Leinster Senior 2 Camogie League Report

posted 15 Apr 2013, 06:47 by Skerries Harps

Skerries Harps 4-9                           St Munnas(Westmeath) 2-8

Skerries Harps senior camogie team marked their inaugural year in the Leinster League by reaching the final when they came out on top against visitors St Munnas from Westmeath in Sunday’s semi-final clash.

A strong breeze blowing from the town end helped dry the pitch after the overnight rain and Skerries Harps captain Kathy Gilmore chose to take advantage of that breeze in the opening half. Despite that St Munnas took the initiative from the throw-in and were rewarded with a good point after three minutes. Their tactic of playing seven defenders against the elements foiled Skerries efforts to open their account for the first ten minutes. However, the increased dominance of both of the Harps wing-backs, Roisin Leneghan and Aoife Halpin, was resulting in more ball for their inside forwards. On the 11th minute a long ball into the visitors defence was won by young corner forward Tara O’Flaherty. Her goal effort was well saved by the St Munnas goalkeeper but the rebound was met by Patricia Ferguson on the penalty spot and her first-time connection was perfect to give the Harps an early green flag. This score gave the home players great confidence. Wing-forward Orlaith Durkan was the dominant figure for the rest of the half. Time and again she won possession and ran at the Munnas defence either drawing a foul or taking a score. Her efforts resulted in four points, three from placed balls. These scores were complemented by two great points from play by O’Flaherty and Catherine Kirwan. In addition Skerries added a second goal when centre-forward Rachel O’Flaherty found full-forward Niamh Murphy with a great 30 metre pass. Murphy finished with aplomb to give the Harps a 2-7 to 0-4 interval lead. With the strength of the breeze this margin looked just about enough for the Skerries girls.

The early stages of the second half were dominated by the St Munna’s girls but it gave the Harps defence an opportunity to show their worth. Corner back Michelle O’Neill, who impressed all through, and goalkeeper Clodagh Bolger combined to repel two strong attacks within a minute. St Munnas free-taker added a point and on the forty minute mark they added a goal to narrow the margin to five points. Good work from midfielders Ciara Copeland and Kathy Gilmore began to give the Harps some possession in that key area and their forwards started to win some tussles and keep the ball in the Munnas half. Orlaith Durkan scored another fine point to get the Harps scoring going again. Then Tara O’Flaherty won a ball in her corner and with a strong run across the large square she struck a great shot to the Munnas net to stretch the Harps advantage again.

The Westmeath girls never gave up the fight and were rewarded with ten minutes to go with a goal from a well struck 20-metre free. It looked as if this might make for a nervous last ten minutes but Niamh Murphy, now operating on the wing, ran straight and direct from fifty metres and finished to the net. This score effectively settled the tie and the home team finished out the game in the ascendancy. Substitute Katie Timmons was unlucky to see her shot hit the side netting. The scoring was completed just before the final whistle when Rachel O’Flaherty executed a great steal on the forty and stuck over a great point.

The Harps will now play Lough Lene Gaels, who defeated O’Loughlins from Kilkenny in Saturdays semi-final, in the Leinster League Division 2 final later in the month.

  Scores for Skerries: Niamh Murphy 2-0, Orlaith Durkan 0-6(4f), Tara O’Flaherry 1-1, Patricia Ferguson 1-0, Catherine Kirwan and Rachel O’Flaherty (0-1 each)

Harps Team: Clodagh Bolger, Tara Magee , Val Van Veen, Michelle O’Neill, Aoife Halpin, Catherine Richardson, Roisin Leneghan , Ciara Copeland , Kathy Gilmore(C),Catherine Kirwan, Rachel O’Flaherty, Orlaith Durkan ,Patricia Ferguson , Niamh Murphy, Tara O’Flaherty. Subs Evelyn  Garland for Gilmore, Yvonne Hannon for Magee, Katie Timmons for Ferguson, Karen Ellis for Tara O’Flaherty.