Piercestown girls in a totally different class
SOMETIMES YOU just can't help being beaten by the best and this was the case in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn 'A' camogie final, as Rathnure were vanquished by a talented, ruthless Piercestown team.
Both sides started brightly, exchanging wides in the opening minutes. Lettie Whelan got the first scores when she flashed over a tidy score in the fifth minute and then converted a free moments later.
Fortune then favoured Lettie and Piercestown when a long-range free sneaked past both the Rathnure goalkeeper Tara Murphy and her defence into the net. Things could have gotten a lot worse quickly if Tara Murphy didn't make two great saves from Ciara O'Connor three minutes later.
Lettie continued to torment Rathnure when in the 12th minute she ran through again to score her third point. A critical blow to Rathnure's chances came soon after when Anna Mulligan handpassed to Siobhán Alouf who barged in to finish from close range.
The pressure continued and Tara Murphy stopped another certain goal from an Amy O'Leary shot. Anna Mulligan finished a good team move with a point and Lettie Whelan scored twice more to open up a 12-point lead.
With Anna Hennessy, Ella O'Connor and Alannah Davis strong in the Piercestown defence, Rathnure couldn't find a way past. Further good fortune then came Piercestown's way when Ella O'Connor's long clearance was deflected into the goal just before half-time.
Piercestown continued the second-half in ruthless fashion when they opened the scoring with a Lettie Whelan goal. Nora Higgins fought diligently in the Rathnure midfield to create scoring chances but these were not converted at the far end of the field.
As the game opened up, the busy Ciara O'Connor and Anna Mai Stafford came more and more into the game. Stafford got a well-deserved point from out the field in the seventh minute.
Rathnure continued to press in vain and Eva Mooney did very well in defence to stop the flow of Piercestown scores. In the 22nd minute, Ashling Alouf set up Ciara O'Connor for a goal and then was unlucky not to score herself when Rathnure goalkeeper Fiona Guiney tapped her shot over the bar. Fiona followed this up by making another fantastic save in the next play from Ciara O'Connor.
The final whistle brought to an end a wonderful year for the Murrintown girls who had added the Roinn 'A' camogie title to their mini-sevens football and camogie crowns. A clearly talented team, both players and mentors must be commended for their beautiful attacking style of play that any side would find hard to live with. Were it not for the goalkeeping heroics from Rathnure's Tara Murphy and Fiona Guiney, the scoreline could have been much greater.
Piercestown: Gemma Ryan, Clodagh Walsh, Alannah Davis, Anna Hennessy, Niamh Dunne, Ella O'Connor, Anna Mulligan, Ciara O'Connor, Lettie Whelan, Amy O'Leary, Siobhán Alouf, Anna Mai Stafford, Ashling Alouf, Katie Sinnott, Fiona Esmonde, Jessica Howlin.
Rathnure: Tara Murphy, Jackie Barron, Amy Cahill, Sophie Roche, Eva Mooney, Katie Lennon, Aisling Breen, Aine Moore, Nora Higgins, Shauna O'Leary, Fiona Guiney, Mary Kate Doyle, Kellie Byrne, Ella Lyng, Amy Foley-O'Connell, Róisín O'Connor, Aoife Wickham.