Skerries Harps 1.10 Ballinteer St. John's 1.9 SKerries senior camogie team battled to a very hard fought victory over Ballinteer last Sunday Morning in Skerries. Each team needed the win for different reasons -Skerries to guarantee one of the top two positions and a home semi-final draw, Ballinteer to try to avoid a relegation dog fight. And did Ballinteer put it up to the home team.l
Skerries were forced to Line out without their captain Kathy Gilmore, unfortunately injured in the Kilmacud sevens the previous week. In her absence the home defence performed admirably under intense pressure during the first half. Two early scores from Eve Kehoe and Niamh Murphy seemed to settle the home team but they were rocked back when Fiona Hayes struck for a great goal for Ballinteer. The Harps responded well when Rachel O'Flaherty won a great ball in the right corner and cleverly picked out Durkan on the 45 who calmly took her point.
The visitors had a period of dominance as the game entered its second quarter and pushed ahead with a couple of smartly taken points. However,with Catherine Richardson battling strongly at midfield , the Harps forwards found their range and finished the half with some excellent points from Robyn Kehoe , O'Flaherty and Durkan (3) to give them a narrow one point interval lead. In truth,they could have been further ahead but failed to convert two gilt edged goal scoring opportunities.
It looked like Skerries might regret those chances as the second half proved to be a very tense affair. The free-flowing nature of the first half was replaced by a stop-start second half with some tough tackling and consequent injury stoppages. Scores were at a premium with each side only raising one white flag each in the third quarter. The Harps did have another clear goal opportunity when , after a great run through the Ballinteer defence, Julia Gormley's shot was deflected around the post by the visitors goalkeeper. With ten minutes remaining the games crucial score arrived. A sustained bout of pressure from the Harps attack was finished to the net from close range by full-forward Murphy to give the Harps a four point lead.
The tension increased for the home supporters as Ballinteer gradually ate into that lead with a pair of points.Stout defence, particularly from Valerie Van Veen, Yvonne Hannon and Ciara Copeland kept the scores to a minimum and with just one further point conceded in the last five minutes the Harps held out for a narrow one point win.
Having achieved their aim of reaching the last four in this years championship the Skerries players know that they will have to improve their finishing if they are to progress.
Scores for Skerries; Orlaith Durkan 0-5, Niamh Murphy 1-2, Eve Kehoe,Robyn Kehoe, Rachel O'Flaherty 0-1 each.
Team; Aishling Spillane, Valerie Van Veen, Yvonne Hannon, Aoife Halpin, Evelyn Garland, Jean Murphy, Ciara Copeland, Eve Kehoe, Catherine Richardson, Orlaith Durkan, Rachel O'Flaherty, Tara O'Flaherty, Robyn Kehoe, Niamh Murphy, Julia Gormley's. Subs; Patricia Ferguson for Catherine Richardson(inj)