There was great excitement on the Offaly camogie scene last Saturday as both the Senior and Junior squads progressed to the Leinster finals.
First up on Saturday afternoon the Offaly juniors registered a 2-11 to 1-8 win over Carlow in Coolderry GAA. Goals from Rebecca Hoctor and Niamh Walsh knocked Carlow out of the competition as the Offaly team dominated from start to finish.
Offaly led 0-6 to 1-2 midway through the half but the Faithful continued to battle and eventually pull away from the South East side. At the half time break Offaly led 0-9 to 1-3 and continued to hurl exceptionally well to record their first victory of the year.
A goal from Rebecca Hoctor restarted the second half and laid down a strong marker for the remainder of the game. Niamh Walsh also found the net in the final minutes to send Offaly into the Leinster junior semi-final against Wicklow who comprehensively defeated Louth on a scoreline of Louth 2-3 vs Wicklow 1-18.
Team: Ellen Gilligan, Aoibhe Whelehan, Ciara Ryan, Trudy Feenane, Lisa Brady, Una Kilmartin, Alanna Roddy, Louise Savage, Aoife McLoughlin, Aoife Walsh, Mary Teehan, Sarah Walsh, Eadaoin Kilmartin, Rebecca Hoctor, Niamh Walsh. Subs: Shauna McGarrigle, Lauren Keenaghan, Rachel Guinan, Terri Delaney, Helen Dolan, Sharon Boland.
Later that afternoon the seniors travelled to Naas GAA to take on the Lilywhites. This game was originally fixed for 5pm, however there was no sign of the referee ahead of throw-in. A second referee, Jenny Byrne of Dublin was called upon and the game threw in a 5:45pm.
A very strong start from the Faithful saw centre forward Triona McDonald find the net twice in the opening ten minutes, and these were followed by two superb goals from the stick of Siobhan Flannery.
Offaly dominated and had plenty of other goal chances saved as Siobhan Flannery was brought down in the box and a Michaela Morkan penalty was saved.
Sarah Harding also found herself one on one with the keeper but her effort was also saved on the line. Kildare, who compete in the Intermediate championship, did find the net twice midway through the second half but the 2016 Intermediate semi-finalists were no match for Offaly.
Offaly now face All-Ireland Champions Kilkenny in the final who defeated Meath on a scoreline of Meath 0-11 to Kilkenny 2-18.
Team: Mairead Jennings, Lorraine Keena, Jean Brady, Fiona Stephens, Aisling Brennan, Michaela Morkan, Linda Sullivan, Orlagh Kirwin, Grace Teehan, Tina Hannon, Triona McDoanld, Mairead Daly, Ann Marie Guinan, Siobhan Flannery, Sarah Harding. Subs: Elaenor Clendennan, Debbie Flynn, Patrice Delaney, Grainne Dolan, Niamh Larkin, Deirdre Cashen, Roisin Egan.
Fixture details of the finals have yet to be confirmed.
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