Mullinavat’s dream of reaching their first All-Ireland senior camogie final ended in Moneygall on Sunday when they were defeated by Ardrahan (Galway), writes T.J. Mills.
Mullinavat made the brighter start and opened the scoring with a free from All-Star forward, Michelle Qulity. Ardrahan replied with a free from Aoife Lynskey-Keane. The Cats then scored four points without reply through Michelle Quilty (45, free and play ) and Julie-Ann Malone from play in the 15th minute after latching on to a breaking ball on the 20 metre line.
This meant Mullinavat led by 0-6 to 0-1 after 16 minutes.
Ardrahan ended the slide with three points in-a-row; a Rebecca Hennelly free in the 21st minute and two points from play from the lively Rachael O’Toole. Mullinavat closed out the half with another pointed free from Michelle Quilty in the 25th minute to get to half-time 0-7 to 0-4 ahead.
As with the preceding intermediate game between Ballyhale and Portumna, goals were going to be the deciding factor.
Ardrahan started the second half well. They didn’t capitalise on their possession until Rebecca Hennelly cut thought the Mullinavat defence and released Edel Holland, who was fouled. Penalty! Rebecca Hennelly took the penalty and dispatched the sliotar to the back of the net.
The Galway side had another minor from a free from Hennelly in the 37 minute to get ahead for the first time, 1-5 to 0-7 points. The exchanges became scrappy for a while until the impressive Hennelly latched on to a breaking ball, laid it off to Keelin O’Shaughnessy, who blasted it to net. This put Ardrahan 2-5 to 0-7 ahead.
There was no way back for the Kilkenny side. Hennelly added two additional frees for Ardrahan in the 50 and 51st minutes to ensure their passage through to the final against Milford (Cork). Mullinavat added a consolation score in the 55 minute from a free after a foul on Julie Ann Malone.
Scorers: Ardrahan - Rebecca Henneslly (1-4, one free, goal penalty); Keelin O’ Shaughnessy (1-0); Rachael O’Toole (0-3); Aoife Lynskey-Keane (0-1, free). Mullinavat - Michelle Quilty (0-6, six frees); Julie-Ann Malone (0-1: Elaine Aylward (0-1, free).
Ardrahan - R. Gardiner, S. Keehan, S. Healy, A. Brennan Dillon, S. Gardiner, A. Lynskey Keane, S. Forde, A. Callanan, M. Carr, R. Hennelly, A. Mullins, R. O’Toole (capt), C. Walsh, E. Holland, K. O’Shaughnessy. Subs - D. Diviney, A. Healy, N. Murphy, N. Gardiner, K. Quinn McMahon, L. O’Toole, S. Kilkelly, T. O’Shaughnessy.
Mullinavat - Valerie Law, Sinead Phelan, Sinead Aylward, Joanne Quinn, Paula Butler (capt), Elaine Aylward, Claire Aylward, Aine Kinsella, Amy Butler, Miriam Frisby, Leanne Fennelly, Ciara Holden, Michelle Quilty, Julie-Ann Malone, Rebecca Haberlin. Subs: Ellen Walters,Nieve Walsh, Vivienne Law, Ciara Phelan, Elleen McEvoy, Lisa Ryan.