All-Ireland champs cruise into final
Revenge was sweet on Saturday for Oulart-The Ballagh as they easily disposed of their biggest club rivals, St. Ibar's/Shelmalier, in the Senior camogie championship semi-final in Bellefield.
Oulart-Ballagh 2-11 Ibar's/Shelmalier 1-3
Although the newly rebranded black and amber team won their group meeting earlier on in the year, the reigning All-Ireland club champions demolished them on this occasion.
Kate Kelly grabbed her team's opening score within two minutes of the throw-in from a dead ball beyond the 45-metre line. The young gun for Oulart-The Ballagh, Aoife Dunne, was quick to cancel this out though, and she was accompanied in her quest to edge her side ahead by her very experienced team-mates, Shelley Kehoe and Ursula Jacob.
Deirdre McMahon secured a snappy point from play but this sight was rare for St. Ibar's/Shelmalier, however, as Shauna Sinnott and Ursula Jacob both broke through their defence to raise the green flag.
Half-time quickly followed and with ten points between the sides, St. Ibar's/Shelmalier were left with a challenging second period.
A penalty opportunity presented itself within the opening five minutes of the second-half after Katrina Parrock was brought to the ground, and Kate Kelly was the woman to raise the green flag this time as St. Ibar's/Shelmalier crept a little closer.
Stacey Redmond was a delight to watch throughout, as were many other Senior county stars on the pitch such as Mary Leacy, Karen Atkinson and Ciara Storey. The ever-inspirational Ursula Jacob was a nightmare to tame for St. Ibar's/Shelmalier, and she floated over a few more points before Shelley Kehoe scored the point of the game from near midfield.
Aine Lacey stood tall in the middle of the pitch for St. Ibar's/Shelmalier and her late attempt led to their third and final point.
Bridget Curran excelled in the black and amber back line but the Oulart-The Ballagh forward line seemed too powerful for anyone to stop.
A familiar experience lies ahead for the skilled Oulart-The Ballagh women now as they can prepare for yet another county Senior final against old rivals Rathnure.
Oulart-The Ballagh: Sharon Kehoe; Ciara Storey, Karen Atkinson, Shauna Redmond; Stacey Redmond, Mary Leacy, Louise Sinnott; Shelley Kehoe (0-2), Shauna Sinnott (1-1); Katie Murphy, Diane Ryan, Aoife Dunne (0-1); Stacey Kehoe, Ursula Jacob (1-7, 0- 2 frees, 0-1 '45), Aideen Brennan.
St. Ibar's/Shelmalier: Niamh Potter; Catherine Doyle, Leona Tector, Ciara Corrigan; Michelle Harding, Bridget Curran, Ciara Donohoe; Shelly Doyle, Aine Lacey (0-1); Kate Kelly (1-1, 1-0 pen., 0-1 free), Deidre McMahon, Katrina Parrock (0-1); Shauna Kelly, Michelle Hearne, Hazel O'Leary. Subs. - Aine Barron for Harding (temp.), Jessie Harding for O'Leary, Ciara Neville for S. Kelly.
Referee: Aiden O'Brien (Cloughbawn).