Duharra made to earn win by Silvermines
CAMOGIE: FBD Insurance County Senior Championship Group 1
Report: Liam Hogan in Kilcolman
Ciara McKeogh’s 35th minute goal gave Burgess-Duharra the breathing space required to see them claim their third win out of four as they completed their County Senior Camogie Championship group stage with a steady rather than convincing win over plucky neighbours Silvermines on Saturday evening.
The winners led 0-10 to 0-7 when McKeogh landed the goal for a Duharra side that lined out without four regulars but were never allowed to sprint free of their rivals who, it must be admitted played like a team that should have been in the shake-up for the knockout stages instead heading to a relegation battle having suffered their fourth defeat in the campaign.
Burgess/Duharra entered the game happy in the knowledge they were already in the knockout stage but a win could have put them straight into the semi-finals had Cashel not overcome Knockavilla in the other final round encounter. For various reasons, they had to make four changes from the team that secured a big over Thurles Sarsfields with Una Quigley, Danielle Nealon, Katy Grace, and Amy Kennedy replaced by Katie Grace, Ciara McKeogh, Ciardha Maher and Fiona McCauley.
Silvermines had their problems also. Anna Stapleton was a late withdrawal and was replaced by Caoimhe Carey who commenced at wing forward and resulted Eimear Tuohy reverting to wing back. Elsewhere Neasa Murray and Elaine Murphy replaced Johanna O’Brien and Laura Cunneen.
The game was well contested without really raising the pulse rate but there was no shortage in commitment. The first half was a shooting contest in placed balls involving the unerring Jenny Grace who scored seven while Laura Cunneen was equally impressive with her five-point return, with two coming from play.
Cunneen gave the ‘Mines the lead with a free in the second minute but the impressive Ciardha Maher equalised from play and by the 23rd minute scores were level for the fourth time at 0-5 each.
Both defences were well on top with Fiona Kirwan and Aishling Cremin holding forth in the spine of the Burgess defence. Both Iris Grace and Eimear Dwan had their moments on the wing in front of a reliable Ciara Houlihan in the Burges goal.
Silvermines defensive duties were well done too thanks to the efforts of Miriam Murphy, Eimear Tuohy, and Eimear Murphy while goalkeeper Aishling Carey made two outstanding saves, the second of which in the 25th minute which led to a 45 which Jenny Grace converted with ease. That score edged Duharra in front and Grace increased her side’s lead with a free before Laura Cunneen pulled one back with a sweet point from close range.
Play was fast approaching the interval but there was yet enough time for one more score which saw Ciardha Maher add her second from play and at half time it was Burgess/Duharra 0-9 Silvermines 0-6.
Two minutes into the second half, Aishling Carey made another save when she denied Ciara McKeogh but the ‘Mines failed to clear and Ciardha Maher was on hand to score her third.
Two minutes later, Laura Cunneen was back on track with another pointed free from close range but in the 35th minute the game reached a turning point when Ciara McKeogh got the vital touch following a crowded goalmouth scramble.
Ciardha Maher followed up with her fourth point and with a seven-point cushion, Burgess/Duharra decided to close up shop by becoming more defensive in the middle third of the field. As a result, the options for the ‘Mines were minimised, but Laura Cunneen manged to point another free before Caoimhe Maher struck home again.
Despite the deficit, Silvermines took on the home defence with defiance especially the energetic Ciara Ryan whose mazy runs caused bother and when she set up Sarah Madden the burgess defence were forced at the expense of a penalty. Aishling Carey left her goal line to take the resulting penalty but her well struck shot came back of the crossbar and the ball was cleared into play.
Silvermines continued to question the Burgess defence, but another Cunneen free was the end result and once Duharra tagged a response it was Ciardha Maher on hand once more to score her fifth in a player of the game performance.
That was that and all was left to play was a final score from Cunneen who could do no more for her side as the winners turned their thoughts to the quarter finals and a clash with Eire Og Annacarty.
Player of the Match: Ciardha Maher (Burgess/Duharra)
Burgess/Duharra: Ciara Houlihan (7); Grace O’Dwyer (7), Fiona Kirwan (7), Katy Grace (7); Iris Grace (7), Aisling Cremin (7), Una Dwan (7); Caoimhe Maher (0-1, 7), Jenny Grace (0-7, 5f, 2’45s) (7); Kathleen O’Halloran (6), Ciara McKeogh (1-0, 6), Ciardha Maher (0-5, 8); Laura Reid (6), Fiona McCauley (6), Caolfhinn Maher (6).
Silvermines: Aishling Carey (8); Ciara Grace (7), Miriam Murphy (7), Maria Moroney (7); Eimear Tuohy (7); Katie Murphy (7), Eimear Murphy (7), Eimear Tuohy (7); Loise McLoughlin (7), Ellan Cunneen (0-8, 6f) 8); Ciara Ryan (7), Sarah Madden (6), Caoimhe Carey (0-1, 6); Johanna O’Brien (6), Nicola Butler (6), Laura Cunneen (0-1, 6).
Referee: Mike Ryan (Nenagh Eire Og).