Gaultier 1-7 St Annes 0-8
Gaultier claim Senior Championship Crown in Jubilee Year
The County Senior Camogie crown will rest in the Barony of Gaultier for 2008, a fitting reward for 50 years commitment to promoting the game in Waterford. Two weeks previously these two rivals had ended all square after a high scoring encounter in Ferrybank. They returned again on Saturday and served up an equally thrilling match, which remained in the balance until the final whistle.
In the first game the laurels were awarded to the forwards of both sides but on this occasion the defenders claimed most of the credit. Tenacious tackling within the rules ensured the scoreline from the first match would not be repeated. The weather had changed also, with the sunshine of the first day
Lineouts were also altered, St Anne’s placed regular midfielder Charlotte Raher at full forward. For their part Gaultier switched Emma Hannon to corner back with Margo Heffernan moving to top of the left, a move that yielded rich dividend with both players contributing greatly to the victory. They also introduced Clare Dunne and Una Jackman from the start, both young players justifying their selection with excellent performances.
On many occasions replays turn into one-sided encounters, not in this instance with neither team able to extend the lead by more then three points throughout the hour. Early points were exchanged with Trish Jackman and Charlotte Raher registering for their respective teams. Gaultier were dominant for these early stages but failed to register scores from their abundant possession. The defending champion’s tactic of withdrawing an attacker and allocating a second marker to Gaultier’s scoring menace -ine Lyng restricted scoring opportunities. However the challengers moved ahead when a free from the Barony’s ace ended up in the net.
Points were again traded in a high paced game absent the tension of the previous match. St. Anne’s then had their best patch with Karen Kelly pointing three placed balls to put them ahead as we moved to the break. The Gaultier rearguard was solid during this period with young goalkeeper Clara Hogan dealing assuredly with anything that came her way. Additional she hit her teamates accurately with astute puck outs. Converted corner back Emma Hannon revelled as the free defender challenging dynamic teammate Bella Daniels for the player of the match award.
Half time arrived with the champions ahead by one point and satisfied having weathered the early storm. The second thirty minutes was even more difficult for the attacking units. The Gaultier half back line of Jenny O’Grady, Aileen Cummins and Catherine O’Callaghan were simply outstanding. St Annes attacks repeatedly coming to an end at this solid unit.
Gaultier levelled with a free from -ine Lyng and over the next fifteen minutes slowly drew ahead with three points from the same player to one for St.Anne’s. It was a war of attrition from that stage to the final whistle as the champions battled to hold onto their title. The experienced heads of Gail Fitzgerald, Criona Harrington, Sally O’Grady and Catherine Whitty were invaluable to the challengers.
Jenny Simpson scored an exquisite point to narrow the margin to two points with five minutes to go. The ball broke loose from a melee and the skilful Simpson flicked the ball into the air and dissected the posts from the right wing.
Intense St Anne’s pressure finally resulted in a twenty meter free in the dying seconds, sharpshooter Karen Kelly, faced with a mass defence made excellent contact with the strike and it looked for a split second that victory would be snatched from the jaws of defeat. But in stepped Trish Jackman, with lightening reflexes she deflected the sliothar to safety as it headed for the top right corner.
Referee Jack McGrath called time and captain Jenny O’Grady collected the cup for a jubilant Gaultier outfit as they claimed their second title in three years.
Note: Gaultier will celebrate 50 years activity at their Jubilee Dinner on November 16th, tickets are available from committee members.
TEAMS: GAULTIER: Clara Hogan, Emma Hannon, Gail Fitzgerald, Clare Dunne, Catherine O’Callaghan, Aileen Cummins, Jenny O’Grady, Bella Daniels, Sally O’Grady, Sara Smyth, Trish Jackman (0-2), -ine Lyng (1-5), Una Jackman, Criona Harrington, Margo Heffernan, Catherine Whitty, Clare O’Riordan, Ciara O’Callaghan, Edel Breathnach, Aisling Flood, Fiona Conroy, Michelle Stone, Emily Dower.
ST. ANNES: Tracey Gallagher, Emma Fitzgerald, Lorena Mooney, Rachel Ahern, Ailish Dunphy, Annette Raher, Siobhan Kavanagh, Charlotte Marie Raher (0-1), Jenny Simpson (0-1), MairÚad Murphy, Karen Kelly (0-6), Pauline Cunningham, Kate Rockett, Mary Clare Dunphy, Kerry Dunphy, Lorna Behan, Carolyn Ahern, Emma Fitzgerald, Niamh Ryan, Zoe O’Donoghue, Jane Murphy
Referee: Jack McGrath.