Mullinavat produced fare of the highest order when completing the double for Kilkenny when they scored a super 3-12 to 3-10 win over St Ibar’s/Shelmalier (Wexford) in the Leinster club senior camogie final at Nowlan Park today.
The Vegas girls, as they are known, looked booked for an easy first win when back to back points from Leann Fennelly and Michelle Quilty left them 2-10 to 0-6 in front with a little over 12 minutes remaining.
The match simply exploded afterwards and a riot of scores had fans on their feet as battling St Ibar’s, led by the hugely talented Kate Kelly, thundered back into contention. First a goal from Katrina Parrock had the Slaney supporters on their feet roaring on their favourites.
When Michelle Murphy drilled home Ibar’s second goal within two minutes, it was game on big time. Big hearted Mullinavat met fire with fire. Rebecca Haberlin palmed the ball into the net in the 54th minute to win back the initiative for her side.
But Ibar’s wouldn’t lie down. With the venue rocking to the excited urgings of fans, Michelle Hearne grabbed a third goal for the losers to open up the issue again.
When Michelle Murphy pointed from close range to leave it at 3-10 to 3-8 two minutes from the end of normal time, Mullinavat were under severe pressure. The ‘go to girl’ for Mullinavat, Julie Ann Malone, who was deadly at full-forward, snatched a badly needed point within a minute to all but guarantee the Noresiders against defeat. Another minor from Michelle Quilty looked to have sealed the deal.
St Ibar’s stormed back again, but injury-time points from Kate Kelly and Katrina Parrock were not enough to save them. The winners face the Connacht champions in the All-Ireland semi-final in February.
Mullinavat led by 2-6 to 0-4 at half-time, the goals coming from Malone in the 20th and 30th minutes.
Player of the match - Julie Ann Malone.
Scorers: Mullinavat - Julie Ann Malone (2-2); Rebecca Haberlin (1-2); Michelle Quilty (0-4); Ciara Holden (0-2); Aine Kinsella, Leann Fennelly (0-1 each). St Ibar’s Shelmalier - Katrina Parrock (1-3); Kate Kelly (0-4); Michelle Murphy (1-1); Michelle Hedarne (1-0); Shelly Doyle, Deirdre McMahon (0-1 each).