THIS year’s senior All-Ireland club championship final to be played on November 17th will see a new name inscribed for the first time in three years following Cashel’s victory of 2-13 to 2-3 over O’Donovan Rossa of Antrim while Athenry of Galway defeated the holders St.Lachtain’s Freshford, Kilkenny, 3-11 to 3-6.
Athenry, who lost the semi-final last season had a real match winner in Galway senior player, Jessica Gill as she bagged 2-6 on the day. Played in Duggan Park, Ballinalsloe, the challengers got off to a good start and went 2-6 to 0-3 at the break following two first half goals from Sharon Quirke and Jessica Gill. Despite, this lead, the Kilkenny side were not ready to drop yet and put in a powerful second half fight back, but it was another goal at a vital stage from Gill who has received a nomination as Connacht Young Player of the year for next Saturday’s All-Star Banquet that made the difference for Athenry..
Kilkenny forward Marie O’Connor started the Kilkenny fight back with a goal just ten minutes into the second half, but Gill’s response was razor sharp. The crowd knew they had a great game on their hands then, as yet another Kilkenny teen star Ann Dalton cut the defecit as she made it goal number two for the holders who were seeking a fourth All-Ireland victory on the trot.
Athenry were under pressure, but they remained calm despite another Ann Dalton goal leaving just three points between the sides. It was an emotional day for Athenry Manager Midge Glynn (nee Poinard) who was on the last winning Athenry team in 1977 as she saw her daughter Regina make it to the final for November 17th.
Facing Athenry in this year’s final will be Munster and Tipperary champions Cashel who rocked O’Donovan Rossa of Antrim 2-13 to 2-3 in Pßirc Esker, Newry. Tipperary defender +na O’Dwyer policed Jane Adams very well during the game. Adams lined out at full-forward, but as on so many other occassions she quickly moved out to centre forward where she can be very effective.
This Cashel side were determined to make it to the final and will be expected to test the Connacht champions. The fact that six players got their name on the scoreboard will keep manager T J Connolly happy with All-Star nominee Claire Grogan bagging 2-5 (0-1f). Her sister Linda made it a good day for the Grogan family as sshe sent over 0-3 while Cora Hennessey, Philly Fogarty, Jill Horan and Alison Lonergan added a point a piece.
Goals from Jane Adams and Maureen Rainey narrowed the gap for the Ulster champions, but despite a brillant second half they could not penetrate the Cashel defence who were rocklike and so they aim now to write their name on the Bill Carroll Cup for the very first time on November 18th.
Club All-Irl. c’ship semi-finals:
Athenry, Galway: 3-11: J Gill 2-6, (0-2f), S Quirke 1-0, L Linnane 0-3 (0-2f), N Coen 0-2.
St.Lachtain’s Freshford, Kilkenny 3-6: A Dalton 2-0, M O’Connor 1-1, I Kennedy 0-5 (0-5f).
Cashel, Tipperary: 2-13 C Grogan 2-5 (0-1f), L Grogan 0-3, C Hennessey 0-2 (0-1f), P Fogarty, J Horan, A Lonergan 0-1 each.
O’Donovan Rossa, Antrim 2-3 J Adams 1-2, M Rainey 1-0, M Mc Gourty 0-1