Blackwater ease to camogie shield success
An all-round superb team performance propelled Blackwater to Under-16 camogie 12-a-side shield glory in soggy Oylegate on Saturday.
Blackwater 8-11 St Anne's 0-1
On a pitch that was more slippery than anything else, the victors made light of the tricky underfoot conditions to emerge with a final victory to cap a long season in style.
The best way to win a final is with everyone contributing and Blackwater can celebrate safe in the knowledge that even the substitutes played a notable part when they were introduced.
For St. Anne's is was a disappointing morning but they can only learn from this tough outing. They suffered a few injuries and had players under the weather, so on another day the game could have been a fair bit closer.
They were put under pressure from the off as the excellent Aisling Byrne's dead ball flew all the way to the net. When Emma Rath pulled home from Fiona Kelly's pass moments later, St. Anne's were left in an early hole (2-0 to nil).
Following points from Byrne and Emma Berry, Blackwater notched their third major when Catríona Roche found a way past Cliona Power at the second attempt.
A deft deflection from Rath's hurl to Fiona Kelly's shot made it 4-2 to nil before the provider pointed, along with Berry.
St. Anne's, whose best chances in the first period saw Marie Sutton save from Alannah Finnegan and Aisling Lacey in one move, before Anne Marie Bennett's free was deflected onto the post later on, finally opened their account with a Bennett '30 in the final minute.
Leading by 4-4 to 0-1 at the interval, Blackwater weren't about to let their grip on the shield slip. Rath completed her treble two minutes after the re-start and, after Berry pointed, Fiona Kelly pulled home the goal that her stellar performance deserved.
St. Anne's defended well for the next 15 minutes and were able to restrict their opponents to just five points in that spell with Rath (two), Berry (two) and substitute Aisling Murphy on target. However, Marie Sutton found the rigging soon after moving into the attack to make it 7-10 to 0-1 in the 55th minute.
There was still time for Aisling Byrne to add another point and for Emma Berry to cap her excellent showing with a goal in added-time to round out a great performance, in defence and attack, from a talented young Blackwater side.
Blackwater: Marie Sutton (1-0); Bernice Murphy, Leah Rossiter; Erin Fitkenscher, Deirdre Mangan, Sarah Murphy; Aisling Byrne (capt., 1-2, 1-1 '30s, 0-1 free), Catríona Roche (1-0); Emma Berry (1-5), Maura Molloy; Fiona Kelly (1-1), Emma Rath (3-2). Subs. - Jane Purcell for Rossiter (41), Aisling Murphy (0-1) for Kelly (50), also Ciara Dixon, Fiona Bernarius, Isobel Carroll, Moya Fortune.
St. Anne's: Cliona Power; Alice Harpur, Clodagh Redmond (capt.); Ciara Walsh, Megan Fitzhenry-White; Rachel Bennett, Emily Rochford; Aisling Lacey, Alannah Finnegan, Anna O'Driscoll; Clara Ryan, Ciara Moore. Subs. - Anne Marie Bennett (0-1 '30) for Ryan (8), Orla Brennan for Walsh (17), Ryan for Moore (20), Grace Brennan for Fitzhenry-White (24), Moore for Harpur, inj. (37), Fitzhenry-White for Lacey (55), also Aisling Staples.
Referee: Seamus Whelan (Oylegate-Glenbrien).