Clare Senior Camogie Final
Kilmaley 0-07 v 0-05 Sixmilebridge
Kilmaley dominance continued on Saturday as they eventually edged out a spirited Sixmilebridge challenge to win back-to-back titles. On a special day for Clare camogie who were celebrating their 75th anniversary. After two thrilling semi-finals, this historic decider was expected to be an open encounter, pitting the defending champions against the coming force of Sixmilebridge but in a low-scoring affair that only saw one point from play over the hour, it turned out to be a slog that needed all of Kilmaley’s experience to prevail.
That Kilmaley eventually came out on the right side of result was predominantly down to experience. Having been in this situation before and boasting a vastly experienced spine of Denise Lynch at full-back, the multi-talented Eimear Considine outside her and Helen McMahon, captain Emma O’Driscoll and Claire McMahon further forward, they knew that patience was the key to success and overall, they just had the more attacking options and threat. Sixmilebridge on the other hand, despite being fully determined, never really threatened the Kilmaley goal throughout the hour and only for the unerring accuracy of Chloe Morey from placed balls, it is difficult to see how they would have won this tie.
Sixmilebridge were quicker off the blocks to open up a two point advantage by the 11th minute but McMahon and Kilmaley soon settled to draw level at 0-3 to 0-3 at half-time.
Kilmaley were better after the break though but were almost dealt a huge blow when Claire McMahon sustained an injury to an ankle in the opening minutes. The former county senior recovered though to tack on two further frees by the turn of the final quarter and give the holders the lead for the first time. With the game slipping from their grasp, Sixmilebridge switched Sinead Tuohy to midfield and they did cut the deficit to only the
minimum with only eight minutes remaining when Morey converted another free.
Kilmaley had to dig deep and in the move of the match, finally grabbed a point from play when Siobhan Maher soloed down the left wing and out in a teasing delivery that broke off lively substitute Aisling Darcy to Emma O’Driscoll to point over her shoulder. However with 16 year old Chloe Morey driving Sixmilebridge on at every opportunity, they didn’t wilt and set up a grandstand finish when Morey herself was fouled outside the ’45 and got up to convert the resulting free in the 57th minute. The game was finally settled in injury-time though when Claire McMahon added her sixth free of the day and although they held a dangerous lead for the remainder, Sixmilebridge hadn’t the firepower to take advantage. This was Kilmaley’s day and whether they win in style or just win ugly, the main thing is that they are still winning and more significantly are still the standard bearers in the county for everyone else to aspire to.
Kilmaley. E Griffey, S O’Halloran, D Lynch, S Reidy, L Higgins, E Considine, A Griffey, H McMahon, E O’Connor, S Enright, E O’Driscoll (0-1), S Maher, K Cahill, C McMahon (0-6 6f), M Hehir Sub Aisling Darcy for Hehir
Sixmilebridge. A McNamara, A Sweeney, D Shanahan, O Chaplin, C Whelan, B O’Halloran, A O’Shea, N Corry, C Morey (0-5 4f 1’45), S Costelloe, B Crowe, S Chaplin, R O’Halloan, N Neylon, S Tuohy Subs C Early for Neylon (Inj), J Chaplin for S. Chaplin, O Fitzgerald for Crowe, K Connors for O. Chaplin, M Hyland for Early
Player of the Game Chloe Morey (Sixmilebridge)