Tuesday 15 October 2019

Bunclody wins clash of the titans

Horeswood foiled in final

Aoife Mahon receives the cup from Jim Dempsey, Secretary of the Rackard League.
Aoife Mahon receives the cup from Jim Dempsey, Secretary of the Rackard League.
The triumphant Bunclody squad with the cup after Wednesday’s final in Innovate WexfordPark.
The vanquished Horeswood squad prior toWednesday’s final.
Lydia McGrath of Horeswood battles for possession with Eilish O’Rourke from Bunclody.

Its was a case of 'The Clash of the Titans' in Innovate Wexford Park on Wednesday when Bunclody took on Horeswood in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn 'A' camogie final.

Bunclody 1-6, Horeswood 0-3

Both teams entered into the fray with the possibility of completing a football and camogie county double in one season, and both were in the hunt for a second successive title after winning Rackard League camogie championships in 2014. Only one winner could take all however and so an intriguing finale beckoned.

Bunclody began the stronger with a stiff breeze at their backs. Horeswood netminder Amy Ennis was called into play almost instantly to prevent an early goal, and Bunclody had to settle with two Aoife Mahon frees instead to build up a quick lead.

The game then opened up with a couple of goal chances at either end snuffled out by keen defending on both sides. From the beginning, Katie Kehoe and Emer Hunt led a great defensive effort for Horeswood that lasted throughout.

Horeswood got back into the match through playing an energetic running game led admirably by Eadaoin Kent and Kathryn Dempsey. This seemed to trouble their rivals for some time, but the hard-working Bunclody team gave nothing away at the back despite these repeated attacks.

On the tenth minute mark, Aoife Mahon got the game's first point from play to open up a three-point lead just before Kate Foley got the scoreboard ticking for Horeswood with a good point. With only two points between them at half-time, it looked like it would take something special or the break of a ball to separate the teams.

Horeswood came out of the blocks flying in the second-half and looked to be in a strong position with the help of the breeze and much of the play in the Bunclody half. Two key plays got the Horeswood girls and their support going.

A Horeswood free was won when Kate Foley and Aoife Mahon both caught the sliothar at the same time and refused to let go to the amusement of the stand. Then, Katie Kehoe put in three huge blocks in a row to rally the troops.

Unfortunately, they could not convert this period of dominance into scores and Bunclody's Aoife Mahon came back into the game with a bang to punish them. Two fantastic points fitting for any final opened up a now sizeable four-point gap. The first was a massive free into the wind and the second came from a great catch and strike off the resultant puck-out.

Kate Foley responded with two powerful shots at goal to get her team back into it but Bunclody 'keeper Rachel Kehoe was as solid as a rock. With ten minutes to go, the killer blows came.

Another Aoife Mahon free and an excellent Lisa Kelly goal brought the scores to 1-6 to 0-1. Kate Foley got two more points and Horeswood were unlucky to hit the goalpost as they fought to stay in it, but Bunclody deservedly ran out winners over the hour.

It was admirable to see even in the dying moments, Bunclody forwards Laoise Kearney and Riona Mahon working their socks off to keep Horeswood under pressure up front. Another day and maybe Horeswood would have had a little bit more luck in front of goal, but the great thing about sport is that no one can win them all.

Bunclody: Rachel Kehoe, Naomi Kavanagh, Ola Bialko, Tracey Furlong, Yvonne Kelly, Eilish O'Rourke, Lisa Kelly, Rebecca Murphy, Aoife Mahon, Caoimhe Jordan, Laoise Kearney, Eimear Kearney, Riona Mahon, Aoife Kavanagh, Chloe Murphy, Debbie Wilson, Doireann Ní Bhroin, Aoife Murphy, Ella Keane, Mollie Ring, Nicole Hawson, Sorcha O'Rourke, Rachel Black, Leah Morris, Jacqui Kehoe, Erin O'Leary, Rebecca O'Neill.

Horeswood: Amy Ennis, Katie Kehoe, Emer Hunt, Ciara Walsh, Sinéad Clancy, Lydia McGrath, Kate Foley, Jade Cleere, Kathryn Dempsey, Eadaoin Kent, Sarah Foley, Amy Cousins, Annie-Rose Lyng, Sarah Cummins, Mai Dempsey, Eimear Rowe, Yvonne Murphy-Walsh, Hannah Chapman.

Wexford People

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