by Daragh Ó Conchúir
Cork withstood a fierce late rally from five-in-a-row chasing Galway to secure the county’s first triumph in an All-Ireland Under 16 A Camogie Championship Final in 16 years by 1-14 to 2-10 at MacDonagh Park in Nenagh.
The Rebels led by 10 points in the 54th minute and still had seven in hand entering injury time but Galway hit them for two late goals to fray the nerves. It was a brave attempt by Michael Butler’s outfit and especially Katie Gilchrist, who finished with 1-9, but Cork were deserving winners, having dominated most of the proceedings.
Donie Daly’s charges led by 1-5 to 0-4 at half-time, leading scorer Aimee Morgan grabbing the goal, to which she added five points by the end.
Clíona Lynch, Rose Murphy, Morgan and Tara Crowley sere magnificent in the second half, with Murphy and Crowley hitting three points each and Orlaith Cahalane two as the Leesiders pulled well clear.
Gilchrist and Chloe Farragher grabbed the goals in the supplementary period of six minutes added on but Cork had done enough to end a lengthy famine at this grade and ensure an influx of fresh blood to the red jersey in the future.
The momentum behind Waterford’s growth as a Camogie county of consequence continues with the 4-11 to 1-3 success of their Under 16s in the B decider, which got proceedings under way at MacDonagh Park.
Limerick's Aine Herbert and Aoibhinn O'Grady of Waterford
This is the Déise’s fourth title in this sphere but the third in six seasons and as has been the case throughout this campaign, it was their unforgiving attack that did the damage.
Mairéad O’Brien was named player of the match but in truth, it was a fantastic team effort by Róisín Hartley’s crew, with the presence of numerous threats too much for the overburdened Limerick rearguard.
The Shannonsiders were competitive early on, and only trailed by two points with 22 minutes elapsed, after Megan Walsh goaled brilliantly in response to a Rachel Walsh major for Waterford.
They didn’t score again in the half however, while Waterford doubled their tally, Rhona Drohan grabbing their second goal and Alannah O’Sullivan keeping the umpire busy with the white flag to make it 2-8 to 1-2 at the break.
The second half was very tight, with scores at a premium until Aleisha Flynn and Kelsie O’Banya bagged goals in the dying minutes.
In the C Final at Sixmilebridge, Roscommon had to stage a strong second-half comeback to get the better of Kerry and claim their first crown, by 2-10 to 1-8.
Ali Campbell of Roscommon and Kerry's Grainne Shanahan
The Rossies were six points down at the interval, trailing by 1-6 to 0-3, but had all the answers after the restart, with the defence battening down the hatches and the offensive unit having much more joy than was the case in the opening period, albeit with the aid of a breeze.
Emma Conway was the scourge of the Roscommon defence, scoring a goal and six points in the first 19 minutes, including 1-2 from play, to open up an eight-point advantage.
Crucially, Roscommon managed to stem the bleeding and points from Sally Bolger (45) and Siafra Finneran (free) gave them a confidence that they carried into the second half.
Ciara Kilcommins goaled seven minutes after the resumption and Kerry had a penalty saved, though Conway did put four between them once more. The Causeway sharpshooter was kept at bay thereafter however, while a goal from a long-distance free by Sally Bolger brought the sides level.
Roscommon finished with five consecutive points to put the issue beyond doubt.Tweet