Beth Carton maintained her high-scoring form with two vital second-half goals to propel Waterford to a second Irish Daily Star Camogie League Division 2 title, as they beat Laois by 3-10 to 2-5 at Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow.
The teams produced a wonderful hour of entertainment despite the incessant rain with Carton the difference between the sides. The De La Salle attacker added a point to her brace of majors and also provided assists for another goal and three points.
It wasn’t looking too promising for Waterford at the interval though. They had a strong wind in their favour in the first half but given the conditions, it was still an eye-catching display of long-distance striking from Trish Jackman that saw them move into an early two-point lead.
Laois rocked the Déise crew right back on their heels with a goal from Noreen Kirwan after five minutes however and they needed a point from Carton to lead by 0-5 to 1-1 at half time.
That didn’t look sufficient given the strength of the elements but Carton gave Waterford the perfect start to the second half with a goal after just two minutes. However, when the inspirational Sarah Ann Fitzgerald found the net at the other end just three minutes later, the sense was that momentum and the wind would help Laois win their first ever Division 2 title.
Crucially though, Carton pounced again in the 41st minute and when Niamh Rockett scored a third Waterford goal at the beginning of the final quarter, that put some daylight between the teams. Laois poured forward in a bid to cut back the deficit but Waterford’s defence held firm.
In the Division 3 final, Carlow edged out Dublin by 0-12 to 1-7 at Cusack Park, Mullingar. Eleanor Treacy’s accuracy from frees put some early daylight between the sides as Carlow led by four points after 10 minutes. Carolanne Canning hit Dublin’s first score and with a couple of more from Elaine Gallery, they were right in the game at half time, trailing by just two points, 0-6 to 0-4.
Gallery gave Dublin the perfect start to the second half with a goal from a free but Carlow retained their composure. Treacy converted a brace of frees, while Ciara Quirke and Michelle Nolan found the target from play to put three between the sides.
Back came Dublin, with Gallery on target once more as the margin was reduced to the minimum but Carlow held on, a late Treacy free finishing the scoring.
The Division 4 decider was played in Birr and it proved historic, as Kerry claimed their first national senior title at adult level with a 1-12 to 1-4 victory over Meath. Cliona Murphy scored a late goal for the Royals but it was too little too late as the Kingdom had established a healthy advantage by that juncture, with Sara Murphy’s first-half major setting them on their way.
Meanwhile, Roscommon were too strong for Armagh in the All-Ireland minor C final at Clane’s Conneff Park, laying the groundwork in the opening quarter, at the end of which they led by 2-3 to 0-0.
To give the Orchard County girls utmost credit, they matched their opponents for the remainder of the game but did not possess the firepower to reel them in, losing in the end by 2-6 to 0-4.
Pictured: Beth Carton in action v Laois, IDS Div 2 Final