Bunclody inflict further Co. final pain
Two first-half goals proved too much for Naomh Eanna to overcome as Bunclody claimed the Intermediate camogie championship title at Farmleigh on Saturday.
Bunclody 2-8 Naomh Eanna 0-12
The victors were pretty impressive in the opening half, building a 2-6 to 0-8 lead on the back of some clinical inside forward play. However, they were forced to hang on after the break under a barrage of pressure from their opponents.
For Gorey it was more horrible heartbreak. Strewn bodies lay across the pitch as they attempted to come to terms with a fourth final loss in as many years. Oylegate-Glenbrien, Blackwater, Kilrush and now Bunclody have stamped on Naomh Eanna dreams but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
This is an incredibly young team with not one member of the squad over the age of 25. It's clear that they will be back again in 2017, stronger and with another year of growth under their belt. There is better ahead for this side and their day will surely come.
They started on the front foot with Susie Griffiths picking off a close-range score in the opening minute. It would prove to be the only time in the game that Naomh Eanna held a lead. Róisín Kelly popped over a brace of points to make it 0-2 to 0-1 after three minutes.
Things could have been so different had Griffiths' shot slipped just under the crossbar, rather than clanked into it in the fourth minute. There was no such bad luck at the other end as Kelly cut in from the right wing, ran 40 metres and shot low past Róisín Wheatley.
A couple of Ellen Roche frees left Gorey just two behind at the end of the opening quarter (1-2 to 0-3). However, after a brace of Fiona Kavanagh points and a first Nicole Fortune minor, Bunclody grabbed their killer second goal.
Kelly was provider this time, sending Kavanagh away on the right. Her angle was tight but the former county Senior is vastly experienced in those situations and coolly fired to the net to make it 2-6 to 0-5.
Sixteen-year-old Aine Doyle had a fantastic game for the runners-up. She hit the crossbar and it rebounded over for a point in the 26th minute, before adding another after Roche popped over a dead-ball to cut the deficit to four at the interval (2-6 to 0-8).
After the open, attacking first-half came a tense, error-strewn second. Orla Molloy scored the only point of the third quarter, popping over from Orlagh Hall's pass in the 37th minute to narrow the gap to a goal.
Two Roche placed balls moved Gorey within one (2-6 to 0-11) with nine minutes remaining and they looked the more likely winner at that stage. Bunclody had other ideas and moved three ahead again after a pair of Fortune frees.
When Róisín Egan was fouled 20 metres from goal in the final minute of normal time, Roche flashed the free over the crossbar. Time eventually ran out on the Gorey charge as Bunclody clung on to their two-point advantage until the end.
The new Intermediate champions will not have long to enjoy their win. They are out in Leinster next Saturday when they travel to Laois to face their Senior champions.
Bunclody: Bridget Murphy; Megan Furlong, Áine Kelly, Lisa O'Neill; Róisín Nolan, Rachel Kelly, Maria Carroll; Shauna Daly (capt.), Kate Hendrick; Chloe Kenny, Nicola Fortune (0-3, 2 frees), Charlotte Redmond; Róisín Kelly (1-3, 0-2 frees), Fiona Kavanagh (1-2), Leanne Kehoe. Subs. - Ciara Carroll for Redmond (59), also Linda Byrne, Laura Wade, Orla Doyle, Clare Finn, Ciara Kelly, Aideen Burke, Angie Kavanagh, Susan Norris, Sinéad Kelly, Anne Doyle, Caoilfhionn Ní Muirí.
Naomh Eanna: Róisín Wheatley; Aoife Hughes, Lorna Cushe, Aoibheann Doyle; Emma Doyle, Siobhán Doyle, Catríona O'Brien; Denise Deering, Jennifer Deering; Orla Molloy (0-1), Ellen Roche (0-7, 6 frees, 1 '45), Orlagh Hall; Orla Crowe, Susie Griffiths (0-1), Aine Doyle (0-3). Subs. - Molly McGuckin for S. Doyle, inj. (12), Rhiona O'Sullivan for Griffiths (35), Róisín Egan for Hall (40), Louise Stafford for J. Deering (56), also Aislinn Mythen, Muireann O'Connor, Aisling Dwyer.
Referee: Aiden O'Brien (Cloughbawn).