courcey Rovers in the SE Systems Cork Camogie Senior Championship Final played in wet conditions at Castle Road on Saturday last.
In their seventh appearance in a Senior Final since their promotion to the grade in 1996, Inniscarra captured their fourth title and, their third in a row to mark an outstanding achievement for the club. However, they didn’t have it all their own way, and despite the scoreline were given a tough testing until substitute Claudia Keane hit 1-01 in added time to see the defending champions retain their title.
Two halves of wet weather Camogie against the experience of Inniscarra was going to be no easy task for Courcey Rovers. However, having accounted for such heavy weights as St. Catherines, divisional side Muskerry, Killeagh and seasoned campaigners Milford in the lead into their maiden final in 18 years at the top flight, they would have fancied their chances given their form against such stiff and formidable opposition in the 2018 Championship.
However, in an eight minutes spell late in the first half Inniscarra put the wet conditions to one side and notched up six without reply to take the lead and hold a five point advantage at the short whistle.
With both sides struggling to get a grip on the conditions and getting scores on the board it was testament to both sets of defences in holding the game scoreless until the eleventh minute when Fiona Keating fired over a tight angled effort for Courceys. A minute later and she was on the scoreboard again when her rasping goal bound shot was superbly deflected over by Sheila Walsh between the Inniscarra posts.
Niamh McCarthy responded for Inniscarra when she split the posts to cut the deficit to one and, when she was fouled inside the 20 metre line Niamh Dilworth converted the resultant placed ball to level proceedings on 19.
Between the 21st and 27th Inniscarra hit a purple patch and notched up five unanswered points which commenced when Captain Treasa McCarthy and Dilworth fired over in quick succession to push Inniscarra two clear. A Dilworth placed ball, and one from play before McCarthy fired over on 27 had Inniscarra five clear to hold a 0-07 to 0-02 lead at the short whistle.
Once again with both defences holding firm it took eight minutes for the deadlock to be broken and it was Dilworth when she pointed a 35 metre placed ball to give Inniscarra a six point advantage.
Keating pulled one back for Courceys when she fired over after a strong run at defence, and Crowley had the Inniscarra lead cut to four on 42 when she pointed a 40 metre free. With the rain continuing to fall Courceys launched themselves forward, however, they could not make any inroads in a defence where Rosie O’Mahony, Rena Buckley and Caitlin Looney held firm.
In contrast the Courcey rear guard were working hard under pressure with captain Ashling Moloney and Karyn Keohane holding their own. However, the South East side struggled to mount any formidable attack with Inniscarra duo Katie O’Mahony and Aileen Sheehan controlling mid-field and proving difficult to permeate.
Sheehan had six between the sides on 47 when she split the posts before Crowley once again pulled one back to keep Courceys in pursuit when she put over a 40 metre placed ball to see the score Inniscarra 0-10, Courcey Rovers 0-05 when 10 remaining.
However, despite never really pulling away for the majority of the game Inniscarra showed their experience in the final four minutes when they struck 1-03 without reply to put the seal on the performance and extinguish a courageous Courcey effort.
Two Dilworth placed balls followed by a 1-01 from Keane, the goal coming from a probing long ball which dipped under the cross bar to deceive Sinead O’Reilly witnessed Inniscarra take the 2018 SE Systems Cork Camogie Senior Championship title on a scoreline of Inniscarra 1-13, Courcey Rovers 0-05.
Inniscarra: S. Walsh, Á. O’Regan, C. Looney, R. Quigley, R. O’Mahony, R. Buckley, R. Keane, K. O’Mahony, E. Looney, T. McCarthy (c), N. Dilworth, A. Sheehan, J. Burke, N. McCarthy, E. Murphy.
Subs: C. Keane for E. Murphy (51).
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: S. Hayes for E O’Reilly (45), K. Lynch for E. Moloney (54), A. Hannon for A. O’Reilly (54), L. Collinsfor O. Twomey (55), M. O’Donovan for F. Keating (55).
Inniscarra: C. Keane 1-01, N. Dilworth 0-08 (0-06f), N. McCarthy 0-02, T. McCarthy 0-01, A. Sheehan 0-01
Courcey Rovers: F. Keating 0-03, J. Crowley 0-02 (0-02f).
Referee: John O’Leary, Mallow
Pics Credit: Trevor Patchett