SHE MAY be known more for her skills between the posts, but Catriona Ryan proved she has a keen eye for goal too. The Kilkenny senior team’s goalkeeper was on song, hitting 2-3 as the Rower-Inistioge bounced back from county final defeats in 2009 and 2010 to lift the intermediate camogie title, winning by 3010 to 0-8 against Tullaroan, writes Michael O’Leary.
Ryan, who transferred to the Rower after her old club Tullogher were disbanded earlier in the year, provided the killer instinct in front of goal as Inistioge coped with the challenge provided by Tullaroan at a well-presented Clara on Saturday.
Determined not to lose a third final in four years, the Rower played like a team on a mission. Defensively they were superb, conceding just one point from play over the hour, with wing-back Emma Hynes giving a truly exceptional display as part of a defensive unit which shut down the Tullaroan attack.
Up front, Lizzie Lyng and Catriona Ryan led the way for the Rower. Ryan pointed superbly from play in the ninth minute after a Kelly Hamilton free opened the scoring on seven minutes.
Miriam Walsh pointed Tullaroan’s sole score from play in the 10th minute, before the South Kilkenny girls established control. Aoife Lyng, Hamilton (45) and Catriona Ryan added to their scoring tally by the 17th minute, before the winners made a decisive breakthrough in the 18th minute.
The drama centred on a Hamilton long range free which broke loose. Quickest to the bouncing sliotar, captain Lizzie Lyng unleashed a blistering shot that flew past Leandra Pollard.
The advantage was swiftly built on. Lyng and Hamilton (free) tacked on frees, to which Niamh Dowling (free) replied as the Rower-Inistioge led by 1-7 to 0-3 at the interval.
A Catriona Ryan point two minutes into the restart restored the Rower’s eight-point lead. Pointed frees from Grace Walsh and Niamh Dowling narrowed the gap, but victory was effectively assured in the 37th minute.
In a move which spanned the length of the field Aine Gannon fielded Emma Kavanagh’s puck-out. A quick hand-pass found Catriona Ryan in space to strike, her shot bouncing in front of Pollard before hitting the net (2-8 to 0-5).
A third goal arrived in the 56th minute. Ryan completed a fine performance, grabbing her second goal on the rebound after her initial shot was stopped on the line.
Rower-Inistioge - Emma Kavanagh, Jane Cullen, Eimear Lyng, Becky Dempsey, Emma Hynes, Kelly Hamilton (0-4, 0-3 frees, 0-1 45), Ciara Lyng, Aine Gannon, Bridin White, Sarah O’Mahony, Lizzie Lyng (1-1), Aoife Lyng (0-2), Christine Lyng, Catriona Ryan (2-3), Tara Kennedy. Subs: Briona Langton, Eadoin Leahy.
Tullaroan - Leandra Pollard, Olivia Maher, Ann-Marie Young, Jenny Martin, Carmel Breen, Grace Walsh (0-1, free), Claire Walsh, Rachel Dowling, Niamh Dowling (0-5, frees), Miriam Walsh (0-1), Noelle Maher, Patricia Mullally, Aine Fahy (0-1, pen), Sinead Quigley, Aisling Pollard. Sub: Louise Kenny.
Referee - John McCormack (James Stephens).