Skerries Senior 2 Camogie team win Championship

posted 16 Oct 2017, 08:14 by Skerries Harps   [ updated 16 Oct 2017, 08:16 ]

Skerries Harps 4-6 St. Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh 2-5

Skerries Senior 2 camogie team prevailed in a tense exciting Championship final against St. Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh to win a trophy last won in 2009. Plunketts had won the league earlier in year when they defeated the Harps on the Navan Road. It was no surprise, therefore, that this final was a very close affair for most of the sixty minutes.

A defining burst of 2 goals and a point in the last ten minutes of the game was the difference between these two close rivals. In truth the winning seven point margin was harsh on the losers who had drawn level on the 42nd minute with a cleverly taken quick free. It looked like they might push on to victory at this stage. The Harps had to dig deep in the middle period of the second half. As a result an eight minute period of dominance by Plunketts did not yield another score. Goalkeeper Ashling Spillane dealt with anything that landed in her area and got tremendous cover from her full back line of Ciara Copeland, Rosin Leneghan and Kathy Gilmore.

In a continuation of her excellent form centre back Jean Murphy dominated. Her half back colleagues Grace Leach and Megan Carroll belied their youth to display great composure in the face of the Plunketts attacks and reasserted the Harps dominance to give their attackers opportunity to clinch victory with those late scores.

The game had started with Plunketts, wind assisted, gaining a foothold through the influential Aisling Carolan at midfield and converted an early free. As Skerries were struggling to get the ball past midfield Plunketts attacked but failed with two further efforts. The Harps half forwards Nicola Thorne and Rachel O’Flaherty began to exert an influence. O’Flaherty struck a huge effort for a point into the wind which dipped at the last minute deceiving the Plunketts goalkeeper for a fortuitous goal. The ever industrious Orlaith Durkan struck an impressive point into the wind to open a three point gap.

Plunketts responded with two pointed frees from their intercounty star Laoise Quinn. Harps corner forward Alix Buckley, in a portent of things to come, won possession, was fouled and Thorne converted. Three minutes later Buckley, excellently fed by Tara O’Flaherty, rounded her player and struck a great goal from fifteen metres on the left. A five point interval lead would have given the Harps a sense of comfort but Plunketts stormed back in the last couple of minutes to add a goal and a point leaving just the minimum in it at the break 2-2 to 1-4.

A strong start to the second half by the Harps resulted in points from Durkan and captain Aoife Halpin. The three point margin was wiped out by the afore-mentioned quick free by Carolan.

Having withstood the intense pressure from Plunketts the last ten minutes belonged to the Harps, and in particular to lethal forward Buckley. Following a pointed free from Thorne, Buckley cut through the defence again to claim her second goal on the 53rd minute mark. She followed up with a good point from play and taking a pass from full forward Niamh Murphy she completed her hat trick with a great finish to the top corner.

A happy Harps squad returned with the championship trophy after a hard fought but deserved victory and now look forward to playing in the elite division of the Dublin Camogie championship in 2018.

 arps: Ashling Spillane, Ciara Copeland , Roisin Leneghan, Kathy Gilmore , Grace Leach, Jean Murphy, Megan Carroll, Orlaith Durkan(0-2), Aoife Halpin (0-1f), Nicola Thorne(0-2f), Tara O’Flaherty , Alix Buckley (3-1)Niamh Murphy, Robyn Kehoe. Subs: Leona Harford for Rachel O’Flaherty, Emma Parker for Kehoe, Shona McMahon for Copeland. Ona Keegan, Chloe McNicholas, Roisin O’Connor Flanagan, Hannah Coleman, Niamh Kirby.