Inniscarra 0-14 Éire Óg 0-10
CHAMPIONS Inniscarra got the toughest of tests from debutants Éire Óg in a pulsating third-round tie in Castleroad on Sunday evening.
I said in my preview that Éire Óg had good hurlers in every line of the pitch and they enhanced their reputations yesterday. Éire Óg worked like savages.
In attack they refused to let Inniscarra out with any easy ball and that pattern filtered throughout the field. Siobhán Hutchinson, Isobel O’Regan and Margaret Herlihy led the way as every ball was feverishly fought for by both sides.
We had 14 opening-half frees and it was a testament to neither side giving the other an inch.
Katie O’Mahony was prominent in the middle of the park but she was working hard for it. Aileen Sheehan also making her presence felt as both O’Mahony and Sheehan struck two first half points each.
It was point for point, Éire Óg taking the lead on 11 minutes only for Inniscarra to strike the next three. Just two separated the sides at the break, Inniscarra leading by two but Éire Óg coming out strong.
The second half was as edgy as the first. Inniscarra took a four-point lead, Éire Óg narrowed it to two. It became three again, but the game was level on 47 minutes after three Margaret Herlihy points, one form play. Isobel O’Regan was excellent around the middle for Éire Óg but so too was Katie O’Mahony.
Experience is momentous and Inniscarra had it in abundance. Rena Buckley, Aileen Sheehan, Niamh Dilworth, cuteness when it mattered most, as Inniscarra finished with four points on the trot, Aileen Sheehan’s on 55 minutes after a great Rena Buckley pass, the highlight.
But what a performance from Éire Óg. They are one of the strongest debutants I’d seen step up to the senior in a long time.
Scorers for Inniscarra: N Dilworth 0-5 f, A Sheehan 0-4, K O’Mahony 0-2, T McCarthy, C Keane, N McCarthy 0-1 each.
Éire Óg: M Herlihy 0-7 (0-5 f, 0-1 45), E Quigley, M E Desmond, I O’Regan 0-1 each.
INNISCARRA: S Walsh; D O’Callaghan, C Looney, A O’Regan; C Keane, R Buckley, A Dineen; E Looney, K O’Mahony; T McCarthy, N McCarthy, A Sheehan; E Murphy, N Dilworth, J Burke.
Subs: R Keane for J Burke (h-t), C Ring for D O’Callaghan (50), M Lyons for T McCarthy (58).
ÉIRE ÓG: R Murray; Aileen Hennessy, A Hennessy, A Buckley; E Quigley, S Hutchinson, A O’Callaghan; A McSweeney, I Sheehan; R Murphy, M Herlihy, M Gleeson; E Crowley, M E Desmond, F Murphy.
Subs: R Sheehan for F Murphy (h-t), K McCarthy for A Hennessy (h-t), C Sheehan for A McSweeney (50).
Referee: Cathal Egan (Glen Rovers).