Pres claim 'C' honours
Presentation Wexford's long haul to the summit was achieved with a battling display that enabled them fashion a two-point victory over St. Brigid's (Callan) in this entertaining Leinster Colleges Senior 'C' camogie final in Blackwater on Saturday.
Presentation 1-4 St. Brigid's (Callan)1-2
The fact that the Presentation girls emerged from this game with a provincial title can be attributed to their battling qualities, backed up by some exceptional individual displays, which in turn brought the best out of the side.
This was particularly the case in the final quarter, a period in which they regained the initiative to take the coveted title.
Presentation emerged from this game with much credit. They dominated for lengthy periods but had found scoring difficult against a strong defence, but they never gave up the battle.
They eventually found a way to take their scores, which in turn set them up for a huge closing ten minutes when they soaked up the pressure to deny their opponents.
When you put in such a huge effort you deserve victory but it does not always work that way. But this was a solid display from the Presentation girls who never lost their composure even when the Callan girls struck back to level ten minutes into the second-half.
It all seemed to be going according to plan as the Presentation opened the game in storming fashion. Aisling Byrne (free and play) struck over two points inside the opening eight minutes, while two minutes later they struck for their only goal.
Holly Hynes had a shot saved by 'keeper Laura Foley, but Emma Sinnott reacted quickest to fire the rebound to the net, giving her side a 1-2 to nil lead.
While St. Brigid's came much more into the game in the second quarter, they were restricted to a Therese Donnelly 17th-minute point, mainly through the excellent play of Alannah Davis, Aine Ennis and Ciara Bridges in defence, while midfielders Sarah Harding-Kenny and Sinéad Furlong were both excellent, with the result they were able to repel most of what their opponents could throw at them.
Neither side could manage a score in the lead up to half-time which left the Presentation leading by 1-2 to 0-1 at the break, which was no more than they deserved.
One can never rule out a Kilkenny side though, and by the 40th minute St. Brigid's were back level. First Therese Donnelly pointed a free, while Kim Ryan found the net from close in, leaving the sides tied at 1-2 each, and all to play for.
Given the quality of play it was unbelievable that the teams could only must a further two points in the closing quarter, but this can be attributed to the respective defences who showed their qualities. However, credit to the Presentation as they kept foraging in search of a crucial score as they built numerous promising attacks.
After 46 minutes, Aine Ennis pointed a long free, while two minutes later Aisling Byrne found the target, giving her side a two-point lead to take into the tense closing stages.
With both sides feeling the pace on a heavy sod, Presentation deservedly held out for a dramatic victory, one they deserved for the sheer quality in their play to go alongside their committed approach over the hour.
Presentation (Wexford): Ailis Neville (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier); Aoife Whelan (Buffers Alley), Alannah Davis (St. Martin's), Aine Fitzgerald (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier);Fiona Kinsella (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier), Aine Ennis (St. Martin's, capt., 0-1 free), Ciara Bridges (St. Martin's); Sarah Harding-Kenny (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier), Sinéad Furlong (Buffers Alley); Lauren Mrphy (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier), Aisling Byrne (Blackwater, 0-3, 1 free), Emma Sweeney (Glynn-Barntown); Emma Sinnott (Kilmore, 1-0), Emma Dempsey (Glynn-Barntown), Holly Hynes (Glynn-Barntown). Subs. - Cora Doyle (Glynn-Barntown) for Murphy, Jess Howlin (St. Martin's) for Hynes, also Diúrí McDonald (Oylegate-Glenbrien), Orlaith Barrett (St. Martin's), Eleanor Hammel (Buffers Alley), Saoirse O'Connor (Buffers Alley), Aoife Fielding (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier), Hannah Hearne (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier), Andrea Fielding (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier), Catríona Kinsella (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier), Nicole Byrne (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier), Kaitlyn Whelan-Kinsella (Oylegate-Glenbrien).
St. Brigid's (Callan): Laura Foley; Kayla Kealy, Laura Hennessy, Lauryn Corcoran; Margaret Foley, Claire Kirwan, Cliodhna O'Shea; Eimear Lannigan, Lisa Donnelly; Kim Ryan (1-0), Molly Walsh, Therese Donnelly (0-2, 1 free); Sontae Jackson, Emily Hughes, Sarah Doherty. Subs. - Aine Dunne for Corcoran, Caoimhe O'Shea for Kealy.
Referee: Martin Quilty (Kilkenny).