Ibar's add to honours
THE ST. Ibar's/Shelmalier Junior camogie squad carried their good form from 2011 into this season when they captured the 'A' league title at the first attempt with a clearcut win over a hard-trying Rapparees team in Farmleigh on Friday last.
Their previous success in this competition came in 1986, and it followed on from last season when they savoured their first victories at Junior level in 25 years by completing a double of 'B' grade championship and league crowns at the expense of Taghmon-Camross and Kilrush respectively.
St. Ibar's/Shelmalier went into this game as favourites after scoring a thrilling 2-9 to 1-9 semifinal win over Oulart-The Ballagh before a huge crowd in Hollymount last month. And they duly lived up to that tag, although Rapparees will take heart for the championship to come from the fact that the 31-point gap which separated the sides in the group stages was reduced to 15 on this occasion.
It was a strange encounter in the sense that the Over The Water side did all of their scoring in two bursts at the start of each half. Their entire tally of 1-5 before the break was amassed in the opening eight minutes, with the goal getting them off the mark when full-forward Nikki Scallan flicked a breaking ball home from close range.
Therese Sheil, Deirdre McMahon (two), Sandy Carr (in her first competitive game for eleven months) and Aine Lacey all picked off points, but that good start was replaced by a sloppy show for the remainder of the half as the wind-aided leaders struck ten wides without scoring again to bring their overall tally to eleven.
Rapparees were facing an eight-point deficit at half-time, and their hopes faded in the first nine minutes on the re-start when St. Ibar's/Shelmalier scored a further 2-3 without reply. Ceara O'Brien, who had moved to centre-forward at the interval, goaled before Niamh Potter followed suit to ensure that all six forwards plus a starting midfielder got on the scoresheet for the winners.
O'Brien, Therese Sheil and Deirdre McMahon added points, but Rapparees deserve credit for sticking to a difficult task and were rewarded before the end with a brace of points.
The Louis Kerr Perpetual Cup was presented to Lisa Quill, the St. Ibar's/Shelmalier captain, by Martina Donnellan, Chairperson of the County Board.
St. Ibar's/Shelmalier: Mary Cullen; Caroline Curran, Sinéad Kelly, Aine Barron; Lisa Quill (capt.), Catherine Doyle, Ciara Donohoe; Ciara Neville, Ceara O'Brien (1-1); Niamh Potter (1-0), Aine Lacey (0-1), Deirdre McMahon (0-3); Sandy Carr (0-1), Nikki Scallan (1-0), Therese Sheil (02). Subs. - Sarah Lacey for Scallan, Hazel O'Leary for Donohoe, Róisín Tobin for McMahon, Chloe Thomas for Carr, Kirsty Hynds.
The Rapparees panel featured Jessica Martin, Elaine Casey, Sarah Carley, Chrissie Murphy, Louise Hore, Kate Cullen, Ciara Tobin, Niamh Buckley, Nicola Davitt, Leanne Hore, Sara Nolan, Jessica Flood, Tara O'Connor, Aoife Newe, Angela Russell, Gillian Murphy, Sarah Russell, Lauren Hogan, Megan O'Shea, Ciara Foley, Orla Doyle, Eva Morrissey.
Referee: Roly Buckley (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy).