Kilruane MacDonaghs claim Junior A league title22 Aug 2012 by Gilbert Williams
Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-7 Drom & Inch 0-8
On Monday evening last, in the beautiful August sunshine, Kilruane took on Drom & Inch in The Ragg Camogie field in the final of the Junior A league. Having been beaten in the final of the Munster League already this year, this hard-working Kilruane team were not going to let this one go, and in true MacDonaghs style they battled to the very end to ensure the cup came home to Kilrunae. This was the tightest of games from start to finish, with the old adage “goals win matches” proving true.
Fiona Ryan opened the scoring for Kilruane with a well-taken point, which was followed up by a point from a free by the accurate Niamh Williams. Sub Maria Hogan was called into action a lot sooner than expected when full forward Hayley Keogh was very unfortunate to have to go off with a leg injury. Maria’s pace caused problems for the Drom & Inch defence and she was on hand to get the all important goal after great work from Marie Ryan. The diminutive Maria Hogan kept the momentum going with an inspirational point straight after. Niamh Williams pointed another free, before Claire Kennedy pointed Kilruane’s last score of the half, after great work from Shauna Tooher and Fiona Ryan. Drom & Inch meanwhile were finding it hard to make headway in the Kilruane defence but registered 6 points in the first half to leave the half-time score 1-5 to 0-6 in Kilruane’s favour.
If the first half was close, then the second half was even closer. The rousing and motivational half-time speech from trainer John Hyland no doubt kept the girls’ minds focused. However, the forwards were slow to settle and hit two wides at the start of the second half. At the other end, the pressue was on, and star goalkeeper Sarah Coonan showed her skill and composure on several occasions. Drom & Inch opened the 2nd half scoring with a pointed free to leave just 1 point between the sides. However, Fiona Ryan was quick to respond to restore the imporant 2 point lead. On a hot evening, Kilruane management took the decision to introduce fresh legs to midfield, with u16 player Shauna Heffernan called in to replace Aine Kennedy. Drom continued to threaten but the afore mentioned Sarah Coonan, along with full back Joyce Tooher were letting nothing past. In front of them, centre back Katie Kennedy, flanked by Tipp intermediates Lisa Cahill and Mary Walsh, led by example. Eibhlin Enright was the last sub called into the action, when she replaced Orla Murphy at corner back. Drom again reduced the margin to the minimum before top scorer Maria Hogan added Kilruane’s last. Players, management and spectators were all relieved to hear the final whistle, which ensured Kilruane the league title went to Kilruane.
County Chairman, and Kilruane clubman, Joe Cahill presented the cup to captain Marcey Keogh. Joe thanked Drom & Inch for what was indeed a fantastic game, played to a very high standard. Marcey thanked the management team of Tom Quinlisk, Bernie Meagher, John Hyland and also First Aid man Peter McCarthy for all their work with the team.
Team: Sarah Coonan, Niamh Gibson, Joyce Tooher, Orla Murphy, Lisa Cahill, Katie Kennedy, Mary Walsh, Shauna Tooher, Aine Kennedy, Marie Ryan, Fiona Ryan (0-2), Niamh Williams (0-2f), Patricia Hogan, Hayley Keogh, Claire Kennedy (0-1). Subs: Maria Hogan (1-2), Shauna Heffernan, Eibhlin Enright, Marcey Keogh, Carmel O’Brien, Katie Quinlisk, Laura Downey, Jennifer Hodgins, Ciara Gibson, Noreen Maher, Clodagh Hodgins, Kelly Flaherty, Kelly Hodgins, Sinead Hogan, Nuala Ryan, Annie Dunne and Helen Hogan.