By Daragh Ë Conch·ir
Killimor blew Inniscarra away with a stunning all-round team display to claim their first ever All-Ireland senior club camogie title at Croke Park yesterday, 3-18 to 1-4.
A larger-than-expected attendance of 4,724 came through the stiles at Headquarters to watch Brenda Hanney lead the Galwegians to success, while Eoghan Rua took the intermediate honours on a 3-8 to 2-3 scoreline.
Camogie president Joan O’Flynn expressed her delight with the attendance.
“”Those are fantastic figures”” she said. “”It’s a great boost for camogie and for the club finals in their first year back at Croke Park and we hope to build on this now.””
It was Killimor’s day though and they raced into a four-point lead early on as they absolutely flew out of the traps, Claire Conroy, Martina Conroy (two) and the outstanding Susan Keane doing the needful. Inniscarra were very slow to settle and when Helen Quinn goaled in the 17th minute, the signs weren’t good for the Cork outfit.
Niamh Dilworth finally got her side off the mark with a pointed free in the 23rd minute but Lorraine Donnelly goaled at the other end directly from the puck out to give her side a scarcely believable 2-4 to 0-1 lead at the break.
Inniscarra were clearly shellshocked and failed to improve after the resumption, as Susan Keane, Martina Conroy (who finished with 1-6) and Hanney kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Inniscarra did have plenty of possession but they struggled massively against a resolute Killimor rearguard in which Julie Brien was magnificent.
All the damage was being done at the other end and Martina Conroy sent a stunning shot to the Inniscarra net from 16m after a blistering run from Hanney just approaching the final quarter. She added another couple of points from frees, while Emer Haverty also struck a brace and Hanney also found the target to stretch the margin to 20 points.
Rena Buckley fired over from a 45 before Dilworth scored an excellent 53rd minute goal, catching Joanne Casey’s delivery and sending a powerful shot to the roof of the net.
It was scarcely a consolation though and a flurry of points from Serena Brien, Conroy and Hanney set the seal on a wonderful day for the Tribeswomen.
Killimor: H Campbell; N Hanney, N Lawless, J Brien; K Brien, AM Hayes, M Duane; E Haverty 0-2, AM Starr; C Conroy 0-1, B Hanney 0-4(1f), M Conroy 1-6(0-4fs); H Quinn 1-0, S Keane 0-4, L Donnelly 1-0. Subs: AM Lagana for Quinn (52); S Brien 0-1 for Donnelly (52); N Donnelly for C Conroy (57); N Connolly for Keane (59); C Brien for M Conroy (60)
Inniscarra: S NÝ Riain; A Sheehan, L Hayes, M Buckley; K Jones, R O’Mahony, E Kingston 0-1; R Buckley 0-1(45), O Healy; J Casey 0-1, MN O’Sullivan, K O’Mahony; M Cosgrove, F O’Connell, N Dilworth 1-1(0-1f). Subs: L Burke for Kingston (21); Kingston for Cosgrove (28); T McCarthy for O’Connell (47); L Buckley for Healy (50)
Referee: O Elliott (Antrim)