Camogie champs Inniscarra survive semi-final scare from Killeagh

Camogie champs Inniscarra survive semi-final scare from Killeagh
Killeagh's Jessica O'Shea challenging Inniscarra's Claudia Keane. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Inniscarra 0-10 Killeagh 0-10

KILLEAGH and Inniscarra will have to do it all again next weekend to determine who’ll meet Sarsfields in the senior camogie championship final after an incredibly hard-fought semi-final in Castle Road on Sunday.

As in the preceding game, the team against the wind produced the goods in the second half better than in the first — Killeagh, in this case. They came from two points down to lead by one on 63 minutes. But a magnificent tight-angled free by Niamh Dilworth gave the champions another chance at their four-in-a-row.

At the outset, Inniscarra played two inside-forwards, leaving Killeagh’s Ciara Daly operating alone between the half-back and full-back lines. That, in addition to Laura Treacy, made it difficult for Niamh McCarthy to make headway in the early exchanges.

The game levelled out, and by the 20th minute it was more of a player-for-player scenario.

There was little between the sides in what was a tough, physical battle. Inniscarra had the better goalscoring opportunities in the opening half — Stephanie Beausang brought off two great saves, one on 14 minutes from Niamh McCarthy and on 32 minutes, as both Beausang and her defence withstood ferocious Inniscarra pressure to clear their lines.

Inniscarra were getting that bit more return from their attacks than their challengers, and led 0-7 to 0-5 in a low-scoring first half.

Niamh Dilworth pushed the champion’s lead to three just after the break, but from there, Inniscarra had to withstand huge pressure. Hannah Looney dropped from full-forward to out around the ’45 and, against the wind, Killeagh ran the ball and found their players better.

With Jessica O’Shea and Laura Treacy influential they’ll rue a couple of missed opportunities, as they took the game to Inniscarra and looked to have the fresher legs in the final quarter.

Chloe Sigerson and Laura Treacy pointed, Niamh Dilworth responded before Sigerson again and Caoimhe Harney levelled on 59 minutes.

With a number of stoppages, the game ran on for another nine. Chloe Sigerson looked to have done enough for the East Cork side when she pointed a free on 63.

Ellen Murphy had the ball in hand in the square and was smothered as she struck for goal on 65. Dilworth then levelled the game in what was a tense final few minutes, as players scrambled for possession.

Killeagh will feel they left the game behind them, but champions don’t give up easily, and we will get to enjoy it all over again in a week.

Scorers for Inniscarra: N Dilworth 0-7 (0-6 f), E Murphy, T McCarthy, C Keane 0-1 each.

Killeagh: C Sigerson 0-6 f, C Harney 0-2, R Sheehan, L Treacy 0-1 each.

INNISCARRA: S Walsh; A O’Regan, C Looney, D O’Callaghan; R Keane, R Buckley, C Ring; E Looney, K O’Mahony; T McCarthy, N Dilworth, A Sheehan; E Murphy, N McCarthy, C Keane.

Sub: A Kavanagh for C Ring (45).

KILLEAGH: S Beausang; E Treacy, A Walsh, J O’Gorman; L McEvoy, C Daly, L Treacy; N O’Keeffe, J O’Shea; C Harney, C Sigerson, R Sheehan; L O’Gorman, H Looney, K Ahern.

Subs: C Walsh for J O’Gorman (h-t), A O’Driscoll for K Ahern (h-t), N O’Connor for L O’Gorman (50), R Fogarty for C Daly (54).

Referee: Walter Cole (Buttevant).

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