First-half goals power Kilrush to league glory
First-half goals from Margaret Byrne and Aisling O'Rourke proved to be too large a hurdle for Naomh Eanna to overcome as Kilrush took the Intermediate camogie league title in St. Patrick's Park on Saturday.
Kilrush 2-7 Naomh Eanna 0-9
The victors won the championship meeting between the clubs earlier in the season and looked much the better team as they scythed through the Gorey rearguard with frightening regularity.
The tormentor-in-chief was Byrne who used her searing pace to frighten the Naomh Eanna full-back line time and again. Those driving runs didn't always end in scores but often they did, and it's an area Gorey will need to improve on if they are to defy the form book later in the championship.
Kilrush, on the other hand, look primed for a league and championship double. Behind their full-forward line they have plenty of talent, with a dynamic midfield and robust half-back line that won't give much away.
They did concede the first score when Louise Stafford found Róisín Egan for a point. The opening half continued to be close and the sides were level at every juncture to 0-3 each with Ellen Roche (two) on target for Naomh Eanna while Sharon Sunderland, Charlene Hayden and Byrne registered for Kilrush.
A Kilrush run of 2-1 in the last six minutes of the half left Gorey in big trouble. Byrne ran on to Aisling O'Rouke's flick-on of Sunderland's long ball to find the rigging and, after the goalscorer pointed, O'Rourke collected Ann Kinsella's pass and carefully placed a shot into the top left corner of Orla Crowe's net.
Leading by 2-4 to 0-3 at half-time, Kilrush scored first after the change-around through Byrne once again.
However, county Intermediate Ellen Roche rattled off four points in a row to narrow the gap to four (2-5 to 0-7).
After Byrne scored again, Roche picked up another pair to put a goal between the sides with three minutes left, but Sharon Sunderland settled the Kilrush nerves with a later free and they held on to claim the Martin Lancaster Cup which honours a former stalwart club member.
Kilrush: Brídín O'Rourke; Gillian Kavanagh, Maura Kavanagh, Danielle Hayden; Liz Ruth, Cathy Kavanagh (capt.), Claire O'Rourke; Sharon Sunderland (0-2 frees), Mairéad Sheehan; Mairéad Lancaster, Anna Kinsella, Ann Byrne; Aisling O'Rourke (1-0), Margaret Byrne (1-4, 0-1 free), Charlene Hayden (0-1). Subs. - Catherine O'Mahony for Byrne (45), Mairéad O'Rourke for A. O'Rourke (58), Nicola Kinsella for Lancaster (60), also Ciara Nolan, Julieann Nolan, Joanne Doran, Liz Whelan, Celina Hayden, Susan Byrne, Róisín Fitzgerald, Helen Doran.
Naomh Eanna: Orla Crowe; Aoife Hughes, Clare Doyle, Aoibhean Doyle; Emma Doyle, Siobhán Doyle (capt.), Lorna Cushe; Rachel Murphy, Catríona O'Brien; Louise Stafford, Orlagh Hall, Jennifer Deering; Ellen Roche (0-8, 4 '45s, 1 free), Róisín Egan (0-1), Riona O'Sullivan. Subs. - Susie Griffiths for Murphy (43), Therese Kehoe for Hall (55), also Michelle Kehoe, Mia Kavanagh, Aishling Mythen, Eimear Sheehan, Molly McGuckin, Rachel Duggan.
Referee: Philip Murphy (Faythe Harriers).