Kilkenny kittens snarl at the finish to grab late, late winner

Kilkenny 2-12, Clare 2-11

John Knox

Reporter:

John Knox

Kilkenny kittens snarl at the finish to grab late, late winner



The Kilkenny minor camogie team made it three wins from three outings in resplendent and sunny Conahy on Sunday, but only after being pushed all the way by wonderful Clare.
With minutes remaining Clare conjured up a great goal from their full-forward, Aine O’Loughlin, to give them the lead for the first time.
The resulting puck-out was won by Clare and the ball was launched back towards the Kilkenny goal.
Enter the imperious Ciara O'Shea, who won the ball, strode out of defence and laid it off to Aobha O'Gorman, who likewise exhibited similar sangfroid as she carried the ball into the Clare half and hand-passed over the oncoming defender to Aoife Doyle.
The latter requires neither excuse nor invitation to attack space. Blessed with outrageous pace she was soon within sight of goal.
Without breaking stride she struck the ball to the net to complete a move that would have graced any occasion. The goal gave Kilkenny a single point victory.


This game had everything and right from the off was sprinkled with moments of supreme skill by both sides.
Clare wing-forward Aoife Power scored two sublime points over her left shoulder in the first half. Eimear Farrell danced and weaved her way to three beautiful points. Ruth Kent in midfield caught a Clare puck-out, rampaged forward and bisected the posts and all interspersed with moments of last ditch hooking and blocking by both sides.


At the halfway stage Kilkenny led by 1-10 to 0-5 after playing with the wind.
Cue the Clare fight back with a goal just after half time, a scrappy affair from a Kilkenny point of view but the required catalyst for Clare's call to arms.
The latter dominated the second half as point by point they eroded the Kilkenny lead until their second goal arrived close to the finish to put them in front.
Yet Kilkenny did what Kilkenny teams have always done. They stuck to their task with the backs showing remarkable resilience and calmness despite the onslaught.
Frees if they were conceded were from out the field as the backs tackled fairly and ferociously right to the end.


Cliona Murphy was, as ever, a reassuring presence in goal and literally pulled off a 'save of the season' midway through the second half. Ciara O' Shea, dwarfed by her immediate opponent, was a colossus throughout and was ably assisted by Hannah Scott and Nicole Carter in the fullback line.
The half backs of Aobha O' Gorman, Tara Clifford and Aoife Doyle were steady and disciplined, while in midfield Niamh Deely and Ruth Kent remained competitive and industrious throughout.
The forwards sparkled as a unit in the first half with some scintillating movement by Katie Brennan, Ciara Delaney and Caoimhe Dowling.
Eadaoin Murphy bagged her customary goal while Danielle Morrissey, who scored 0-5 from frees, was unfortunate to have a goal ruled out that demonstrated her trademark bravery and skill.
Finally, Eimear Farrell thrived in her roaming role and when she wasn't scoring points was back manning the defence.


The final whistle was greeted more by stunned silence by players and spectators alike as if all had been bewitched by the scintillating contest they had just witnessed.
Despite the win, the Kilkenny management will be most concerned by the modest tally of 1-2 in the second half. Up next for Kilkenny is a tough assignment in Galway.
SCORERS: Kilkenny – Danielle Morrissey (0-5, frees); Eadaoin Murphy, Aoife Doyle (1-0 each); Eimear Farrell (0-3); Ruth Kent, Ciara Delaney, Niamh Deely , Katie Brennan (0-1 each).
Kilkenny - Cliona Murphy; Nicole Carter, Ciara O'Shea, Hannah Scott; Aoife Doyle, Tara Clifford, Aobha O'Gorman; Ruth Kent, Niamh Deely; Caoimhe Dowling, Ciara Delaney, Katie Brennan; Danielle Morrissey, (c), Eadaoin Murphy, Eimear Farrell, Alanna Gallagher, Aisling Morrissey, Blathnaid Galway, Caroline Kennedy, Denise Byrne (StFiachra’s), Eimear Keoghan (St Brigid's), Emily McCarthy, Evelyn Phelan, Jessica Dunphy, Lisa Donnelly, Margaret Purcell, Rebecca Nolan, Saoirse Comerford, Suzie Aylward, Kiah Dwyer.
Clare - Ciara McCarthy; Laoise Ryan, Alannah Ryan, Ciara Doyle; Ciara Grogan, Emma Kennedy, Amy Barrett; Laura Foley, Louise Egan; Sinead Power, Shauna Canny, Aoife Power; Laura McGrath, Aine O’Loughlin, Olivia Phelan; Eileen Daly, Chloe McNamara, Evelyn Duggan, Hannah Dinan, Kate Dillon,
Mary Enright, Roisin Powell, Bridin Dinan, Roisin Clancy, Saoirse Warren, Eva Whyte, Niamh O’Brien, Sinead Conlon, Karen McMahon