Laois 4-20 Offaly 0-2
Offaly’s second string proved no match for a powerful Laois first 15 in the Leinster Junior Camogie Championship final at Portlaoise. Full forward Niamh Dollard deservedly won player of the match with a massive 2-8 from play. The home side led by 1-11 to 0-2 at the break having played into the breeze with four points coming from the stick of Louise Mahony. Offaly’s scores coming from Cailin Fitzgerald and Michelle Davis.
There was no let up in the second period and despite the best efforts of the excellent Offaly ‘keeper Orla Murray, Laois continued to fire over the scores. Niamh Dollard banged home 1-7 inside 7 minutes and the coup de grace was supplied by Soaring Star and team captain Sarah Ann Fitzgerald when she hit the net with a 23m free at the death.
Laois: Niamh Dollard (2-8); Louise Mahony (0-6), Sarah Ann Fitzgerald (1-2), Elizabeth Ryan (1-1); Laura Marie Maher (0-2); Claire Walsh (0-1).
Offaly: Cailin Fitzgerald and Michelle Davis (0-1 each)
Referee Ray Kelly (Kildare)
Leinster Intermediate Camogie Championship Final
Kildare 1- 11 Meath 1-11
Wind assisted Kildare took a 0-8 to 0-2 advantage to the dressing rooms at half time in this exciting Leinster Championship final at Portlaoise. But a Royal response of 1-8 without reply from Meath in a 15 minutes spell in the second half put John Davis’ team four points clear with 7 minutes to play.
But Kildare showed great fighting spirit to stage a remarkable comeback and could almost have snatched victory at the finish. A superb point by Melissa Lyons, her third of the day, reduced the gap to three. Then Kildare were awarded a penalty for a foul on Susie O’Carroll but the Meath defence dealt with Carol Nolan’s effort. The resultant 45 was pointed by Siobhan Hurley.
Kildare then spurned a great goal chance and when Aoife Maguire nailed a great point it looked like the title was on the way to the Royals. But Kildare strung one more move together and placed Cliodhna McSweeney for the levelling goal in the 59th minute.
Star forward Susie O’Carroll opened the scoring in the first half for Kildare after 2 minutes but from there to the finish Meath full-back Claire Coffey held the upper hand. Five excellent pointed frees from Siobhan Hurley pushed the Lilywhites clear.
Melissa Lyons extended Kildare’s lead to 7 points a minute after the restart but the next 15 minutes belonged to Meath. Jane Dolan started the recovery with two pointed frees before a super goal from Katie Hackett as well as 3 points from Sinead Hackett and two from Aoife Maguire. But Kildare’s late rally saved their day.
Replay next Sunday 15 June.
Kildare: Siobhan Hurley (0-6); Melissa Lyons (0-3); Cliodhna McSweeney (1-2); Susie O’Carroll
Meath: Jane Dolan (0-5); Aoife McGuire (0-3); Sinead Hackett (0-3), Katie Hackett (1-0).
Referee: Brockan O’Reilly (Laois)
Leinster Senior Camogie Championship Final
Wexford 2-12 Kilkenny 1-10
Four points down at the break with the breeze at their backs for the second half, Kilkenny had reasonable grounds for optimism. But the game was pushed beyond their reach in a critical 10 minutes spell after half-time.
Having had a rather subdued first half, Kate Kelly burst into the game with a vengeance after the restart. Within the first minute she raced clear to place Ursula Jacob for a great goal. A minute later the hardworking Brid Gordon tagged on a point and in the 40th minute Kate Kelly superbly caught a 45 from Jacob to palm to the net. Suddenly Wexford were 10 points to the good.
But that was the end of Wexford’s scoring. From there to the finish Kilkenny largely dominated play but despite their best endeavours they could not get the tonic of a goal that might have given their challenge a real impetus. As it was they were left to rely heavily on the free scoring of Denise Gaule to keep in touch.
Wexford’s defence was superb especially Noeleen Lambert and corner backs Karen Atkenson and Deirdre Codd. Mary Leacy was also outstanding and upfront it was also the familiar names of Kate Kelly, Ursula Jacob and Karina Parrock that caught the eye.
Wexford: Ursula Jacob (1-8); Kate Kelly (1-0), Karina Parrock and Brid Gordon (0-2 each)
Kilkenny: Denise Gaule (0-7); Michelle Quilty (1-0); Miriam Walsh (0-2) and Aoife Neary (0-1).
Referee: Jenny Byrne (Dublin)
Reports by Gerry O'Sullivan