The Offaly minor camogie team were just edged out in their All Ireland semi-final clash with Wexford in Dr Cullen Park in Carlow last Saturday after an excellent game.
Offaly trailed by as many as six points but despite a spirited fightback where they at one point fot in front, they came up just short against a strong Wexford side.
Playing with the wind Mairead Daly, who had another great game in midfield for Offaly, got forward for two early points but it was Wexford who were putting pressure on the Offaly goals.
This pressure finally paid off when Aideen Brennan found the back of the Offaly net. Points from Maire Claire Morrissey and Jackie Quigley for Wexford followed before Quigely found herself in front of goal and finished to the net.
It was 2-2 to 0-2 at this stage and not looking good for Offaly. Three further points were to follow for Wexford, the last of which was a well taken point by Aine Lacey.
However Offaly were getting more into the game at this stage and when Offaly were awarded a 21 yard free late in the half it was expertly drilled to the back of the net by Grainne Egan.
The same player finished the half with a point from play. 2-5 to 1-3 Offaly trailed at half time.
Offaly showed great spirit and determination in the second half. Right from the whistle they upped their game. A great ball accross the goal by Christine Cleary found Helen Dolan who added a point and this was followed by two well taken frees by Grainne Egan as Offaly hit a purple patch.
When Grainne Egan scored Offaly’s second goal after a good pass from Emma Corcoran, Offaly found themselves a point ahead.
Offaly dared to hope at this stage but this lead was short lived as Wexford were awarded a free which was converted by centre back Shauna Sinnott to level the proceedings. Unfortunately for Offaly things went downhill as Wexford scored some lovely points from play courtesy of another from Maire Claire Morrissey, Aideen Brennan, Eimer Nolan and a good long range point from Jackie Quigley.
Offaly continued to push forward and were awarded a free which Grainne Egan duly converted. Wexford responded with two points from substitute Sarah O Neill.
Offaly finally got the goal they deserved courtesy of Rachel Brennan who had switched to full forward but time finally ran out on Offaly leaving them just two points adrift at the whistle,
Offaly can be proud of their efforts especially in the second half and can look forward to the future with confidence. They were more than a match for a strong physical Wexford team and the vast majority are still underage again next year.
Offaly: G Egan 2-4 (0-3f) M Daly 0-2, H Dolan 0-1, R Brennan 1-0
Wexford; A, Brennan 1-2, MC Morrissey 0-2, J Quigley 1-2, E.Nolan 0-2, A Lacey 0-1 S Sinnott 0-1f, S O’Neill 0-2
Offaly; Tara Dooley, Sorcha Mcgarry, Edel O Meara, Paula Kinnarney, Lauren Keenahan, Debbie Flynn, Kelly Sammon, Rachel Bennan, Mairead Daly, Eimear Mooney, Ann Marie Guinan, Christine Cleary, Emma Corcoran, Grainne Egan, Helen Dolan, Siobhan Kinsella, Mary Nevin, Roisin Woods, Aoife Troy, Ciara Ryan, Mairead Jennings, Lorna Rigney, Lisa Gorman, Sarah Lyons, Deirdre Cashin, Cailin Fitzgerald, Laura Walsh,Sharon Boland. Subs used; Ciara Ryan for Christine Cleary.