Carr steers her team to title joy
Rathnure decisive winners
A haul of 1-8 from Sandy Carr steered Rathnure to a comfortable win over Craanford-Monaseed in the Junior 'A' camogie championship final in chilly Oylegate on Saturday.
Rathnure 1-14 Craanford-Monaseed 0-4
Half-time substitute Nora Higgins also shone brightly for the winners, helping herself to five fine points from play in an energetic 30-minute cameo.
The black and ambers were completing a league and championship double and after a slow start Carr's tenth-minute goal settled any nerves and they took control thereafter, particularly during a dominant second-half, leaving a hard-trying Craanford-Monaseed outfit to feed off scraps.
A rampant Rathnure were full value for the victory and they could have won by an even greater margin but for some wayward shooting, being guilty of racking up 14 wides as well as dropping a number of efforts short into the goalkeeper's hands.
The north county side actually began the game quite promisingly and got the opening two points on the board within six minutes.
First Aoife Curran found the angle from the right wing with just a minute on the clock, before Una Sinnott followed it up by stroking the ball over the bar.
However, their advantage was quickly erased on nine minutes when Sandy Carr gathered a Lizzy Whiteley delivery and burst through the defence before firmly planting a shot out of the reach of goalkeeper Rebecca Doran.
Danger woman Carr added the next two points for Rathnure, with Lizzy Whiteley getting in on the scoring act with a sweet score late in the half.
The ladies from the foot of the Blackstairs then went close to leaving Craanford-Monaseed with a mountain to climb when they almost raised another green flag, but Lisa O'Connell's faint touch on a Jackie Carr delivery drifted wide of the right-hand upright.
Una Sinnott popped over a point deep into first-half injury time to keep her side within striking distance at the interval (1-3 to 0-3) and ignite hopes of a revival.
However, Rathnure were quickly into their stride again after the sides switched ends, with Sandy Carr converting a free before they twice threatened to hit the back of the net.
Róisín Higgins saw her shot blocked by netminder Rebecca Doran, while substitute Nora Higgins went close to making her mark on the contest when she fired wide after being teed up by Sandy Carr.
Higgins wasn't long about showing her obvious quality though, as she turned brilliantly and slotted over a score in the 42nd minute.
A Dee Boland free stopped the rot for Craanford-Monaseed two minutes later to reduce the deficit to four (1-5 to 0-4), but it was merely a brief respite for the blue and whites.
Rathnure scored nine points without reply before referee Mick Lanigan's final whistle, as replacement Nora Higgins and the go-to-girl Sandy Carr played with a real swagger.
Higgins added four more points to her impressive tally while Carr continued to effortlessly pick off points from placed balls and play as Rathnure rounded off a resounding victory.
Rathnure: Brudge Roche; Ashlynn O'Leary, Bridget Murphy, Ann-Marie O'Connor; Emma O'Connor, Niamh O'Connor, Kelly O'Connor; Lisa Martin, Lizzy Whiteley (0-1); Jackie Carr, Aoife Guiney, Shauna O'Connor; Lisa O'Connell, Sandy Carr (capt., 1-8, 0-4 frees), Róisín Higgins. Subs. - Nora Higgins (0-5) for O'Connell, Lara Conran for R. Higgins, Andrea Crean for S. O'Connor, also Megan Roche, Mackenzie O'Leary, Sarah Boland, Ava Conran.
Craanford-Monaseed: Rebecca Doran; Jenny Larkin, Siobhán Finn, Catherine Conroy; Lorna Whitty, Jodie Lifely (capt.), Kerri O'Brien; Anna Whitty, Una Sinnott (0-2); Aoife Curran (0-1), Rebecca Fleming, Síofra Doyle; Dee Boland (0-1 free), Catríona Graham, Kayla Smith. Subs. - Grace O'Halloran for Whitty, Linda Minchin for Smith, also Sarah McCormack, Amy Hyland, Catríona Doran, Orla Montague, Fran Shannon, Rita Doyle, Hollie Kavanagh, Katie Kenny, Celine Keating, Kerri Daly, Sarah Lifely.
Referee: Mick Lanigan (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier).