Pres clinch title
PRESENTATION (Wexford) edged out Presentation (Waterford) 34-31 in a dramatic contest to lift the South East League Second Year 'C' title at the Kingfisher Centre in Waterford.
Pres. (Waterford) got off to a dream start as Chloe Morrissey (two) and Shannon Keane (four) saw then carve a 6-0 lead, with Keane being particularly dangerous. It wasn't long until Pres. (Wexford) found their footing, with scores through Niamh Butler (two), Kasey Maher (two) and Hollie Crosbie (two).
Morrissey closed scoring in the opening quarter for the Waterford side, leaving it 8-6 in their favour.
The second quarter belonged to the Wexford crew as an almost watertight defensive display limited Waterford to just four points while Wexford amassed an impressive ten points. Cliodhna Flynn, Aleisha Cullen and Rebecca Kirwan were on top on defence and laid the foundations for attack, with Cullen picking off four points and Kirwan amassing six to leave the game 16-12 in Wexford's favour at half-time.
Aleisha Cullen (four) and Shannon Keane (three) traded scores at the beginning of the third period as Waterford were intent on working their way back into the game. Indeed, the Waterford side outscored their Wexford namesakes in this period 9-8 as Morrissey and Fanning combined for six points while Wexford added a further four through Niamh Butler and Kirwan.
Heading into the final quarter, Wexford still held the advantage, 2421. The final quarter was a tense affair, with both sides going all out to claim victory.
Each score that Wexford put on the board, Waterford were responding to. The score was 28-25 in favour of the Wexford outfit until Georgia O'Keeffe pulled Waterford back to within a point with a well-taken score.
Two fast breaks from Rebecca Kirwan saw Wexford forge ahead by five, but Morrissey once again swished under pressure to take the lead back to three.
Fiona Kubin was introduced and duly obliged with a fantastic two points before injury forced her to the bench prematurely. This was to be the final score for the Wexford side as Waterford laid on the pressure.
Some slick passing saw Waterford cut the deficit to three points with less than a minute on the clock. The tension mounted as with only seconds remaining Waterford were awarded two free throws. Fortunately, neither was converted and Wexford gained possession, held their nerve and claimed victory in what was an exciting and enjoyable final.
Presentation (Wexford) now go on to represent the south-east in the All-Ireland play-offs in mid-April. The experience of such a tense and demanding match will stand to them as they continue their preparations and training.