A WONDERFUL battle and a fantastic advertisement for camogie was witnessed when Danesfort and Young Irelands of Gowran served up – including stoppages – 90 minutes of enthralling fare in the St Canice’s Roinn B county minor final played in perfect conditions in Tom Ryall Park, Kilmanagh on Saturday.
The commitment, work ethic, skill levels and passionate approach from both teams was magnificent as every player gave every ounce of energy in pursuit of victory.
The platform for Danesfort’s victory was based on a tenacious defence, particularly in extra-time.
The Gowran girls enjoyed the greater possession during extra-time, but their hearts were broken by staunch Danesfort defending in which the full-back line of Maria Woodcock, Caroline Booth and Aileen Maher were imperious.
Another obvious factor in Danesfort’s victory was the brilliance of goalkeeper Roisin Walsh, who constantly somehow managed to keep Gowran at bay. Roisin saved Danesfort on numerous occasions by pulling off vital stops. Gowran were denied at least five goals.
Another match winner
Laura Dunne, with a tally of 2-4 from play, was another match winning heroine, while Rachel Hogan, Jennifer Cunningham, along with the constant work-ethic of Emma Ayres, Rachel Phelan, Aoife Brennan and full-forward Orla Doyle all made a valuable contributuion to a great victory.
The Gowran girls deserve immense credit for playing their part in an absorbing epic battle, and they had their stars also. None more so than inter-county senior Sarah Anne Quinlan, who was magnificent.
Most of the Gowran attacks were created by Quinlan. Eibhlin Fogarty was superb too and scored 1-3.
Paula Farrell when switched to centre-back following the unfortunate injury sustained by team captain Mairead Fogarty played a blinder, while other star performers for the losers were Kelly Treacy who was magnificent at full-back, Emma Comerford, Fionnula Quinlan, and Ann Drea.
Danesfort made a whirlwind start. They led by 0-4 to 0-0 after just four minutes with Rachel Hogan on fire scoring three times, twice from play.
The Gowran girls responded with four points to draw level by the 14th minute with frees by Emma Comerford and Sarah Anne Quinlan along with efforts from play by Eibhlin Fogarty and Kay Drea.
Laura Dunne and Comerford (free) exchanged points before Laura Dunne took advantage of slack defending to crack home a goal in the 18th minute (1-5 to 0-5). Thirty seconds later Aoife Brennan was denied by a brilliant save from Orlaith Byrne before Danesfort finished the closing 10 minutes strongly, out-scoring their opponents by 1-2 to 0-2.
The crucial score during came in the first minute of injury-time when Aoife Brennan goaled. Danesfort led by 2-7 to 0-7 at half-time and appeared to be in a very strong position as they had a light breeze advantage to come.
Rachel Hogan pointed 23 seconds after the restart to extend the advantage before Gowran enjoyed a glorious spell, out-scoring Danesfort by 0-5 to 0-1 between the 33rd and 39th minutes with Sarah Anne Quinlan, Emma Comerford and Eibhlin Fogarty all finding the target.
The Gowran girls were on a roll and they drew level in the 44th minute.
A free out taken by Emma Comerford, and a long run forward by Elaine Rudkins, saw Sarah Anne Quinlan square the ball to Eibhlin Fogarty, who crashed an unstoppable shot to the net to set up a grandstand final quarter.
Credit to Danesfort, they dug deep. Rachel Hogan twice in quick succession – including a free – restored Danesfort’s lead before Sarah Anne Quinlan pointed in the 48th and 51st minutes respectively to draw the sides level.
Incredibly that was to be the last score in normal time as no scores were registered over the closing 13 minutes of play. Danesfort began to dominate but they shot five wides, including three attempts from placed balls.
On to extra-time after the match ended all square at 2-11 to 1-14.
Gowran didn’t lead throughout normal, but they should have taken the lead in the early stages of extra-time as Paula Farrell had a goal chance but was blocked. That passage proved decisive to the outcome as Danesfort managed to escape and work the ball downfield.
Laura Dunne found herself in acres of space and she fired a deflected shot to the roof of the net for the game’s most crucial score, 3-11 to 1-14. Danesfort powered on from there. It was never easy, but they were worthy winners in the end.
Scorers: Danesfort - Laura Dunne (2-4); Rachel Hogan (0-6, one free, one 45); Aoife Brennan (1-0); Emma Ayres (0-1). Young Irelands - Sarah Anne Quinlan (0-8, four frees); Emma Comerford (0-4, three frees, one 45),;Eibhlin Fogarty (1-3); Kay Drea (0-1).
Danesfort – Roisin Walsh, Maria Woodcock, Caroline Booth, Aileen Maher, Eimear Farrelly, Jennifer Cunningham, Deirdre Phelan (capt), Emma Ayres, Rachel Phelan, Aoife Brennan, Eimear Brennan, Laura Dunne, Rachel Hogan, Orla Doyle, Cliodhna Mullin. Subs - Aileen Troy, Grace Brophy.
Young Irelands – Orlaith Byrne, Anne Drea, Kelly Treacy, Sharon Quinlan, Elaine Rudkins, Mairead Fogarty (capt), Marie Walsh, Emma Comerford, Fionnuala Quinlan, Kay Drea, Eibhlin Fogarty, Sinead Naddy, Paula Farrell, Sarah Anne Quinlan, Anne-Marie Byrne. Sub - Ciara Byrne.
Referee - Peter Burke.