The first meeting of Waterford and Kilkenny in a competitive camogie fixture for many years took place at Piltown on Saturday when Waterford edged out the hosts by a two point margin. Two committed teams made light of the windy conditions and served up an entertaining hour’s camogie. The exchanges intense, as one would expect from these neighbours from the South East, but always sporting as the game ebbed and flowed.
The result was in doubt right up to the final whistle when a shot for goal from a 20 meter free by Edwina Keane was deflected off the Waterford goal line by the boot of goalkeeper Aisling O’Brien. The visitors had played gamely right through and probably deserved this good fortune to claim the spoils.
Jennie Simpson Goal
Nicola Morrissey opened the visitors account with a point in the first minute, Waterford having opted to play with the strong wind in the first period. A pointed free from Edwina Keane levelled matters soon after. The ensuing puck out from custodian Aisling O’Brien landed 30 meters from the Kilkenny goal as she signalled her return to top form. We had to wait until the sixth minute for the next score, birthday girl Jenny Simpson breaking through to put Waterford in front with a goal.
Mullinavat’s Claire Aylward pointed for Kilkenny but a quick riposte from Kate Marie Hearne maintained Waterford’s three point lead. Waterford moved Mairead Murphy into centre forward to nullify the influence of Kilkenny’s Lisa Phelan. Between the nineteenth and 22nd minute we had a flurry of scores as the teams shared four points with the pace of the game increasing. The games second goal arrived soon after, with -ine Breathnach releasing Trish Jackman who hand passed the ball over Kilkenny net minder Siobhan Murphy.
The sides traded points before the break leaving Waterford ahead on a scoreline of 2-5 to 0-5. A six point gap left the game finely balanced as the teams changed ends. Waterford having defended well had missed a few scoring opportunities leaving the game in the balance.
The second half opened with another strong run from Jennie Simpson but her shot crashed off the crossbar and ran to safety. A pointed Kilkenny free in the second minute narrowed the gap but Kate Marie Hearne enhanced her growing reputation finishing a flowing move by the right side of the Deise attack to the Kilkenny net within sixty seconds. The Cats steadily whittled away this eight point lead as Waterford failed to score for the next twenty minutes.
Long Range Free
During this period they registered 1-4 with full forward Bronagh Neary scoring the crucial goal. It was a case of all hands to the pump for Waterford with Vicki Gaffney and sister act, Sally and Jenny O’Grady and the Raher’s, Charlotte & Annette working tirelessly during this period. Just when it seemed Kilkenny were about to draw level a stupendous free from 55 meters into the wind by Waterford’s terrific midfielder -ine Lyng gave them a two point lead. The introduction of Grßinne Kenneally and Roisin Heylin breathed new life into the Waterford attack. A brace of points from -ine Breathnach, the second a beauty from the right wing, put some light between the teams.
However just as it seemed the visitors would bring home the points a shot deflected back into play from high up off the post. Quickest to react was Claire Aylward striking to the net and reducing the lead to a single point. Sensing their opportunity Kilkenny again piled on the pressure but this maturing Waterford outfit weathered the storm with some calm defending by Lisa Prendergast and Aisling Kelly.
A break up-field and Trish Jackman coolly increased their lead to two points. Then we had the final excitement as Kilkenny were awarded a close in free for an innocuous challenge. The sliothar flashed passed a series of Waterford defenders but last line of defence Aisling O’Brien was in the right place at the right time and the timely interception of her boot ensured that Waterford claimed the points.
Clare visit Walsh Park on Sunday
This Sunday Waterford face Clare in Walsh Park at 2.30. The visitors can claim top spot and a place in the League final with a victory. They will travel as favourites but know they will be tested by the hosts.
Aisling O’Brien, Aisling Kelly, Lisa Prendergast, Vicki Gaffney, Jenny O’Grady, Sally O’Grady, Annette Raher, Charlotte Raher, -ine Lyng (0-2). -ine Breathnach (0-2) MairÚad Murphy, Jennie Simpson, (1-0) , Nicola Morrissey (0-2), Kate Marie Herne, (1-2) Trish Jackman (1-1), Emma Hannon, Grßinne Kenneally, Ailish Dunphy, Roisin Heylin, Fiona Ni Chadhla, Niamh Ryan, Aileen Cummins, Tanya Morrissey,
Siobhan Murphy, Mariga Nolan, Sinead Brennan, Niamh Butler, Lisa Phelan, Sinead Long, Julie Ann Woodcock (0-1), Lucinda Gahan, Claire Ryan, Edwina Keane (0-3), Hannah Maher, Laura Kavanagh, Bronagh Neary (1-1), Claire Aylward (1-3), Amy Butler, Keeva Fennelly, Katie Power, Marie Dargan, Kate McDonald, Sinead Millea, Jenny Reidy (0-2), Marie O’Connor