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23 May 2022

Strong display helps Kittens make history in Minor B Camogie Final

Kilkenny 2-10 Laois 0-6

Strong display helps Kittens make history in Minor B Camogie Final

The Kilkenny team who won Leinster camogie Roinn B title. Picture: Willie Dempsey

History was made on Saturday when Kilkenny and Laois contested the Leinster Minor Roinn B championship final in UPMC Nowlan Park.

The game was the curtain-raiser to the Leinster senior hurling championship game involving the same two counties.

On a glorious day in Kilkenny, both teams were really enjoyed the experience of playing in a fantastic stadium.

It was Laois’s first team and, after contesting the All-Ireland Roinn B final a few weeks earlier, they made the better start.
Susie and Grainne Delaney got the first two scores for the visitors, both coming from play.

Kilkenny looked nervous early on - they are a young team - but once they got into the game there was no stopping them.

Rachel Dowling got the stripey women’s first score of the game, a point from play, on nine minutes. This was quickly followed up by Kilkenny’s first goal.

The score was a thing of beauty.

Eabha Carroll received a ball out around midfield and, with pinpoint accuracy, gave a delightful ball into Caoimhe Keher-Murtagh - she drilled a low shot past Cara Henderson in the Laois goal.

Rachel Dowling kept the momentum going when she followed that score up with a free. Keher-Murtagh was to the fore again in the 11th minute, pouncing on a breaking ball to get her second goal of the day.

Dowling added a brace of frees shortly afterwards. By the 20th minute of the game the kittens had a healthy 2-4 to 0-2 lead over the Laois women.

Laois hadn’t scored for 19 minutes but Susie Delaney, who played very well in that half, got a wonderful point. Turning Caoimhe Carroll at full-back she let fly from over her shoulder and, without looking at the target, slotted over a wonder score.

It was, however, to be the last score of the half for Laois.

Kilkenny kept the pressure on. Further points from Rachel Dowling (2) and Cliodhna Murphy saw them go in comfortably in front at the break (2-7 to 0-3).

Laois really needed a good start at the resumption of play. Susie Delaney got them up and running, pointing a free inside the first minute, but Kilkenny responded quickly with a Rachel Dowling point from a 45. Dowling followed that score up with a free to leave the home side 2-9 to 0-4 up after three-quarters of the game.

Playing against the elements, Kilkenny adopted a more defensive approach in the second half. With the wind at their backs it was no surprise to see Laois hit a purple patch as they shot five unanswered points.

Avia Cross got three of those scores; she really played her heart out. Two of her three points were exceptional, one coming from near the sideline.

Both teams made changes late on but it was still a very enjoyable game to watch.

Laois were still piling on pressure and could have had a goal of their own but for some extraordinary defending that saw players Niamh McCormack and Libby Begley make a double save at the City End goal to deny Laois.

Rachel Dowling made sure Kilkenny finished on a high, getting the last score of the game to seal a well-deserved victory.

There were great scenes of jubilation as the players celebrated their victory.

Leinster chairperson Linda Kenny presented the player of the match award to Eabha Carroll. It was well deserved for her performance in the final.

Eabha and Niamh McCormack were then presented the Cup as Kilkenny were crowned Leinster Minor B champions for the very first time.

Teams and Scorers

Kilkenny - Rachel Dowling (0-9, 0-8 frees), Caoimhe Keher-Murtagh (2-0), Cliodhna Murphy (0-1).

Laois - Susie Delaney (0-4, 0-2 frees), Avia Cross (0-3), Grainne Delaney (0-2).

Kilkenny - Libby Begley; Tara McGuire, Caoime Carroll, Chloe Brennan; Alanna Cody, Niamh McCormack, Lucy Walsh; Eabha Carroll, Laura Phelan; Riona Crowley, Rachel Brennan, Cliodhna Murphy; Tara McGrath, Caoimhe Keher-Murtagh, Chloe Delaney.

Subs: Eva Sumner for Delaney, Lucy O’Sullivan for McGrath, Emma Corr for Crowley.

Laois - Cara Henderson; Aoibheann Dalton, Anabelle Ryan, Rachel Deegan; Katelyn Shore, Leah Daly, Ciara Crowley; Avia Cross, Alannah Brennan; Aoife Daly, Grainne Delaney, Eimear Hassett; Susie Delaney, Aileen O’Neill, Tara Lowry.

Subs: Louise Creagh for O’Neill, Abbie Gibbons for Lowry, Aoibhe Hoary for Shore, Laura Phelan for Hassett.

Referee - Ray Kelly (Kildare).

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