Cloughbawn win a thriller
Scoreline flatters champs
Cloughbawn claimed a sensational victory in the Under-14 Roinn 1 camogie championship final at Killurin recently, defeating a gallant Rathgarogue-Cushinstown in the process.
Cloughbawn 8-3 Rathgarogue-Cushinstown 3-5
The scoreline may suggest that the Castleboro girls had it all their own way but that was far from the case. Rathgarogue-Cushinstown, who won the Division 4 football title a week earlier, were fantastic, especially in the first-half.
No team has been closer than 25 points all season against this fantastic Cloughbawn side, as they have simply been too good. However, Rathgarogue-Cushinstown gave them a real fright, eventually finishing just 14 points back after leading at the break.
There's no doubt that this Rathgarogue-Cushinstown side has improved significantly over the year, having lost their group game against their final opponents by twelve goals.
However, this Cloughbawn team is superb. They have strength right through their ranks, from front to back, and there are no weak links. They also boast a strong bench, vital for any side that wants to win championships.
Playing down the hill and with the breeze in the opening half, Rathgarogue-Cushinstown made the most of their advantages. They were particularly impressive in the middle of the park and half-forward line with Niamh O'Shea and Orlaith Gaffney absolutely outstanding.
Amy Martin grabbed their opening goal while Katie Murphy, fresh off her stunning performance in the football final against Slaney Gaels, also netted twice, while Niamh O'Shea (three) and Fiona Lyng registered the points.
It could even have been more as Cloughbawn goalkeeper Elizabeth Dempsey made several superb saves.
At the other end Faye Codd got an early goal, and it was followed by raised green flags for Niamh Ogilvie and Caoimhe Larkin. However, Rathgarogue-Cushinstown still held a surprise 3-4 to 3-1 lead at the interval.
Yet it was all change in the second-half. Niamh Ogilvie dropped into the midfield area for Cloughbawn and was outstanding in stemming the flow. They quickly turned the screw and held their opponents scoreless in the second period.
They scored 5-2 themselves with most of the play in the Rathgarogue-Cushinstown half of the field. Codd picked up her second goal, Niamh Ogilvie pointed, Maeve Wickham and Rebecca Ogilvie grabbed majors, and Caoimhe Larkin completed her hat-trick as Cloughbawn drove on to take the win and the Roinn 1 trophy.
Cloughbawn: Elizabeth Dempsey; Brianna McGrath, Katie Foley, Chloe Goodall; Muireann Stafford, Lisa Murphy, Ellie Kehoe; Kate Jackman, Sarah Flynn; Rebecca Ogilvie (1-0), Niamh Ogilvie (joint capt., 1-1), Méadbh Wickham (1-0); Caitlin Mernagh, Faye Codd (joint capt., 2-1), Caoimhe Larkin (3-1). Subs. - Ella English for Mernagh, also Guevara Hughes, Róisín O'Neill, Jamie Cummins, Aisling Flood, Caitlin Blackburn, Siobhán Hudson.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Gráinne O'Neill; Rebecca Delaney, Katelyn Carty, Ella Foley; Jessica Sutton, Sinéad O'Brien, Caoimhe Cowman; Niamh O'Shea (0-3), Orlaith Gaffney; Fiona Lyng (0-1), Katie Murphy (2-0), Grace Donovan; Christine Barron, Jemma Martin, Amy Martin (1-0). Subs. - Alaine Asple for J. Martin, also Aoibheann Doran, Tara Nolan, Cora McGrath.
Referee: Michael Gannon (Horeswood).