Munster Senior Camogie Championship Final
Drom & Inch 1-7
THE name Scanlan will be forever linked to sport in Scariff and now Scariff/Ogonnelloe as the veteran of so many battles hit a 65th minute goal to secure her side’s second Munster crown, writes Michael O’Connor. With the appetite for success warmed up by the St Joseph’s Tulla win in the same pitch, the East Clare wave took over Mallow GAA Complex on Saturday afternoon
Scariff/Ogonnelloe were hoping to continue a wonderfully progressive season with success in this final played in cold, but clear conditions. Their opponents, Drom & Inch were the 2020 champions replacing Scariff/Ogonnelloe, who won the 2019 crown and it was the Tipperary side who started the final as favourites. It was indeed heart-breaking for the Tipperary champions as they were the shortest ever champions of Munster only defeating Inagh/Kilnamona before Christmas.
The first-half was far from a classic encounter as both sides were controlling their own defensive areas and little or no real scoring chances came to light. Eimear McGrath was first off the mark for Drom & Inch from a free after three minutes before Aisling Corbett, who was ice cool in her free-taking duties in the first half, sent over a hat-trick of frees between the sixth and 15th minutes. McGrath added a second free to narrow the Clare side’s lead to the minimum.
Caoimhe Burke was alert to deny Alva Rodgers a sure goal before McGrath, with her third score of the half, levelled matters. Once more Rodgers was denied by Burke when her effort was diverted over the bar as Scariff/Ogonnelloe once more took the lead. The final score of the opening half fell once more to McGrath as she sent the sides in level on 0-4 apiece.
The impetus was most certainly with the David O’Sullivan’s charges in the second half as they dominated the opening 15 minutes, but only had two points to show as once again Drom & Inch shored up their rearguard with the Scariff/Ogonnelloe attack pushing hard for a goal. An Aisling Corbett free in the 37th minute and a well-taken Mairead Scanlan effort from play stretched the Clare champions two clear. However, the fightback began from Drom & Inch with a free successfully converted by McGrath for her fifth point after missing one effort a minute prior. The intensity of exchanges saw a number of stoppages with a number of Scariff/Ogonnnelloe girls coming off worse.
Caoimhe Burke was central to Drom & Inch being in contention as she denied the champions time and again. As the game entered the final quarter Scariff/Ogonnelloe held a slender lead. A key moment was the dispossessing of Caoimhe Burke by Alva Rodgers who sent the ball over the bar. Aisling Corbett stretched the lead to three and now it appeared as if success would be for David O’Sullivan’s charges. However, it was only beginning.
Drom & Inch rallied brilliantly and hit the net with Katie O’Dwyer to level the game once more. Eimear McGrath sent over two free and it appeared the pendulum had swung once more to the Tipperary side. Yet, a free awarded to the winners was sent goal-ward. The smart Mairead Scanlan stayed out of the brawl, won the ball and lifted to the net. The roar from her supporters was heard back in Lough Derg. There was still more and heartbreak for Eimear McGrath as a last second free was sent wide by the brilliant free-taker and title was winging its way to East Clare.
Scariff/Ogonnelloe: Rachel Daly, Alison McGee, Susan Vaughan, Bonnie Wiley Murphy, Rachel Minogue, Ciara Doyle, Susan Daly, Abbey Walsh, Amy Barrett, Lynda Daly, Labhaoise O’Donnell, Jennifer Daly, Alva Rodgers (0-2), Aisling Corbett (0-5), Mairead Scanlan (1-1). Subs: Lorrain Grady for J Daly, J Daly for Corbett.
Drom & Inch: Caoimhe Bourke, Maria Connolly, Christina Brennan, Eimear Cahill, Aoife McGrath (0-1), Maureen Ryan, Niamh Treacy, Mary Burke, Anne Eviston, Niamh Long, Antoinette Kennedy, Miriam Campion, Eimear McGrath (0-7), Joanne Ryan, Deirdre Dunne. Subs: Katie McDwyer for Kennedy,
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork)
After the game the Munster Senior Club trophy was presented to joint-captains Mairead Scanlan and Amy Barrett while Scalan was also chosen as Player of the Game.