Ibar's hold off major revival
Moyeady come up short
St. Ibar's/Shelmalier withstood a spirited Moyeady Bridge comeback to claim a fully-deserved Minor camogie Roinn 1 championship title in Monageer on Sunday.
St. Ibar's/Shelmalier 3-7 Moyeady Bridge 2-9
The Hollymount side held an eight-point lead during the second-half but Moyeady Bridge, who were the form side coming into the county final, battled all the way back to within the minimum before running out of time.
With nine-time All Star Kate Kelly putting them through their paces, the underdog Ibar's were always likely to have a special performance up their sleeves. They took the opening quarter to settle but unleashed all they had in their lockers during the middle 30 minutes to build a winning lead.
They were probably aided by two cracking semi-final encounters against Craanford-Monaseed. The new champions needed a replay to see off the Gorey District side and those two tough encounters in the last few weeks undoubtedly helped to polish St. Ibar's/Shelmalier into form.
Moyeady were into their stride first, taking a 0-3 to nil lead after 22 minutes. Becky Walsh popped over the opening point before two Róisín Kelly scores ensured the Bunclody/Marshalstown combination got off to the better start.
However, St. Ibar's/Shelmalier got a massive confidence boost in the 24th minute when Jessie Harding's ball into the goalmouth was forced over the line by Thea Kehoe. It started a passage of really good camogie by the Wexford District side.
Shortly after Harding gave her side their first lead (1-1 to 0-3), she fired powerfully past Niamh Finn in the Moyeady goal. A Shauna Kelly point right on the stroke of half-time ensured that the eventual winners took a 2-2 to 0-3 interval advantage.
Despite two Harding points to start the second period, Moyeady hit back when Emma Lacey's ball into the goalmouth was only cleared as far as Kate Kirwan, and the dangerous wing-forward made no mistake with her finish from close range.
St. Ibar's/Shelmalier responded to their first moment of adversity like winners. Within two minutes Lauren Murphy brilliantly controlled Fiona Kinsella's ball into the edge of the square and pulled to the net. When Murphy added a fantastic point from the right corner in the 37th minute, her side led by 3-5 to 1-3.
While the victors would only raise two further white flags from Jessie Harding frees, both coming after fouls on her elusive, slippery first cousin Sarah Harding-Kenny, they would prove to be vital scores.
Moyeady, who chipped away with points from Róisín Kelly and Aoife Hennessy, gave themselves hope when Chloe Davis smashed to the roof of the net at the end of the third quarter (3-6 to 2-5).
Despite producing their best hurling of the game in the final quarter, Moyeady couldn't get level.
Emma Lacey's point in the final minute of normal time left one between the sides but St. Ibar's/Shelmalier superbly kept the ball out of their half in the two minutes of added time to claim a memorable success.
St. Ibar's/Shelmalier: Ailis Neville; Molly Byrne, Sadbh McCarthy, Caitlin Carroll; Mikaela Lanigan, Larah Campbell, Eleanor Lacey; Sarah Harding-Kenny, Aine Fitzgerald; Shauna Kelly (capt., 0-1), Zoe O'Leary, Fiona Kinsella; Thea Kehoe (1-0), Jessie Harding (1-5, 0-5 frees), Lauren Murphy (1-1). Subs. - Catríona Kinsella for Carrolll (50), Aoife Fielding for Kehoe (52), also Sarah Whelan, Chloe Mythen.
Moyeady Bridge: Niamh Finn; Orla Doyle, Lauren FInn, Ciara Kelly; Róisín Nolan, Rachel Kelly, Charlotte Redmond (joint capt.); Chloe Davis (1-0), Emma Lacey (joint capt., 0-1); Kate Hendrick, Róisín Kelly (0-5, 2 frees, 1 '45), Kate Kirwan (1-1); Ciara Carroll, Becky Walsh (0-1), Aoife Hennessy (0-1). Subs. - Caoimhe Denton for Doyle (31), Lucy Kehoe for Carroll (56), Rebecca Murphy for Hennessy (59), also Michaela Murphy, Megan O'Neill.
Referee: John O'Rourke (Shamrocks).