Marshalstown hold out
Marshalstown 2-7 St. Ibar's/Shelmalier 3-3
Marshalstown stood firm to repel a late St. Ibar's/Shelmalier onslaught and take the Junior 'A' camogie league title in Craanford on Friday.
It was the Enniscorthy District club's third league crown in a row but they were made to fight all the way to the end by an unrelenting, feisty group of Shelmalier women.
While the Hollymount side boasted the most impressive performer on the field in the nippy Fiona Kinsella, Marshalstown were able to turn their share of possession into crucial scores.
They made their intentions known in the opening minute when Chloe Davis fired into the goalmouth from deep.
Laura Creane controlled and dribbled a shot past Mary Cullen in the St. Ibar's/Shelmalier goal.
Their fast start was emphasised further when Ellen Kelly tapped over her first of the contest.
They dodged a bullet when Larah Campbell's long-range free clanked the crossbar, but further points from Kelly and Becky Walsh put the eventual winners 1-3 to nil up after twelve minutes.
Kinsella got St. Ibar's/Shelmalier on the board early in the second quarter.
After Kelly scored her third at the other end, the Over The Water girls got themselves back into the game when Mikaela Lanigan forced the ball past Mairéad Doyle.
Another fine Kinsella effort closed the gap to two but Lauren Finn ghosted into space and made it 1-5 to 1-2 at the interval.
Traded points between Róisín Tobin and Chloe Davis meant the status quo remained for a while but the intensity amped up as the third quarter motored on.
Taking Caitlin Carroll's pass in stride, Kinsella raced away and netted with a clinical finish to tie the game (2-3 to 1-6).
Back came Marshalstown, initially with a Walsh point, but then they scrambled a goal through Finn after Brenda Byrne had done all the hard work.
There was no time for Marshalstown to enjoy their lead as back came St. Ibar's/Shelmalier. They were controversially denied a point when Tobin's pulled effort looked to clip the crossbar and go over, rather than wide, and it would make all the difference.
They did pull a goal back in the 44th minute through Lanigan after good build-up play involving Carroll and Tobin, but neither side could hit the target in the final quarter as Marshalstown held on to take the trophy.
Marshalstown: Mairéad Doyle; Sarah Morris, Donna Byrne (capt.), Niamh Finn; Mairéad Whelan, Catherine Kelly, Lauren Finn (1-1); Chloe Davis (0-1), Caoimhe Denton; Ellen Kelly (0-3, 2 frees), Aoife Doyle, Aoife Hennessy; Laura Creane (1-0), Becky Walsh (0-2), Brenda Byrne. Subs. (not used) - Aoife Newe, Claire Roche, Margaret Dunphy, Emma Lacey, Lucy Kehoe.
St. Ibar's/Shelmalier: Mary Cullen; Maeve Doyle, Maeve Quill, Lisa Quill; Chloe Mythen, Larah Campbell, Molly Byrne; Eleanor Lacey (capt.), Aine Barron; Fiona Kinsella (1-2), Eadaoin Fitzgerald, Caitlin Carroll; Mikaela Lanigan (2-0), Róisín Tobin (0-1 free), Caroline Curran. Subs. - Anna Whelan for Doyle (42), Aoife Fielding for Curran (45), Thea Kehoe for Tobin (60+1), also Aine Fitzgerald, Catríona Kinsella, Ceara O'Brien, Michelle Murphy, Therese Sheil.
Referee: Martin Kenny (Kilrush).