St Cillian’s fight-back to overcome St Rynagh’s

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

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St Cillian’s came from two points behind early in the second-half to claim the U-16A Camogie title after a memorable hour of action last Thursday evening in St Brendan’s Park.

St Cillian’s came from two points behind early in the second-half to claim the U-16A Camogie title after a memorable hour of action last Thursday evening in St Brendan’s Park.

Offaly U-16A Camogie Final

St Cillian’s 1-8

St Rynagh’s 1-6

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Led by the outstanding Roisin Egan, St Rynagh’s were the better team in the first-half and a goal from Ann Daly five minutes after the restart put them 1-6 to 0-5 ahead. However some telling tactical switches from St Cillian’s, including switching full-back Siobhan Killeen to midfield, helped turn the momentum of the game with a goal from Niamh Killeen helping to turn the game in their favour.

Despite that there was still just a point between the sides entering injury-time and it took a late point from a penalty from Aisling Brennan to finally settle the game. To their credit, St Rynagh’s never gave up and they threw everything forward in an attempt to score a match winning goal.

However after four minutes of injury-time, referee Martin Walsh blew the final whistle sparking scenes of celebration from St Cillian’s as they added the U-16A title to the U-14A title won in early July.

It was a very tough loss on a quality St Rynagh’s side who had more than played their part in an excellent game that provided excellent entertainment for the vocal supporters of both sides in glorious sunshine in Birr.

St Rynagh’s opened the scoring with a point from Ann Daly but St Cillian’s responded quickly with a point from Ciara Brennan. They were in front after ten minutes when Aideen Freeman pointed after an incisive run through the St Rynagh’s defence but the sides were level again soon after when Roisin Egan slotted over the first of her four points from a free.

Egan put St Rynagh’s ahead after 16 minutes but the sides were level for a third time after 20 minutes when Elizabeth Harding pointed for St Cillian’s and they went back in front soon after when Niamh Killeen became their fourth separate scorer of the half. The sides were level again before the break when Roisin Egan launched over a ‘45 to leave the score at 0-4 apiece.

The exchanging of scores continued early in the second-half with Cailin Fitzgerald pointing for St Cillian’s and Roisin Egan responding for St Rynagh’s.

Louise Flannery put St Rynagh’s ahead on 35 minutes before Ann Daly dispatched a loose ball to the back of the net after a long range free from Roisin Egan was not cleared by the St Cillian’s defence. That put St Rynagh’s four points clear and they were deserved leaders at that stage of the game.

However St Cillian’s made some tactical switches including moving joint captain Siobhan Killeen to midfield and moving Cailin Fitzgerald to full-forward. The switches paid dividends as Killeen helped to shore up midfield where St Rynagh’s had held the other hand and Fitzgerald played a major part in St Cillian’s all important goal. Her sinitial shot was brilliantly saved by St Rynagh’s goalkeeper Shauna Keane but the rebound came to Niamh Killeen who drilled the ball home.

Aideen Freeman levelled the scores with ten minutes to go setting up a grandstand finish to the game.

Cailin Fitzgerald edged St Cillian’s in front as the pace and intensity of the game reached fever pitch and a minute into injury-time Aisling Brennan pointed from a penalty after Rachel Dolan had been fouled as she bore down on goal.

St Rynagh’s threw everything forward in the search for a match winning goal and they had one last chance from a close range free. They worked a scoring opportunity but the St Cillian’s defence stood strong and repelled the attack to seal the win.

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Scorers: St Cillian’s: Niamh Killeen 1-1; Cailin Fitzgerald 0-2; Aideen Freeman 0-2; Ciara Brennan 0-1f; Elizabeth Harding 0-1; Aisling Brennan 0-1 (pen). St Rynagh’s: Roisin Egan 0-4 (0-3f, 0-1 ‘45); Ann Daly 1-1; Louise Flannery 0-1

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St Cillian’s: Kate Corrigan; Orlaith Plunkett, Siobhan Killeen, Megan King; Chloe Costello, Aisling Brennan, Shiofra Ryan; Ciara Brennan, Cailin Fitzgerald; Rachel Dolan, Niamh Killeen, Dara Hanamy; Elizabeth Harding, Lisa Hoctor, Aideen Freeman. Subs: Aoife Cogavin for Elizabeth Harding (HT)

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St Rynagh’s: Shauna Keane; Hannah Plunkett, Danielle Walsh, Saidbh McIntyre; Meabh Doorley, Roisin Egan, Brenda Wynne; Aoife McLoughlin, Sinead Flannery; Olwen Kenny, Ann Daly, Louise Flannery; Roisin Kelly, Sinead Moran, Ruth Fogarty. Subs: Ciarra O’Sullivan for Roisin Kelly (HT), Karla Corcoran for Ruth Fogarty (HT), Michelle Rice for Karla Corcoran (50mins)

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Referee: Martin Walsh (Birr)