Clonduff Are Senior Champions (Clonduff 5.10, Ballycran 2.5)
Clonduff won the Down Senior Camogie Championship on Sunday with a magnificent display of camogie in Castlewellan. The game was over as a competition at half time after a first half display which left Ballycran with no answers.
Playing with a very strong breeze on their backs Clonduff were settled from the throw in. Ballycrans keeper Ciara McCarthy was subject to an onslot from the Clonduff forwards determined to build a high score playing with the wind however Ballycran were first on the score sheet with a free from Catherine McGourty.
Lorraine Maginn was magificant throughout for the Hilltown girls and it was she that got them on the score sheet. She goaled on 3 minutes and followed up with another goal three iutes later. Ballycran had no answer to the Clunduff scoring machine. Sara Louise Carr and Karen Gribben combined to set up Mary McPolin for another goal.
With ten minutes of the game gone Ballycran had an uphill task to catch Clonduff. They were unable to penetrate through the Clonduff defence with Fionnuala Carr sweeping and delivering the ball with precise accuracy. This set up numerous scoring chances for the forwards and with Ciara Havern and Paula Gribben on top at midfield Clonduff were unstoppable.
Sarah Louise added a further goal however it was Lorraine Maginns strength and athleticism which really opened the Ballycran defence up. She added three points from play with a further two coming from Karen Gribben and a magnificent point from Fionnuala Carr from within her own half finished Clonduff scoring for the half. Ballycran had the opportunity to pull back a score from the penalty however Kitty Fegan saved and cleared the ball to finish the half.
Ballycran came back onto the field all guns blazing in the second half. They were on the scoresheet within a minute of the restart with a point from the lively Laura Hughes. In fact they had four unanswered points giving the impression this was going to be a game of two half’s. Clonduff however were not going to give up their lead easily and defended with a determination worthy of champions. Deborah Murray was steady at full back as was Onagh Gribben with Ursula Quinn doing a good job at marshalling the threat of Catherine McGourty.
It was up front however the game was won. Megan Brown added a point and Lorraine Maginn rattled the net and popped over another point.
At the final whistle Clonduff were jubilant. They truly deserved their win. Their defense was outstanding and the midfield duo worked tirelessly and were on top the whole game. The forwards rarely wasted an opportunity to score. They were magnificently prepared and will now go on to represent Down in
Newry Shamrocks win Division Three Championship
Newry Shamrocks won the division three championship on Sunday against Ballygalget on a score line of 4.5 to 2.4. Going into the game unbeaten Ballygalget were the favourites however Newry were intent on rewriting the script. Ballygalget opened the scoring through two points from Danielle Savage and they appeared to be on top.
Newry however grabbed a goal through Michelle McCoy somewhat against the run of play. Try as Ballygalget might they could not add to their scores. Brenda Russell was outstanding at centre half back. Her strength was unstoppable and was capped with a magnificent point from seventy five yards out.
There was only the minimum between the teams at half time. Again Ballygalget got the scoring ff in the second half. A goal from Colleen Clarke rallied her team mates and appeared the momentum was with them however Newry upped the anti.
Machella Downey, better known for her footballing ability along with the tireless Jacki Clarke at midfield dominated. Kate Kane at centre half forward was also playing with a determination that proved Newry were not going to give up. Newry tok the lead again with a goal from Niamh Rafferty and from here on in it was one way traffic.
Ballygalget tried but could not get the penetration they needed. Goals from Kane and Russell put the game beyond Ballygalget and 2 further points from McCoy leftNewry in a comfortable position. The final puck of the game was a point from ane, fitting from possible the player of the match.
The newry girls were thrilled with themselves at the final whistle. Ballygalget were disainted however they have next weeks division four final to look forward to and perhaps they can achieve a more favourable result.
Next Sunday sees the Division two Championship final. With the venue set for portaferry, Ballycran seconds will take on either Ballyholland of Ben Dearg who play this week. Whoever comes through that game will have a tough job taking on this young Ballycran side. Young players like Jenie Fowler, Laura Hughes and Suzelle Johnston along with Jamie Watson will be extremely difficult to hold.
In the division Four final, Ballygalget will take on Ben Dearg. Depending how quickly the Ballygalget girls can get over their disappointment on last weekend this to has the makings of an interesting weekend of camogie.