Disappointment for Presentation in Senior 'C' final
It was disappointment in defeat for Presentation (Wexford) in the Leinster Senior 'C' camogie championship final played at the all-weather pitch in Heywood Community School, Ballinakill, Co. Laois.
St. Joseph's (R'Fortbridge) 2-10 Presentation (Wexford) 1-2
The final scoreline suggests a one-sided affair but this was far from the case, as only two points separated the teams with ten minutes remaining.
In difficult weather conditions, St. Joseph's were the quicker to find their feet, going into a 0-2 to nil lead after ten minutes.
However, Presentation's captain, Laura Dempsey, secured the Wexford school's first score, converting from a free after 20 minutes. St. Joseph's had a number of goal chances and but for the great netminding of Presentation's Ailis Neville, they could have been more comfortably ahead.
After the first quarter, St. Joseph's were 0-3 to 0-1 in front but more encouraging signs appeared for the Presentation as key players began to get a foothold.
The pressure paid off with a well-worked goal for Presentation on 26 minutes after great work from Niamh Walsh in defence. Her excellent delivery found Lauren Murphy, whose smart play set up Shauna Kelly to tap the ball into the St. Joseph's net. Presentation led by 1-1 to 0-3 ahead at the break.
St. Joseph's levelled immediately after the break but there was a controversial moment five minutes into the half as Presentation - playing well at this point - were disallowed a goal from a fine free by Laura Dempsey.
The referee ruled it out on the grounds that a Rochfortbridge supporter had entered the pitch, disrupting the play. The re-taken free was converted on 36 minutes by Dempsey for a point, but this proved to be Presentation's final score.
St. Joseph's seemed to be buoyed on by that disallowed goal, and began to make inroads on the Presentation defence. Four converted frees from the Westmeath school saw them three points ahead (0-8 to 1-2) with eight minutes remaining.
The crucial score came on 55 minutes as St. Joseph's scored a direct goal from a free which eluded the Presentation defence and goalkeeper. St. Joseph's seized on this breakthrough, scoring a further 1-2 in the closing minutes, as Presentation attempted to get back in the game, with Lauren Murphy twice coming close to finding the net.
The final whistle blew, however, and the disappointment was evident amongst the Presentation (Wexford) players, coaches Ciarán Walsh and Colm McGee, and supporters.
Presentation: Ailis Neville; Deirdre Mangan, Chloe Cashe, Alannah Davis; Aine Ennis, Niamh Walsh, Katie Murphy; Laura Dempsey (0-2), Kaitlyn Whelan-Kinsella; Diuri McDonald, Shauna Kelly (1-0), Holly Hynes; Lauren Murphy, Aisling Byrne, Sarah Harding-Kenny. Subs. - Orlaith Barrett for McDonald (40), also Laura Bury, Claire Lacey, Emma Sweeney, Emma Dempsey, Ciara Frayne, Rachel Flood-O'Keeffe, Ciara Bridges.