Two goals from Maria Watson and another by Deirdre O’Reilly gave Milford a day to remember at Croke Park as they were crowned the AIB All-Ireland senior camogie champions writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
In particular, it was Milford’s quick-fire double in the space of a minute at the beginning of the second quarter that blew this game wide open.
Having beaten the winners of the last two All-Irelands (Oulart-The Ballagh were dispensed with in the semi-final) nobody can argue the merit of Milford's success.
It was a match that took some time to get to life, with the opening 19 minutes full of endeavour but providing little by way of scores.
This was due to the brilliant work of both defensive units. This reporter quickly lost count of the number of blocks, while by and large, the backs proved stronger under the dropping ball.
Ann Marie Hayes, Niamh Hanney, Elaine O’Riordan, Anna Geary and Sarah Sexton were amongst the game’s standout performers in this early period.
Killimor had the majority of the early possession but all they had to show for it in the first 18 minutes and change was three points, all provided from placed balls (two frees, 1 45) by Martina Conroy.
Milford’s sole response was a magnificent free from 53m by Emer Watson but they could have little argument about trailing by two approaching the 20th minute.
It all changed when O’Reilly struck, however. The county football star didn’t even have to break stride to crash the sliotar to the net after a visionary pass from Marie O’Neill. O’Neill had sucked in the defensive cover, having gathered Regina Curtin’s flick on.
Maria Watson scrambled a second almost immediately after and Milford led 2-4 to 0-5 at half time.
Watson finished expertly from a Curtin pass in the 41st minute and Frank Flannery’s charges comfortably saw the game out from there.
Killimor, who won this title in 2011, kept plugging away but never threatened to breach the outstanding Milford rearguard until Brenda Hanney doubled a brilliant goal in the 59th minute.
It was too late for any dramatic conclusions though and the Bill Carroll Cup was southbound.
Scorers – Milford: M Watson 2-0; E Watson 0-4(fs); D O’Reilly 1-0; M O’Neill 0-2
Killimor: M Conroy 0-5(0-4fs, 0-1 45); B Hanney 1-1
Milford: R Finn; K Galvin, M Walsh, L Healy; E O’Riordan, A Geary, S Sexton; O O’Mahony, A Thompson; E Watson, D O’Reilly, A Watson; M O’Neill, R Curtin, M Watson. Subs: L O’Flynn for A Watson (40); D Hayes for Galvin (56); A O’Flynn for Curtin (56); E Friel for M Watson (58); N O’Brien for Healy (58)
Killimor: H Campbell; J Brien, K Brien, N Hanney; M Duane, AM Hayes, M Callagy; AM Starr, E Haverty; C Conroy, M Conroy, A Brehony; S Keane, B Hanney, D Starr. Subs: R Groves for Brehony (39); N Burke for D Starr (49)
Referee: G O’Dowd (Limerick)
*Pictured: Claire Conroy (Killimor) in action against Elaine O'Riordan (Milford) in the AIB All Ireland Senior Club Camogie Championship Final at Croke Park on Saturday March 2nd.