Five-star Courcey Rovers capture first senior camogie title in real style

Five-star Courcey Rovers capture first senior camogie title in real style

Courcey Rovers celebrate at the final whistle. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Courcey Rovers 5-12 Inniscarra 1-12 

AFTER 21 years playing senior camogie Courcey Rovers won their first senior championship as they took the SE Systems sponsored title in absolute style in Castle Road.

Trailing by five points after 13 minutes and having yet to score, things were looking ominous for Rovers but a brilliant 13-minute spell saw them turn this game around and lead 2-8 to 0-6 at half time.

Inniscarra started glowingly as they so often do. They looked to have their match-ups right. 

With the middle of the field packed Inniscarra were winning the battles and the breaks and some beautiful points by Aileen Sheehan, Joanne Casey and a converted ’45 by Niamh Dilworth saw them race into a five-point lead. 

Additionally, they were unlucky not to goal on nine minutes after a great save by Sinead O’Reilly who had an excellent game throughout.

The game was fast and free-flowing, helped in no end by the wise referring of Cathal McAllister. The game didn’t have its first free until thirteen minutes in.

The tide turned for Rovers on fourteen minutes. They decided to go down the short puck-out route and work the ball up the field. It worked a treat and Collins hit her first of two great points to bring Rovers into the game. All through, the supporting capability of Rovers and their interplay was top notch.

The course of this game started to change. Fiona Keating and Linda Collins were brilliance personified with Keating winning the player of the match accolade and Collins also considered. 

Rena Buckley at first had the measure of Linda but slowly it was Collins that got the upper hand and when Buckley moved out to the half-back line in the second half Collins did further damage.

With Jacinta Crowley now winning the midfield section and giving a great supply Rovers thundered into the game. They were level on 21 and when Fiona Keating goaled three minutes later after a great Collins pass a different game was now being witnessed. 

Niamh Dilworth struck over a free on 29 minutes, Inniscarra’s first score since the 13th minute as Rovers took an eight-point lead into the break.

 Edel Moloney, Courcey Rovers, tackles Ellen Murphy, Inniscarra. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Edel Moloney, Courcey Rovers, tackles Ellen Murphy, Inniscarra. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Inniscarra threw everything at Rovers as play resumed. Joanne Casey and Aileen Sheehan pointed and they laid siege on Rovers defence but just as they had been all season the Courcey’s defence were dazzling.

As play was cleared Fiona Keating gathered and despite Sheila Walsh blocking, Keating got the rebound to hit the net and Inniscarra’s good work was snuffed out. 

Linda Collins pointed and then the intense work of Lorraine Collins, escaping three Inniscarra defenders, saw her offload to Keating who hit her third goal and there seemed no way back for Inniscarra. Rovers now led by 13.

But they weren’t going to give up easily and followed with two points and an Erin Looney goal but in truth, this was going to be Courcey Rovers’ day.

Aileen Sheehan won a penalty that went over the bar and Joanne Casey hit a rasper of a shot which looked destined for the net but Sinead O’Reilly again saved brilliantly.

All over the field Rovers were impressive, their fitness, teamwork and clinical finishes were from the top drawer and when the classy Linda Collins stuck Rovers' fifth goal on 52 minutes Courcey Rovers were going to be county champions.

 Fiona Keating, Courcey Rovers, The Echo Player of the Match winner received the trophy from Linda Mellerick.  Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Fiona Keating, Courcey Rovers, The Echo Player of the Match winner received the trophy from Linda Mellerick.  Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Scorers for Courcey Rovers: F Keating 3-2, L Collins 1-5, McCarthy 1-1, J Crowley 0-4 (0-2 f, 0-1 45).

Inniscarra: J Casey 0-6 (0-1 f, 0-1 45), E Looney 1-0, A Sheehan 0-2, N Dilworth 0-2 (0-1 f, 0-1 45), R Buckley 0-2 (0-1 pen, 0-1 f). 

COURCEY ROVERS: S O’Reilly; O Twomey. K Keohane, G Hannon; C Hayes, A Moloney, E Moloney; J Crowley, Elaine O’Reilly; Eimear O’Reilly, F Keating, Lorraine Collins; Linda Collins, C O’Neill, S McCarthy.

Subs: E Maguire for C O’Neill (46), A M Collins for Lorraine Collins (60), E O’Regan for Eimear O’Reilly (63).

INNISCARRA: S Walsh; A O’Regan, R Quigley, A Kavanagh; R Keane, R Buckley, A Sheehan; R O’Mahony, K O’Mahony; T McCarthy, C Ring, C Keane; E Murphy, N Dilworth, J Casey.

Subs: E O’Reilly for N Dilworth, E Looney for T McCarthy (h-t), C Looney for A O’Regan (42), J Burke for C Ring (53), D O’Callaghan for R Keane (55).

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Aghada).

 Fanta, aka Mark O'Sullivan, Courcey Rovers. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Fanta, aka Mark O'Sullivan, Courcey Rovers. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

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