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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ballindaggin bounce back

Ballindaggin 4-1 Lpreto (Gorey) 3-1

Caoimhe Browne of Loreto takes on Isobel Kavanagh (Ballindaggin)
Caoimhe Browne of Loreto takes on Isobel Kavanagh (Ballindaggin)
Ava Callaghan of Loreto (Gorey) attempts to strike under pressure from Emma Healy (Ballindaggin)
The Ballindaggin girls celebrate after the presentation of the cup by Jim Dempsey (Secretary) to captain Isobel Kavanagh and vice-captain Heather Boyce
The Loreto (Gorey) girls who played their part in a memorable final

Spectators in St. Patrick's Park were treated to the Rackard League game of the season when they witnessed a truly great final between Loreto (Gorey) and Ballindaggin.

With the Roinn B Allianz Cumann na mBunscol camogie title up for grabs, the stakes were high as these girls competed for glory. The end result was a final that will be talked about for a long time after.

Ballindaggin got off to a very good start, but missed several of their excellent goal chances. On 15 minutes, Cerys Fortune soloed through and cut in for the game's first score.

With Róisín Dobbs and Niamh Doyle busy up front, the Ballindaggin girls went on to create and miss further goal chances as the half progressed. One felt that they could regret these spurned chances later in the game.

This point was hammered home when the sleeping giant of Loreto (Gorey) found some devastating attacking form just before half-time.

Led by the impressive Siun Murdiff in midfield, the Gorey girls plundered a hat-trick of goals. While Murdiff was responsible for all three, she was ably assisted by Tara O'Connor and Caoimhe Browne on each occasion. This sensational seven-minute salvo left the Ballindaggin girls stunned going into the half-time break.

The second-half saw the terrible trio of Murdiff, O'Connor and Browne exert more pressure in attack, and it looked like Ballindaggin's chance had gone.

When Murdiff powered through for her team's first point, it looked like all was lost. Ballindaggin lobbed in an Isobel Kavanagh '65 but repeatedly saw more of their goal chances foiled by a determined Loreto defence. Tamara Kelly also had a shot saved by Mia Kinsella in the Loreto goal.

These events made the closing stages even more spectacular. Inspired by the tenacious Rebecca Codd and Isobel Kavanagh in defence, the Ballindaggin girls suddenly clicked into gear as the game entered its final ten minutes.

Lauren Smyth started the comeback with a well-taken goal. Then Anna Roban put her team right back in contention when she went on a mazy solo run and blasted straight to the back of the net.

With five minutes to go, Niamh Kinch caught the ball on the edge of the square and produced an unstoppable bullet to level the game.

Loreto were now all at sea and frantically tried to chase the game. The momentum had shifted however, and the instrumental Rebecca Codd repeatedly provided good ball into her forwards until Anna Roban conjured the winning goal.

There was some late drama before the final whistle as Loreto were afforded one last-gasp chance to equalise. This time a close-range Murdiff free did not make it over the Ballindaggin line to the relief of their huge support.

A titanic finish in many ways, this game is one that will be fondly remembered in Ballindaggin for many years to come.

Ballindaggin: Anna Kinsella, Eimer Tobin, Heather Boyce, Katie Bowe, Isobel Kavanagh, Anna Roban, Rebecca Codd, Cerys Fortune, Lauren Smyth, Róisín Dobbs, Emma Healy, Niamh Doyle, Tamara Kelly, Caitlin Doyle, Naomi Kavanagh-McCarthy.

Loreto (Gorey): Mia Kinsella, Jennifer O'Gorman, Ava Callaghan, Anna Funge, Tara Cushe, Kila Kenny, Tara O'Connor, Siun Murdiff, Caoimhe Browne, Síofra Kenny, Niamh Kinch, Leah Owley-O'Reilly, Eva O'Connor, Ciara Nolan, Clodagh Funge, Abbie Kinch, Karonlina Kwaitowska, Sophie Fitzpatrick.

Wexford People

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