Monday 11 December 2017

Frustrating ending for teams in sevens finals

THE TWO Wexford representatives at the annual Leinster camogie sevens in Clane, Co. Kildare, on Saturday last experienced the same frustrating fortunes - winning all of their group games before enduring a first and only defeat of the day in their respective finals against teams they had already accounted for in the group stages.

Duffry Rovers put up a good show in the Senior Cup, starting on an emphatic note with an 11-3 to nil win over Naomh Fionnbarra of Dublin. Camross from Laois were the next victims (1-6 to 1-2) before hosts Clane were overcome by 72 to 1-2. Their fourth win was against Harps of Laois by 2-2 to 0-3, and they went into the final still on a high by defeating Galway guests Kiltormer by 2-3 to 11.

However, that good run ended in the decider when Harps turned the tables, leading by 0-4 to 0-3 at half-time and never looking back after an early goal on the re-start which powered them to a 1-7 to 0-4 victory. There was some consolation for the Duffry, who were accompanied by mentors Matty Flynn-O'Connor, Tomás Kavanagh and Matthew Cooper, when Deirdre Codd was selected as the Senior player of the tournament.

Their panel was: Ann-Marie Foley, Brídín Doyle (capt.), Marguerite Doyle, Nancy Dunphy, Bernie Coleman, Elaine Neville, Cáit Doyle, Deirdre Codd, Niamh O'Connor, Aoife O'Connor.

St. Ibar's/Shelmalier were defending champions in the Senior Cup, but their first team was unable to travel as most of them were involved in the Leinster Club football championship in Dublin later in the day.

Instead the club was represented by a Junior selection in the Shield, and they exceeded all expectations by qualifying for the final where they also suffered their only loss of the day. The late withdrawals of Ratoath (Meath) and Cullion (Westmeath) meant that a double qualifying round was played between the three teams left, with St. Ibar's/Shelmalier beating Eire Og-Corra Choill of Kildare twice (2-1 to 0-1 and 5-4 to 1-5), and Kilmacow of Kilkenny twice (1-2 to 0-1 and 4-3 to 10).

Unfortunately, a poor first-half cost them dearly in the decider which was a re-match with Eire Og-Corra Choill. They trailed by 1-2 to nil at the break and, though a tiring team summoned up one last effort on the re-start, it wasn't enough as they lost by 1-4 to 1-1. The players were looked after by mentors Alan Aherne, John Furlong, Fionnuala Hearne and John Kelly.

Panel: Katie Lacey, Sinéad Kelly, Maeve Doyle, Anne-Marie Kelly, Eadaoin Fitzgerald, Sarah Lacey, Therese Sheil (capt.), Kirsty Hynds.

Incidentally, the St. Ibar's/Shelmalier and Harps Seniors were part of a little bit of history recently when they met in Crettyard, Co. Laois, in a challenge as it was the first-ever camogie game to be played under floodlights at the impressive Kilkenny border venue. This game was played in advance of their respective county finals which both teams lost to Oulart-The Ballagh and Camross respectively.

The four-in-a-row county champions will make the latest defence of their Leinster and All-Ireland titles on home ground on Sunday next when they take on Mullinavat of Kilkenny in the provincial semi-final at 2 p.m.

The visitors won their second title in three years on Saturday week last with a 5-8 to 1-9 win over St. Lachtain's of Freshford in Clara, and they will be powered by Kilkenny regulars Elaine Aylward and Michelle Quilty.

However, Oulart-The Ballagh will have been boosted by the tough test they received in the county final from St. Ibar's/Shelmalier and should have enough to qualify for another clash with Dublin holders Ballyboden St. Enda's.

Well done to the county Intermediate champions, Buffers Alley, who beat Thomas Davis from the capital in their Leinster first round in Monamolin on Sunday last by 2-6 to 1-6. They will be away to Shinrone (Offaly) in the next round.

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