Cats too strong for Offaly

Offaly took on Kilkenny in the Leinster minor semi-final in Thomastown Kilkenny on Saturday.

Offaly took on Kilkenny in the Leinster minor semi-final in Thomastown Kilkenny on Saturday.

Leinster minor camogie semi-final

Kilkenny 2-13

Offaly 1-5

Kilkenny, who were beaten finalists in the A championship recently, proved tough opposition for a young Offaly side.

Aided by the breeze in the first half, Kilkenny looked dangerous from the start and were soon awarded a penalty. This was saved on the line however by goalkeeper Tara Dooley but Kilkenny followed up quickly with a point from Miriam Walsh.

A goal from Kelly Hamilton and points from Julie-Anne Malone and Marie Doheny followed for Klkenny. Offaly’s defence were working hard to contain Kilkenny but the forwards struggled to create any clear scoring chances up front.

A pointed free from Orla Hanrick was followed by a super point from Kilkenny midfielder Lydia Fitzpatrick who had a great game. Offaly’s only score of the half came from a Helen Dolan free after two previous attempts just dropped short.

A further point from Kelly Hamilton and a second Kilkenny goal courtesy of Orla Hanrick left the half time score Kilkenny 2-6 to Offaly 0-1.

Offaly upped their game in the second half. Mairead Jennings replaced Tara Woods in the full forward line as Offaly started to threaten. Helen Dolan converted the first of three frees for Offaly within five minutes but Kilkenny’s ability to control and offload ball quickly proved difficult for Offaly to curtail.

Three points from Orla Hanrick for Kilkenny were to follow but Offaly were also threatening now and when Mairead Jennings was found on the edge of the square, she rifled expertly to the net.

Kilkenny responded with a great point from midfielder Aine Kinsella and another from Lorraine Long. Offaly’s last score of the game came from a very well taken point from play from wing back Anne-Marie Guinan who had a great game.

Kilkenny’s last scores came from a pointed free from Kelly Hamilton and a point from substitute Siobhan Corcoran.

The opposition doesn’t get much tougher than this but this is a very young Offaly minor team who can look forward to next year and the future with confidence. Hopefully for the older players an Offaly Junior or Senior team beckons.

Offaly: Tara Dooley, Lauren Keenahan, Edel O Meara, Paula Kinnearney, Ann-Marie Gui2nan, Debbie Flynn(c) Kelly Sammon Mairead Daly, Rachel Brennan, Eimear Mooney, Ciara Ryan, Christine Cleary, Helen Dolan, Mary Nevin Roisin Woods. Subs used; Mairead Jennings for Roisin Woods, Lisa Gorman for Mary Nevin, Siobhan Kinsella for Tara Dooley, Aoife Troy for Kelly Salmon and Lorna Rigney.