Sacred Heart Clonakilty 0-4 Presentation College Athenry 6-5
SABINA RABBITTE netted five goals to end Sacred Heart Clonakilty’s All-Ireland Junior A Camogie hopes at a storm-lashed Ahamilla on Saturday.
The Galway minor and daughter of former All-Ireland winner Joe Rabbitte scored 5-2 en route to a deserved Presentation College Athenry All-Ireland semi-final victory.
Sabina’s sister, Olwen, also weighed in with a goal on a memorable day for the Rabbitte family.
Munster champions Sacred Heart fought gamely but struggled to contain the game’s standout player, Sabina Rabbitte. This was one of the few GAA fixtures completed this weekend and played out amid incessant rain and a gale wind. What should have been an entertaining spectacle turned into a battle of attrition. Both sets of players deserve credit for their efforts amid such awful conditions.
Athenry began with the aid of the wind and opened the scoring courtesy of an Olwen Rabbitte goal after five minutes. Sacred Heart responded via an Eimear O’Brien free, but their opponents kept pressing and Sabina Rabbitte added a second green flag on the quarter hour.
A ferocious midfield battle saw neither side shirk a tackle and Sacred Heart’s defence repel a succession of attacks. Katie Nolan’s goal bound shot was tipped over the bar by Athenry goalkeeper Laura Freeney to reduce the deficit.
Presentation heeded that warning and dominated the second quarter with Sabina Rabbitte converting a difficult free and adding a point before Megan Gannon made it 2-3 to 0-2. The two players combined for Rabbitte to score her second goal and a marvellous Caoimhe Kelly point sent Athenry in 3-4 to 0-2 ahead at the break.
Athenry sealed victory when Sabina Rabbitte completed her hat-trick a minute after the restart. Goalkeeper Siofra Patwell produced some important saves and Eimear O’Brien added a couple of frees to keep Clonakilty on the front foot. The day belonged to Presentation College Athenry however, as Sabina Rabbitte sealed their place in the All-Ireland final with two late goals.
Scorers for Sacred Heart Clonakilty: E O’Brien 0-3 f, K Nolan 0-1.
Presentation College Athenry: S Rabbitte 5-2 (0-1 f), O Rabbitte 1-0, M Gannon, C Kelly and E Joyce 0-1 each.
SACRED HEART CLONAKILTY: S Patwell (Ballinascarthy); N Kennedy (Clonakilty), K O’Donovan (Kilmeen), A O’Brien (Clonakilty); M Kingston (Ballinascarthy), M Murphy (Kilmeen), C White (Clonakilty); L Sutton (Clonakilty), M Condon (Ballinascarthy); K Nolan (Clonakilty), C Murphy (Kilmeen), O Deasy (Clonakilty); N McCarthy (Kilmeen), E O’Brien (captain – Enniskeane), K O’Driscoll (Clonakilty).
Subs: A O’Flynn Meade (Clonakilty) for N McCarthy (38), R Deasy (Kilmeen) for A O’Brien (38, inj), C Hourihane (Clonakilty) for O Deasy (44), A Whelton (Clonakilty) for L Sutton (49), G Nyhan (Enniskeane) for C Murphy (52).
PRESENTATION COLLEGE ATHENRY: L Freeney (Athenry); G Murphy (Abbeyknockmoy), N Feeney (Athenry), C Quirke (Athenry); K Coleman (Craughwell), E Burke (Kilconieron), G Leen (Craughwell); C Kelly (Athenry), A Carr (Clarinbridge); T Maher (Abbeyknockmoy), M Gannon (Abbeyknockmoy), A Cronnelly (Athenry); E Joyce (Abbeyknockmoy), S Rabbitte (captain, Athenry), O Rabbite (Athenry).
Subs: K Madden (Athenry) for O Rabbitte (42), A Treacey (Athenry) for E Burke (45), R Gannon (Abbeyknockmoy) for A Cronnelly (53), S Carr (Craughwell) for T Maher (55), K Coleman (Craughwell) for G Leen (57).
Referee: Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell).