Sarsfields 3-9 Inniscarra 0-15
SARSFIELDS breached a 30-year gap as they took the SE Systems Senior County Championship title for the second time in their history, fittingly in the year they celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Down through the years they have endured heartache but it’s a new era in their club's proud tradition and having now broken the hoodoo we can expect to see them around for a long time to come, given their underage production line has harvested a succession of A titles.
Inniscarra, bidding for four in a row, looked nervous and it was the challengers who made all the early running as the played with a huge confidence.
They started in a blaze of determination and had hit the champions with five points inside the opening 11 minutes before Inniscarra regained their composure and got on the scoreboard.
Emer Fennell pointed a free to give Sars the lead and with Olivia McAllen and Holly Herlihy firing over two a piece Sars settled into the game their pace and determination troubling Inniscarra.
Inniscarra hit two wides before the opened their account with a Niamh McCarthy point and with Ellen Murphy and Niamh Dilworth adding to their tally they had the deficit at two as they began to find their shape. Playing with a lot more composure the Inniscarra rearguard was superb as they closed down any attack Sars made and we had to wait 11 minutes for the next score from either side with Fennell knocking over a Sars point from play.
From here to the half time whistle Inniscarra took over and four points without reply from Dilworth (2), Aileen Sheehan and McCarthy saw them lead 0-7 to 0-6 after six minutes of injury time had elapsed as Dilworth converted a free on the half time whistle.
On the resumption the sides swapped pointed frees before Claudia Keane edged Inniscarra in front with a neat score.
Sars then hit the front on nine minutes when good work by Claire Mullins around the middle saw her send a long delivery to the edge of the square where Fennell outpaced her marker to finish to the net.
However, back came Inniscarra with Dilworth leveling and from here to the 53rd minute the sides were level on three occasions.
With both sides digging deep to gain the upper hand it was a battle and all over the pitch there were fierce tussles for possession.
On 54 minutes Inniscarra missed a chance to go three points clear as somehow the Sars defence scrambled to safety after a great shot from McCarthy. Despite three attempts by the Inniscarra attack the ball seemed to stick in the mucky goalmouth conditions.
Down the field came Sarsfields with Holly Herlihy’s pass across the goal mouth grabbed by Fennell and finished to the net. Soon Michelle Barry hand passed high to the net and Sars were six points clear and heading for home.
Champions die hard of course and Inniscarra never gave up. Three points in a row one from Katie O’Mahony and two from Dilworth ensured a tense finish but Sars hung on to stop Inniscarra's four in a row bid and give them selves the dream Golden Anniversary present.
The win could very well signal a new era of dominance in Cork camogie as Sarsfields, with a huge volume of successful underage players at their disposal, are well placed to be the new Queens Of Cork Camogie, following on from Milford and Scarra.
Scorers for Sarsfields: E Fennell 2-4 (0-3 f), M Barry 1-1, O McAllen, H Herlihy 0-2 each.
Inniscarra: N Dilworth 0-8 (0-6 f), N McCarthy 0-3, A Sheehan, C Keane, E Murphy, K O’Mahony 0-1 each.
SARS: M Lynch; E Lonergan, K Barry, E Casey; M Mullins, N O’Callaghan, E Murphy; L Kelly, C Casey; H Herlihy, O McAllen, L Allen; C Mullins, E Fennell, M Barry.
Sub: C Irwin for L Allen (42).
INNISCARRA: S Walsh; A O’Regan, C Looney, A Kavanagh; R Keane, R Buckley, C Ring; C Keane, K O’Mahony; E Looney, N Dilworth (c), A Sheehan; T Mc Carthy, N McCarthy, E Murphy.
Sub: R Quigley for C Ring (h-t).
Referee: Cathal Egan (Glen Rovers).