Oulart capture another crown
Fine fare in league decider
All-Ireland champions Oulart-The Ballagh outscored Rathnure in a rip-roaring Co. Senior camogie league final in Piercestown on Bank Holiday Monday.
Oulart-Ballagh 4-15 Rathnure 4-8
Played on a perfect evening, the sides shared 31 scores in a thoroughly entertaining game that saw both line out in an increasingly unfavoured, traditional 15-on-15.
Oulart-The Ballagh were without long-time number one Helena Jacob, as well as experienced defender Colleen Atkinson, from their All-Ireland winning back seven and certainly some teething problems arose.
However, one major bright spot was the impressive performance of youngster Katie Murphy at wing-back.
On the other side of the field, Rathnure continue to blood a youthful mix to complement their experienced core. They played well for the most part, have plenty of scope for improvement and will be hopeful of a long run in the championship.
They hit the front in the third minute when Marie Morrissey's ball in was spilled in the Oulart-The Ballagh goalmouth which allowed Jackie Carr to force home from close range, with Ciara O'Connor also ready to pounce. Shauna Sinnott was the best player on the park and scored a stunning goal in the 18th minute to give her side a 1-4 to 1-1 lead.
More mayhem close to goal allowed Jackie Quigley to pull home from ten yards out a minute later, but three straight points eased Oulart-The Ballagh level. Back came the Blackstairs girls with a third goal when Morrissey robbed Karen Atkinson and handpassed to the net (3-3 to 1-6).
Never a side to panic, Oulart-The Ballagh hit 1-3 without reply in the final five minutes of the half, with Diane Ryan scoring a well-taken goal, to go in at the interval leading by three points.
Eimear O'Connor pointed within 60 seconds of the re-start but, after two points at the other end, Oulart-The Ballagh scored their third goal when Una Leacy hauled in a mis-hit shot and flashed a low bullet past Laura Brennan.
The county champions continued to dominate and went 4-14 to 3-7 ahead courtesy of Leacy's second major, this time from a close range handpass.
Rathnure did have the final say with Carr's second goal but it wasn't enough to stop the Oulart-The Ballagh juggernaut from claiming another trophy.
Oulart-The Ballagh: Leanne Nolan; Ciara Storey (capt.), Karen Atkinson, Brídín Redmond; Katie Murphy, Mary Leacy, Aoife O'Connor; Stacey Redmond, Shelley Kehoe (0-1); Louise Sinnott, Shauna Sinnott (1-4), Stacey Kehoe (0-3); Diane Ryan (1-3), Una Leacy (2-1), Ursula Jacob (0-3, 1 free). Subs. - Aideen Brennan for B. Redmond (31), Katie Gallagher for Stacey Kehoe (53), Laura Sinnott for Ryan (57), also Niamh Sinnott, Sharon Kehoe, Aisling Moran, Shauna Redmond, Aoife Dunne, Rachel Sinnott, Aine Sheridan.
Rathnure: Laura Brennan; Louise O'Leary, Farren Byrne, Bernie Holohan; Laura Redmond, Claire O'Connor, Leanne Foley; Aoife O'Connor (0-1), Michelle Martin; Eimear O'Connor (capt., 0-5, 3 frees, 1 '65), Fiona Donnellan, Jackie Quigley (1-0); Marie Morrissey (1-0), Ciara O'Connor (0-1), Jackie Carr (2-1). Subs. - Oonagh Doyle for Foley, inj. (45), Olivia Hearn for Quigley (53), Niamh O'Connor for Donnellan (60), also Evelyn Quigley, Brudge Roche, Jean Hayden, Olivia Lambert, Lizzy Whiteley, Shauna O'Connor, Emma O'Connor.
Referee: Seán Whelan (St. Martin's).