THREE of the four senior camogie quarter-finals went close to the wire.
Cloughduv gave strong favourites Inniscarra a ferocious challenge and it was only in additional time that Scarra pulled clear with three unanswered points from Aileen Sheehan. It was the first time that such space had opened up.
Inniscarra’s experience and calmness in those closing stages was crystal clear. Cloughduv needed to grab every opportunity if they were going to get over this hurdle and there were a few frees in the opening half that went wide of the post.
Cloughduv’s work-rate was phenomenal and to come back from four points down at halftime to draw level spoke volumes of their spirit. What caught them at times I felt was their first touch, that one chance that slipped away giving Inniscarra time to pounce, and the odd panicked wrong option.
Champions know how to see games out and Inniscarra have been there so many times. Sheehan’s first point to go ahead was excellent, she had milliseconds to look and strike.
Cloughduv were extremely disappointed. But from a neutral’s perspective, they had a great season and to lose in additional time to a team like Inniscarra, well there’s no shame in that.
I’ve been very impressed with Niamh McNabola too. A young player with a strong future.
The first of a doubleheader in Castle Road last Saturday was St Finbarr's v Killeagh.
The second half was a big improvement on the first, but Killeagh had left too much to do. Three first-half goals by Nicole Olden (2) and one from Gemma O’Connor and this game looked over on 26 minutes.
Yes, Killeagh made a strong comeback, but I could never see them catching the Barrs. I felt the Barrs had more in the tank if they needed it. There were times in the first half when Killeagh surrendered possession too easily. They were more dogged in the second and you’d wonder if they had that intensity all through would they have made it.
But you can’t work hard for scores and then have them wiped out so easily and Olden was finding it too easy to round and score and then Gemma O’Connor’s goal was a strike from 40 yards which dipped in.
To be fair to Killeagh they really tried to address their scoring prowess in the last two years. Stephanie Beausang moving from goal to full-forward where she’s not shy in hitting the net to give her credit. Ciara Daly, typically a defender was moved forward as was Laura Treacy, to midfield.
There were definite improvements in that regard. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough when you compare it to the very strong forward line of the Barrs. Aoife Walsh and Maeve Cahalane were missing, Walsh was more of a loss for Killeagh as she could have picked up Olden.
A game that really excited was Sars-Courcey Rovers. Two young sides, full of enthusiasm went at it hammer and tongs.
Rovers were favourites, when you consider the losses Sars have suffered. Missing Katie Barry, Olivia McAllen, Maeve McCarthy, and with Hollie Herlihy not capable of starting, it was a big ask.
I glanced at Sars warming up and I thought they looked very young. I’ve been critical of the lack of leadership in Sars in recent seasons. Since Emer Fennell retired I felt they’ve lacked passion and intensity to a large degree.
Well, they’ve found it now. Orlaith Mullins has really stepped up this year, Lucy Allen likewise. It’s when things are going against you, you look to see who can pull a game out of the fire.
Cliona Lynch’s free-taking was also inspiring. Those moments matter more than just adding to the scoreboard and the confident puck-outs of Molly Lynch, her last one directly to Lucy Allen to point, all provided a great performance.
Seandún against Éire Óg was one-way traffic. Tough for Éire Óg who had a bout of flu running through the team but a good season for them, nonetheless.
For Seandún it was a welcomed game for a side that hadn’t had one in three weeks.