A scrambled goal five minutes from time for Wexford proved crucial as the Slaneysiders staged a late rally to steal victory from Offaly in the Leinster U-16A Camogie Final in Mullinavat on Sunday.
Leinster U-16A Camogie Final
After a slow start, Offaly had dominated for much of the game and had been in front from the 18th minute until the game was cruelly snatched from their grasp in the closing stages.
Mairead Jennings top scored for Offaly on the day with nine points and by the break Offaly had built up a deserved 2-6 to 1-5 lead.
In ideal conditions for camogie, Jennings opened the scoring for Offaly but they lost their way for the next 13 mins and during this time Wexford scored 1-3 without reply.
A goal, created and scored by Grainne Dolan in the 14th minute brought Offaly back into the game and for the remainder of the half they controlled matters adding a second goal when a cross from Grainne Dolan was batted into the Wexford from an acute angle Emma Kirwan.
Offaly were well on top at this stage and they added a further five points to Wexford’s two and went in at the break with a four point lead at 2-6 to 1-5 .
Wexford emerged for the second half full of running and determination and eventually scored a scrambled goal after six minutes which should have been cleared by the Offaly backs.
The Offaly girls tired early in the half , allowing their opponents lots of space to run at their rearguard but Aisling Brennan, who switched roles with Roisin Egan for the second half, repelled attack after attack effortlessly.
After 25 minutes of the second-half, Wexford had scored 1-3 to just three Mairead Jennings pointed frees in reply.
Offaly’s lead had dwindled to two points but just when they looked as if they were going to hang on for the win, Wexford hit them with the last score of the match which proved to be the decisive match winning goal .
These two teams were evenly matched, Offaly had won by a point in an earlier round. The game was very competitive and played in the right spirit but with frequent stoppages and very odd decisions by a fussy referee.
A number of the Offaly girls will be back in action again next weekend when the county’s minor team face Wexford again, this time in the All Ireland Minor B Final.
Offaly: Shannon Touhey (Tullamore), Clodagh McCormack (Naomh Brid), Roisin Egan (St Rynagh’s), Shiofra Ryan (St. Cillian’s), Aisling Feeney (Tullamore), Aisling Brennan (St Cillian’s), Ann Daly (St.Rynagh’s), Cailin Fitzgerals (St Cillian’s Capt), Mairead Jennings (0-9) (Birr , Vice-capt), Teri Delaney (K/K), Sarah Walsh (Tullamore), Aideen Freeman (0-1) (St Cillian’s), Emma Kirwan (1-0) (St Sinchill’s), Grainne Dolan (1-0) (St.Rynagh’s), Sarah Harding (Birr). Sub: Olive Kearney (Tullamore)