Four-goal Byrne the Kilrush match-winner

Dean Goodison

Published 13/10/2015 | 00:00

Cathy Kavanagh of Kilrush receives the cup from Donnacha Kerins
Cathy Kavanagh of Kilrush receives the cup from Donnacha Kerins
Kilrush with the spoils of victory after their win in the Intermediate final replay on Sunday.

Gorey must be sick of the sight of Margaret Byrne. The Kilrush destroyer wreaked havoc in the league final and was equally as unstoppable with all four goals in Farmleigh on Sunday as her side took the Intermediate camogie championship title in this replay.

Kilrush 4-9 Naomh Eanna 0-9

Byrne was simply unstoppable when she got the right type of ball. Sitting tight on her marker is perfect for her, as the number 14 can break in behind on the sliothar and her searing pace means a clean, and more importantly accurate, shot is inevitable.

The next Wexford manager will have plenty of calls to make in the coming weeks, and one of the first should be to Byrne whose control of the ball in tight quarters and at pace is almost as impressive as her speed and finishing.

If Byrne is the most dangerous attacker you don't know in Wexford club camogie, then Mairéad Sheehan was her side's best player on this occasion. Industrious and snappy, the diminutive midfielder was involved in everything, ably assisted by Sharon Sunderland, and winning that area of the field was vital to the Kilrush victory.

Their defence also shone. Both lines were superb but particularly the full-back trio who held their opponents to just one point from play and generally snuffed out any goal chances before they even arrived.

Gorey who started this replay a little sharper, and only Sheehan matched their intensity level from the off as her side struggled to get going. Ellen Roche and Byrne traded early points before Aisling O'Rourke edged Kilrush 0-3 to 0-2 ahead as they settled towards the end of the opening quarter.

The victors were still leading when Brídín O'Rourke made her only real save from Orlagh Hall, and just three minutes later when Sunderland's ball was picked up by Byrne in a huddle, she broke away, racing 30 metres before drilling past Orla Crowe.

Kilrush led by 1-5 to 0-4 at the break and that increased further when Sheehan notched the opening two scores of the second-half inside 90 seconds. Roche pulled those two back but Charlene Hayden's point made it 1-8 to 0-6 in her side's favour after 41 minutes.

It was another long, accurate Sunderland ball that saw Byrne hare away for her second goal, a strike that was pretty much the clincher. She added a superb point from tight to the left side endline to make it 2-9 to 0-6 before Gorey scored their first point from play, through Roche, in the 52nd minute.

A second followed from Catríona O'Brien but Byrne latched onto Anna Kinsella's pass to break away on the right and she coolly drilled her shot low across goalkeeper Crowe to the Naomh Eanna netting.

It was fitting that Byrne's fourth goal came from a Sheehan assist. From midfield the Kilrush number 9 landed the ball in Byrne's vicinity and the full-forward did the rest, wheeling away and driving in to net again.

Kilrush have a Leinster campaign to look forward to and will also move up a level to Senior next year, and while it's a daunting task, it will be great for the blossoming club to test themselves against some of the best sides in the county. Gorey will be back fighting again next year and maybe it will finally be their season; they will be grateful for not having to face Margaret Byrne again, that's for sure.

Kilrush: Brídín O'Rourke; Gillian Kavanagh, Maura Kavanagh, Danielle Hayden; Liz Ruth, Cathy Kavanagh (capt.), Claire O'Rourke; Sharon Sunderland, Mairéad Sheehan (0-2); Mairéad Lancaster, Anna Kinsella, Ann Byrne; Aisling O'Rourke (0-1), Margaret Byrne (4-5, 0-3 frees), Charlene Hayden (0-1). Subs. - Mairéad O'Rourke for Lancaster (58), Julieann Nolan for Hayden (60), Liz Whelan for A. O'Rourke (60), Celina Hayden for G. Kavanagh (60+2), Nicola Kinsella for A. Byrne (60+2), also Ciara Nolan, Susan Byrne, Helen Doran, Joanne Doran.

Naomh Eanna: Orla Crowe; Aoibhean Doyle, Rachel Murphy, Aoife Hughes; Lorna Cushe, Siobhán Doyle, Emma Doyle; Catríona O'Brien (0-1), Denise Deering; Louise Stafford, Molly McGuckin, Orlagh Hall; Ellen Roche (0-8, 5 frees, 2 '45s), Michelle Kehoe, Riona O'Sullivan. Subs. - Jennifer Deering for McGuckin (41), Susie Griffith for Kehoe (44), Róisín Egan for O'Sullivan (51), Mia Kavanagh for Hall (58), Eimear Sheehan for Stafford (60), also Theresa Kehoe, Aisling Mythen, Clare Doyle.

Referee: David O'Leary (Rathnure).

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