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121014 Kilmaley celebrate victory in the Clare Senior Camogie County Final. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

Kilmaley coast to senior camogie title

Kilmaley 4-18  Clooney-Quin  2-5

KILMALEY assumed control of the county senior camogie final after a quarter of an hour and didn’t relinquish it, dominating in almost every position thereafter.

It goes without saying that losing three county finals-in-a-row is very disappointing for Clooney-Quin but the manner of this defeat was also hard to take for them.

 Kilmaley captain, Claire McMahon celebrates with the cup. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

Kilmaley captain, Claire McMahon celebrates with the cup. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

“We pride ourselves on putting in a fight and a hard shift and while Kilmaley outplayed us and out-thought us, the biggest disappointment is that they out-fought us, probably in most sectors of the field. I said to the girls during the week that it would take a good team to beat us. We felt we were in a good place coming into the final and we were beaten by a very serious team and good luck to Kilmaley,” said manager, Ger O’Halloran.

Clooney-Quin were actually first on the scoreboard, Deirdre Murphy pointing a free in the second minute. Kilmaley captain, Claire McMahon, who deservedly won the player of the match award after a fine display, opened her side’s account in the fourth.

The first Kilmaley goal came four minutes later, Shonagh Enright playing an exquisite pass across the face of the goal into the hand of Lauren McGuane, who was well positioned to finish from very close range.

The second goal came on the quarter hour; a long-range free from Denise Lynch broke into the Clooney-Quin goalmouth and Enright sent it to the net.

That left it at 2-3 to 0-3 and the winners would dominate the rest of the half, scoring five points to Clooney-Quin’s one.

At the break, Clooney-Quin had no score from play, all four points having come from Deirdre Murphy’s frees. They trailed by 10 points and were facing a monumental task.

They kept pace in the opening moments of the second half, but when McMahon scored the third Kilmaley goal in the eighth minute, following a goalmouth scramble, there would be no way back.

Mary Clune scored Clooney-Quin’s first goal in the 41st minute from close range but some of the good was taken out of it as Lauren McGuane replied with a fine point from well out on the wing.

They followed up with four more points in the next four minutes, to stretch out what was becoming an insurmountable gap.

Clooney-Quin’s only second half point arrived in the 47th minute through Claire Ryan, but Kilmaley continued to dominate.

The winners fourth goal was scored by Ailish Considine in the 55th minute, Considine first blocking goalkeeper’s Sheelagh Daffy’s attempted clearance and then forcing the ball into the net.

Deirdre Murphy had her side’s second goal, as the game went into injury time but it was too late to make any real difference.

Manager, Gerry Kennedy was jubilant. “You’re 10 or 15 points up but the relief when the final whistle goes is unbelievable, it’s an unbelievable feeling. I know we’ve won a lot but we’ve lost a lot as well. It’s brilliant to be back on top again.”

Kilmaley: Denise Lynch; Alisha Pyne, Sarah Reidy, Lisa Kennedy; Helen McMahon, Katie Cahill, Eimear Considine; Niamh O’Dea; Aida Griffey; Lauren McGuane, Emma O’Driscoll, Saoirse Glynn; Ailish Considine, Shonagh Enright, Claire McMahon.

Subs: Sinead O’Keeffe for Aida Griffey (50 mins), Ashling O’Halloran for Lauren McGuane (55 mins), Aisling Cahill for Ailish Considine (55 mins), Siobhan Maher for Niamh O’Dea (56 mins), Marie Hehir for Alisha Pyne (56 mins).

Scorers: Claire McMahon (1-11, 0-5f, 1 45’), Lauren McGuane (1-1), Emma O’Driscoll (0-4), Shonagh Enright (1-0), Ailish Considine (1-0), Saoirse Glynn (0-2).

Clooney-Quin: Sheelagh Daffy; Nicole O’Riordan, Aisling Hannon, Christine Colleran; Jenny Costelloe, Claire Ryan, Kelly McClean; Deirdre Murphy, Orlaith Duggan; Aisling Corbett, Louise Henchy, Jessica O’Neill; Marie Halpin, Mary Clune, Aoibheann Duggan.

Subs: Siobhan Lee for Marie Halpin (H/T), Laura McHugh for Louise Henchy (45 mins).

Scorers: Deirdre Murphy (1-4, 0-4f), Mary Clune (1-0), Claire Ryan (0-1).
Referee: Ger Hoey.

At half-time, the Clare side that won the Junior All-Ireland in 1974 were honoured. It was Clare’s first-ever national title, captured with a two-point victory over Dublin at Croke Park.

By Owen Ryan

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