From Daragh Ó Conchúir
At Croke Park
Milford (Cork) 2-8
Killimor (Galway) 1-3
Milford put the disappointment of last year behind them by garnering their third AIB All-Ireland senior club camogie title in four seasons.
Second half goals from Maria Watson and Laura Stack, in response to Claire Conroy’s 32nd minute major, set the seal on a well deserved victory for the North Cork outfit.
Killimor will rue a number of missed chances, while captain Annmarie Starr was adjudged to have overcarried by referee Alan Lagrue just before ramming the sliotar to the net in the 39th minute.
Had that score stood, the margin would have been one point, having been six at half time, but instead Milford went up the other end of the field for Watson to goal.
That made it a seven-point game and there was no prospect of a Killimor comeback thereafter.
Milford held all the aces at the end of the opening half, having held Killimor scoreless and registered six points themselves.
Both sides were fairly wasteful in that first period, the Galwegians slightly more so and their problems were best illustrated by the normally reliable freetaker, Martina Conroy hitting the upright from a straightforward free.
The Munster champions flew out of the traps and looked capable of ripping Killimor apart early on. Each member of the full-forward line had gotten themselves on the scoresheet inside six minutes and there was danger every time they got on the ball inside the opposition 45.
Emer Watson added her second score made it a four-point lead soon after and though Killimor stemmed the tide for a while, the two Watsons slotted points to make it 0-6 to 0-0 at half time.
Tommy Callagy clearly delivered a stern message to his charges at half time and they resumed with an increased tempo.
Claire Conroy sent a rasper of a shot high to Rebecca Finn’s right within two minutes of the resumption and a key moment arrived seven minutes later when Starr tore clear but Lagrue had his whistle blown before the Killimor skipper rifled to the net.
Sensing danger, Milford responded and Maria Watson’s goal was a tremendous team score.
It started with some stirring defensive play by Anna Geary, who was named player of the match. The former Cork star broke out of defence and flighted a lovely delivery towards Laura Stack, who fetched it over her head.
O’Neill drew the cover before timing her pass to Watson perfectly and despite being fouled (credit to Lagrue for letting play continue), the corner-forward gave Helen Campbell absolutely no chance.
The youngest player on the team, Stack pounced for another goal eight minutes from time to remove all doubt.
The 16-year-old, who was part of the half-time festivities when Milford won their first crown in 2013, was at the right place at the right time to gather as Campbell batted out Emer Watson’s free and blast beyond the Killimor goalie.
There was no way back for Killimor after that.
SCORERS – MILFORD: M Watson 1-3; E Watson 0-3 (2fs); L Stack 1-0; A Thompson, M O’Neill 0-1 each
KILLIMOR: C Conroy 1-2 (0-1f); S Keane 0-1
MILFORD: R Finn, D Hayes, M Walsh, L Healy, E O’Riordan, Á Watson, A Geary, O O’Mahony, A Thompson, L Stack, D O’Reilly, C O’Connor, E Watson, M O’Neill, M Watson. Subs: B Flanagan for Hayes (55), E O’Friel for O’Connor (58), K Galvin for Healy (59), G O’Connor M Watson (60+5), A Dillon for Thompson inj (60+5)
KILLIMOR: H Campbell, S Brien, K Brien, S Fahy, A Brehony, AM Hayes, M Callagy, E Haverty, A Starr, D Starr, M Conroy, S Brehony, C Conroy, B Hanney, S Keane. Subs: H Quinn for S Brehony (ht), E Porter for Haverty (57), S O’Hara for A Brehony (60+1)
REFEREE: A Lagrue (Kildare)