Skerries Harps 3-12 v’s Lucan Sarsfields 0-13
Skerries Harps senior Camogie team opened their 2016 championship campaign with a well-earned victory in Lucan last Tuesday. In a high quality game against one of their key rivals the Harps girls will have been well satisfied with the successful start in their group.
Played on a damp evening under the lights in Lucan the first quarter saw both teams probe each other for weaknesses. Points were exchanged in the first quarter with the pick of them being a great score on the run from midfielder Orlaith Durkan. This proved to be a forerunner to a player-of –the game display by Durkan whose dominance in the middle eight gave the Harps a significant advantage throughout.
A key score arrived in the 20th minute when Ciara Durkan followed a high cross from Veronica Fay-Watt into the goalmouth and got a smart touch to steer the ball past the home goalkeeper. Lucan responded with a couple of pointed frees from Jenny Ryan. She also got through for a goal chance but her rasping shot went narrowly over the bar. Reflecting a very even half the teams went to break with only two points between them, a 1-5 to 0-6 lead for the Harps.
Lucan’s star turn and senior inter county player Emma Flanagan was been well marshalled by Jean Murphy. As the game evolved this, allied to great cover by wing backs Grace Leach (starting her first Senior Championship game) and Ciara Copeland, took much of the sting out of the home attack. Captain Aoife Halpin working tirelessly with Durkan at midfield supplied some great ball into the forward line and from one of these Fay-Watt finished smartly to the net. Lucan replied with a couple of unanswered points from Ryan. But the Skerries defence held firm. Led by goalkeeper Niamh Kirby-Sullivan and a tight hard-working full back line of Roisin Leneghan, Michelle O’Neill and Kathy Gilmore they were denying the home attack any clear sight of goal.
On the fiftieth minute mark a long puck-out was won by Ciara Durkan who expertly found Nicola Thorne to finish clinically to the net. This score put some daylight between the teams and despite some intense pressure from Lucan’s efforts to grab a goal in the last few minutes Skerries held out for a good eight point victory. The one disappointment for Skerries was a broken finger suffered by Kathy Gilmore before the interval. It didn’t stop her performing superbly and finishing the game. She will be hoping that her team mates continue their good form in the group stages and she should be available for the knock out stages, if they get there.
Scorers for Skerries: Nicola Thorne 1-2, Ciara Durkan 1-1, Eve Kehoe, Orlaith Durkan and Aoife Halpin 0-3 each, Veronica Fay-Watt 1-0.
Harps Team: Niamh Kirby-Sullivan, Kathy Gilmore, Michelle O’Neill, Roisin Leneghan, Grace Leach, Jean Murphy, Ciara Copeland, Aoife Halpin, Orlaith Durkan, Nicola Thorne, Tara O’Flaherty, Niamh Murphy, Ciara Durkan, Eve Kehoe, Veronica Fay-Watt.