Drom dig deep to reach Munster Final
CAMOGIE: AIB Munster Club Senior Championship Semi-Final
Drom & Inch 1-8
Report: Geraldine Kinane in Killeedy
Player of the Match: Christina Brennan (Drom & Inch)
SCORERS: Drom & Inch: Eimear McGrath 0-4 (3 frees); Dee Dunne 1-0; Michelle Woodlock 0-2; Siobhan McGrath, Miriam Campion 0-1 each.
Killeedy: Lisa Scanlon 0-5 (4 frees 1 65); Orla Cunningham, Ide Cunningham, Valerie Shanahan 0-1 each.
Drom & Inch progressed to the Munster Club Senior Camogie final for the second year in a row following a hard-fought semi-final win over Limerick champions Killeedy, played in very difficult conditions on Sunday.
There was eight minutes gone before we had the opening score and what a crucial score it proved to be, a goal from Deirdre Dunne to put Drom & Inch into the lead, a lead that they never gave up despite the best efforts of the Limerick champions and the ferocious pressure the Drom-Inch defence had to endure in the second half.
The goal came about after Dee Dunne ghosted in behind the Killeedy fullback line and pounced onto a Mairead Eviston long clearance before striking a low powerful shot past the keeper from ten yards.
Even with the gale force wind to their advantage the Drom & Inch forwards found scores hard to come by in the first half. The Killeedy rearguard led by the inspirational centre back Lisa Scanlon gave a powerful display of workrate, hooking and blocking at every opportunity. A point from Miriam Campion on the tenth minute was followed by a Lisa Scanlon 45 metre free before an Eimear McGrath pointed free meant Drom led at the water break 1-2 to 0-1.
Despite managing the single score Killeedy were well and truly in this game with Majella O’Sullivan Hunt excellent in the goal and Brid Flanagan winning lots of ball out in midfield. Lisa Scanlon had a pointed free in between two Drom & Inch points from Siobhan McGrath and Eimear McGrath (free) which left the score at 1-4 to 0-2 at half-time.
Killeedy were happier of the two teams at the break. They had settled well and only trailed by five points after playing against a huge wind. No doubt Drom & Inch would have been pleased leading at the break but would have been aware that Killeedy had enjoyed lots of possession in the opening half and now the Tipp girls had the mammoth task of playing against the wind.
On the resumption, Anne Eviston, now operating at the edge of the square, was fouled and the resulting free was pointed by Eimear McGrath to extend Drom’s lead.
Early in the second half Killeedy found it difficult to break down the Drom & Inch defence with Mairead Eviston and Christina Brennan excellent. However soon after Killeedy began to get on top and three points in a row from Lisa Scanlon, who was excellent throughout from placed balls, gave the home side a huge boost going into the second water break with a single goal separating the sides, 1-5 to 0-5.
Two further points from Killeedy and Drom looked in real trouble. However, substitutes Michelle Woodlock and Edel Nyland were starting to make a real impression in attack. Niamh Treacy, who had a great second half, was fouled to allow Eimear McGrath a chance to extend Drom’s lead but again Killeedy responded with a superb Orla Cunningham point and only one point separated the sides, 1-6 to 0-8, with both sets of players doing everything to try and carve out a win.
With the clock ticking down and both sides desperate for a score Edel Nyland fed a low ball into Michelle Woodlock who gathered possession on her first touch rounded her marker and fired over a great score.
With two points again between the sides Killeedy went on search for that all-important goal that had eluded them for the hour. But time and time again the Drom & Inch defence broke down their attack and powered out with the ball to the delight of the travelling supporters. The win was secured with a second fantastic score from Michelle Woodlock when she beat her marker out on the wing and headed towards goals before pointing from 20 yards to top off a brilliant match winning contribution from off the bench.
At the final whistle, the Drom & Inch players collapsed to the ground with pure exhaustion and sheer delight after an energy sapping and heart stopping hour of camogie. Both teams gave it everything in very difficult conditions and credit to the Drom & Inch team who showed great character and experience to see out the win.
They are now one win away from a Munster title, which eluded them last year. In the other semi-final, Clare champions Inagh-Kilnamona had a comprehensive victory over Cork champions Courcey Rovers with the Munster final which will be played in the New Year.
TEAMS – Drom & Inch: Caoimhe Bourke; Maria Connolly, Christina Brennan, Maureen Ryan, Mairead Eviston, Aoife McGrath, Eimear Cahill, Mary Burke, Niamh Treacy, Siobhan McGrath, Anne Eviston, Dee Dunne, Miriam Campion, Joanne Ryan, Eimear McGrath.
Subs: Niamh Long for A Eviston (55); Michelle Woodlock for Dunne (57); Edel Nyland for S McGrath (57).
Killeedy: Majella O'Sullivan Hunt; Larissa McCarthy, Karen Mullane, Emer Cunningham; Shauna Cunningham, Lisa Scanlon, Sarah Shanahan; Bríd Flanagan, Aisling Cunningham; Caitlin O'Connor, Marion O'Connell, Ellanna Mulcahy; Valerie Shanahan, Íde Cunningham, Áine Cunningham.
Subs: Aisling Scanlon for O'Connell (36), Orla Cunningham for O'Connor (55).
Referee: Andrew Larkin (Cork).