Inagh Kilnamona 0-7
INNISCARRA became Munster champions for the second time in their club’s history after an impressive second-half performance in Cashel.
Just as they did in their semi-final win, yesterday they withstood the first half pressure, wore Inagh Kilnamona down and proceeded to run at their opponents in the second.
Added to that was the once again unerring accuracy of Niamh Dilworth from placed balls, as midway through the second half Inniscarra looked to be getting stronger and stronger with Inagh struggling to keep up.
In mucky and heavy underfoot conditions referee John Lillis let rucks play out and attempted to keep the game flowing in the opening 30 minutes, but an excess of side-line balls lent itself to a stop-start half.
Inagh had an off day in front of goal, Amy Keating missing two soft frees, with a cumulative eight wides in total registered by half time. But you must give credit to Inniscarra who forced strikes under pressure. Their full-back line of Áine O’Regan, Caitlín Looney and Rebecca Quigley were brilliant, like little Jack Russell’s snapping at the heels, their opponents desperate to get away but not having any success.
Whenever Inniscarra attacked they had the measure of the Inagh defence. With their first attack on three minutes, Niamh Dilworth had the ball in the net after an offload from Niamh McCarthy. Attacks were sparse, but Dilworth had Inniscarra ahead 1-1 to 0-1 on 13 minutes with a lovely overhead strike, again McCarthy’s involvement crucial.
It was a low scoring opening half with Inniscarra leading 1-2 to 0-3 at the break, but excitement grew tenfold once the ball was thrown in for that second thirty. With the end whistle in sight, both sides lifted the tempo. Inagh Kilnamona burst into attack but again the defending by Inniscarra’s entire back six was exemplary.
Niamh Dilworth and a beauty of a point from Katie O’Mahony pushed Inniscarra four ahead. The move of the game came on 37 minutes. It started with Rena Buckley in defence. Not an Inagh player touched the ball as Inniscarra worked it up the field with super sub Claudia Keane finishing to the net.
Aileen Sheehan made surging runs from centre field, Niamh McCarthy was brilliantly hard working on the forty as Inniscarra pulled further away. Three frees from the stick of Dilworth and Inniscarra were home and dry, emptying their bench minutes before the final whistle.
Scorers for Inniscarra: N Dilworth 1-6 (0-5 f), C Keane 1-1, K O’Mahony, N McCarthy 0-1 each.
Inagh Kilnamona: A Keating 0-5 (0-4 f, 0-1 45), L Ryan, A Keane 0-1 each.