Cork camogie: Aileen Sheehan strikes late as Inniscarra edge out Cloughduv

Favourites were pushed all the way in the SE Systems Senior Camogie quarter-final at MTU
Cork camogie: Aileen Sheehan strikes late as Inniscarra edge out Cloughduv

Inniscarra's Aileen Sheehan fires the sliothar from Aoife Barry-Murphy of Cloughduv during the SE Systems Senior Camogie Championship match at MTU. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Inniscarra 0-14 Cloughduv 1-8 

IT took three injury-time points in the space of two minutes from Aileen Sheehan before Inniscarra booked their place in SE Systems Senior Camogie championship semi-final at MTU after a spirited and determined Cloughduv pushed them to the limit. 

Indeed Cloughduv will look back and rue the three missed frees they hit in the opening half while Inniscarra were grateful for the reliability of Joanne Casey, who was as ever unerring as she slotted over five frees over the hour, to go with her two from play.

Scarra came in as raging favourites, having made the last five finals but huge credit must go to the underdogs, who showed huge heart, determination and guts.

Trailing by four points at the interval, Cloughduv were level inside 10 minutes of the restart, driven on by their captain Lisa Lynch, who contributed 1-5.

Inniscarra responded well and edged back in front again but still Cloughduv continued to dig deep and pushing them back into their own half they again showed huge character to get back on level terms. 

As we hit the 60 minutes on the stop-watch, extra time looked but somehow Inniscarra found that extra gear and it was the experienced Aileen Sheehan landed a stunning three points from play to decide it.

Cloughduv dominated the opening quarter but failure to convert opportunities was costly as despite having the majority of possession they were unable to make headway against a resolute Inniscarra, coping with a lot of pressure. 

Niamh McNabola and Lisa Lynch worked hard and secured a lot of ball forcing Scarra to drop back and defend deep.

Casey pointed to put Inniscarra into an early lead, before two points from captain Lisa Lynch edged Cloughduv in front. 

As the game entered the second quarter Inniscarra settled and gaining a grip through points from Claudia Keane and Casey.

Twice the sides swapped scores but finishing the half stronger, Inniscarra stretched their lead through Ellen Crowley and Casey. They were thrilled to be four ahead, having struggled initially. 

On the restart the excellent McNabola was switched to full-forward by Cloughduv and quickly cut the deficit with a point. Aine O'Regan and Lynch scored at either end, but again Cloughduv were doing well in terms of possession. 

After 40 minutes they won a penalty and up stepped captain Lisa Lynch to finish to the right-hand corner, level pegging and game on.

Every ball was contested with huge intensity and with supporters from either side vocal and encouraging excitement was at fever pitch. 

Cloughduv missed a chance to take the lead with a McNabola shot going narrowly wide. Up the field came Scarra, with Casey converting consecutive frees. 

Cloughduv refused to yield. Briege Corkery hit an excellent point and when Lynch nailed a long-range free after 60 minutes. Level again. 

In the three minutes of added time it was Aileen Sheehan who rescued last year's runners-up. 

Cloughduv excelled but all credit to Inniscarra, who never panicked.

Inniscarra's Rena Buckley clashes with Niamh McNabola of Cloughduv. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Inniscarra's Rena Buckley clashes with Niamh McNabola of Cloughduv. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Scorers for Inniscarra: J Casey 0-7 (0-5 f), A Sheehan 0-4, E Crowley, C Keane, A O'Regan 0-1 each.

Cloughduv: L Lynch 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-3 f), N McNabola 0-2, B Corkery 0-1.

INNISCARRA: C Buckley; C Looney, C Ring, J Burke; R Buckley, E Looney, A Kavanagh, S O'Callaghan, A O'Regan; J Casey, C Keane, M Lyons; E Crowley, R Quigley, A Sheehan.

Subs: L Desmond for S O'Callaghan (40), R Murphy for M Lyons (40), A Dineen for A O'Regan (58).

CLOUGHDUV: C O'Leary; A Buckley, L Buttimer, J Verling; C Hughes, N O'Leary, A Corkery; A Barry-Murphy, A Kelleher; R Hurley, M Corkery, N McNabola; L Lynch, B Corkery, C Sheppard.

Subs: A Sheppard for C Sheppard (28), L Bateman for J Verling (h-t), M Twomey for A Buckley (47), A Lehane for M Corkery ((53).

Referee: Andrew Larkin (Ballygarvan).

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