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  • GAA

Holders Drom fend off improving Cashel

Thursday, 10th September, 2020 11:17am
Holders Drom fend off improving Cashel

Orla O'Dwyer (Cashel) is challenged by Siobhan McGrath (Drom-Inch) in the County Semi-Final. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Holders Drom fend off improving Cashel

Orla O'Dwyer (Cashel) is challenged by Siobhan McGrath (Drom-Inch) in the County Semi-Final. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

CAMOGIE: Tipperary Senior Championship Semi-Final

Holders Drom fend off improving Cashel

Drom & Inch    2-19        
Cashel    2-12    

Report: Thomas Conway at The Ragg

Player of the Match:
Eimear McGrath (Drom & Inch)
SCORERS – Drom & Inch: Eimear McGrath 1-13 (0-12 frees), Miriam Campion 1-1; Joanne Ryan 0-3; Dee Dunne, Anne Eviston 0-1 each. 
Cashel: Caoimhe Perdue 0-8 (7 frees), Orla O’Dwyer 1-2; Aideen Bergin 1-0; Grace Moloney, Anna Fahy 0-1 each. 

Reigning county senior camogie champions Drom & Inch staved off the challenge of a promising Cashel side last Sunday, leaving them with one last obstacle to overcome to retain their title-holders’ status. 

The seven-point victory margin didn’t quite reflect the competitive nature of this game, which pitched a fast and exuberant Cashel side against a Drom outfit laden with class and finesse. 

Eimear McGrath’s goal in the ninth minute was the first real illustration of Drom’s huge individual talent, with the corner forward collecting the ball near the side-line some twenty metres out, inveigling her way around several Cashel defenders before eventually dropping the ball as she reached the square, only to catch it on-the-bounce with a sweet strike and send it flying past Cashel keeper Aoife O’Brien. 

McGrath had already fired over two frees prior to the goal and would add a further ten before the final whistle. Her razor-sharp striking and stylish technique is worth observing for any young player, male or female, but they could benefit equally from watching Cashel’s placed-ball specialist Caoimhe Perdue, who was similarly accurate throughout.  

McGrath alone would have been plenty for the Cashel back-line to contend with, but they also had to marshal several others in a dangerous Drom front six. Joanne Ryan was one of those, and the experienced forward opened her own personal account in the fifteenth minute, before McGrath despatched another free to leave Drom with a 1-5 to 0-4 advantage at the first water-break. 

That duo of Ryan and McGrath almost landed a killer blow seconds after the return, with the former breaking in towards goal and sliding a hand-pass out to McGrath, who saw her effort ping off the crossbar and away. Cashel responded immediately with a superb individual score from Grace Moloney, skipping past several Drom players and cutting into the centre, before opting to take the point. 

Drom wing-forward Dee Dunne then stamped her imprint on the game with an effort from the next to the side-line – grabbing possession, swivelling, and striking over, all in the one movement. 

It was clear that Cashel would need goals if they were to really challenge last year’s county champions. To their credit, they got them, with the first arriving on 26 minutes when a scrap for possession inside the small square resulted in Aideen Bergin eventually poking the ball home. 
Things really became interesting in the moments before half-time. Orla O’Dwyer had already been prominent in the Cashel attack, and in the 31st minute she it up the play with an inspiring run straight through the middle, eventually fainting right and unleashing a bullet past Drom keeper Caoimhe Bourke. 

The Cashel concentration levels probably dipped for around thirty seconds thereafter, and that was enough time for Anne Eviston to slip an overhead hand-pass into the path of Miriam Campion, who flicked the ball into her hand and finished brilliantly with a shoulder-height strike into the net.

With Drom leading 2-10 to 2-6 at half-time, the task facing Cashel wasn’t insurmountable, but the game started to drift away from them in the third quarter. Campion and Joanne Ryan ended that period with consecutive points of their own, pushing the margin out to five and giving a sense that Drom were about to drive on. That’s exactly what they did in the final quarter, largely thanks to a powerful defensive structure anchored and coordinated by Niamh Treacy. 

Cashel’s quick-moving, running-based style of play ran into a wall of Drom defenders, and even the best efforts of a tireless Karin Blair wasn’t enough to break it down. Clonoulty will feel they have the firepower to do exactly that, and if they are to break Drom’s bid for a second successive county title, breaking that defensive barrier will be essential. 

TEAMS - Drom & Inch: Caoimhe Bourke; Maria Connolly, Christina Brennan, Maureen Ryan; Eimear Cahill, Aoife McGrath, Mairead Eviston; Niamh Long, Niamh Treacy; Dee Dunne, Anne Eviston, Siobhán McGrath; Eimear McGrath, Joanne Ryan, Miriam Campion. 
Cashel: Aoife O’Brien; Maeve Ellie Ryan, Kate Murphy, Lily Fahie; Katelyn Downey, Ciara Dwan, Amy Crosse; Nicole Shelly, Áine O’Dwyer; Caoimhe Perdue, Orla O’Dwyer, Karin Blair; Grace Moloney, Aideen Bergin, Anna Fahy. 
Subs: Aisling Farrell for Murphy (40); Eimear O’Donnell (NR) for Bergin (60+2). 
Referee: Kieran Slattery (Knockavilla)

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