Sarsfields' tighten title grip with another win

Hard fought battle between key protagonists, Clarinbridge's Carrie Dolan and St Thomas, Ailbhe Finnerty. Photo:  Alan Leonard

Hard fought battle between key protagonists, Clarinbridge's Carrie Dolan and St Thomas, Ailbhe Finnerty. Photo: Alan Leonard

In a repeat of the 2022 and 2021 county finals, Sarsfields once again took victory against Oranmore Maree when they two met in the championship in Loughrea on Sunday.

Deadlocked at half-time, Sarsfields 1-4 Oranmore Maree 0-7, the defending title-holders took control in the second half to finish 1-14 to 0-10 winners.

Sarsfields enjoyed the perfect start, scoring 1-3 in the opening six minutes. Caoimhe Kelly produced the opening score when she broke through for a goal, quickly followed by two Siobhán McGrath points and a Kelly point for a 1-3 to 0-0 lead.

Ailish O’Reilly opened Oranmore Maree’s accounts on the seventh minute before Shannon Corcoran replied, but O’Reilly then produced three frees between the 12th and 16th minutes to leave three between the sides heading into the second quarter.

Kelly replied for Sarsfields, but Oranmore Maree finished the half strongly with three Eimear O’Donovan frees and a point from Rebecca Grealish, ensuring the sides were deadlocked at half-time, Sarsfields 1-4 Oranmore Maree 0-7.

However, Sarsfields started the second half strongly with a McGrath free and a Corcoran point before O’Donovan followed up with a free in the 34th minute.

Sarsfields, however, then grabbed a grip on the game. Frees from McGrath, a long-range effort from Maria Cooney, and two well-taken points from Klara Donohue put them five in front with 17 minutes remaining.

Rachel Hanniffy, who was a stand-out for Oranmore Maree, struck a well-taken score from play, but Sarsfields finished as they started. Two McGrath frees and a point from Kelly ensured a third successive county trophy.

Also in the Windows and Rooflights LTD Senior A Championship there were victories for Ardrahan, Athenry, and Mullagh.

Ardrahan were 14-point winners over Carnmore, while Athenry took on Davitts in Kilbeacanty. Lorraine Farrell opened for Davitts with an opening minute point before Athenry replied with 1-3 points through Therese Donohue, Sabina Rabbitte and Eimear Keane - Donohue having found the Davitts' net in the seventh minute.

Catherine Hanley ended Athenry’s scoring streak with two points from play on the 11th and 14th minutes, and although Keane bagged her second point, Davitts replied through Ciara Hickey and a Hanley free.

After Kerri O’Driscoll was denied an Athenry goal due to a square ball, Sabina Rabbitte and Hanley swapped frees as Athenry led Davitts by 1-5 to 0-6 - Davitts having lost county star Katie Anna Porter with a knee injury.

Athenry dominated the second half, scoring 2-10 without reply between the 32nd and 60th minutes, with goals from Noreen Coen and Rabbitte, and four points from Rabbitte through frees, four points from play for Donohue, and points from Kayla Madden and Coen.

Hanley finished the game with two frees for Davitts, Athenry were comfortable 3-15 to 0-8 victors.

In Killimor on Sunday, Mullagh overcame Craughwell by seven points. Craughwell’s top scorer Leanne Freaney opened the scoring with two frees before a Rachel Monaghan replied with a free and point from play, However, the game turned when Erica Coen scored Mullagh’s first major and when Leanne Fahy scored her first goal at senior level just before the half-time, were 2-6 to 0-5.

Another Mullagh goal through Tegan Canning and points from Donohue and Canning out them 12 points ahead, and although Freaney tried to get Craughwell back into it with 1-1 in the space of a minute, Monaghan bagged her side's fourth goal. Although Craughwell had the final say when Ciara Reidy's long ball finished in the net, Mullagh were comfortable 4-10 to 2-9 winners.

Windows and Rooflights LTD Senior B Championship

Eyrecourt overcame Kinvara by one point to ensure their campaign is back on track, while the 2022 intermediate finalists Castlegar and Salthill Knocknacarra met in the first club camogie game to be played in Pearse Stadium.

Level with points from Castlegar's Chloe Broderick and Salthill's Aoife Kelly and Ines Morrision, Salthill Knocknacarra started to find players in space with Aoibhe Joyce bagging the first major of the day. Kelly and Broderick exchanged scores before a poor Castlegar clearance ended with a Joyce goal, giving Salthill Knocknacarra a six-point lead.

Elisha and Chloe Broderick followed up with a point each, but Aoife Kelly had the final say of the half with a well-taken point from play to leave it Salthill Knocknacarra 2-4 Castlegar 0-5.

Scores were hard to come by in the second half with both defences standing strong. Three Chloe Broderick frees between the 35th and 46th minutes left just two between the sides heading into the final quarter, but when Martina Conroy found the back of the Salthill Knocknacarra net, the sides were deadlocked.

However, in the third minute of injury time Laura Kelly, having missed two frees, delivered a super score from the stand side to leave it Salthill 2-7 Castlegar 1-9.

In Kilconieron on Saturday, it was a physical battle between Clarinbridge and St Thomas' - the latter having a dream start, scoring 1-2 in the opening 12 minutes with points from Nakita Burke and Abbie Massey, who also struck the goal.

Sinead Skehill denied a Clarinbridge penalty from Niamh Niland, but Carrie Dolan finally got Clarinbridge off the mark with two frees and a point from play, while Niland also chipped in with a well-taken score to leave one between the sides.

Massey stopped the Clarinbridge scoring spree on the 26th minute with a well taken shot from distance, but Clarinbridge finished the strongest with two Niland points and a free from Dolan to leave it Clarinbridge 0-7 St Thomas 1-3 at half-time.

Dolan and Lorraine Coen swapped scores at the beginning of the second half before another two from Dolan and a Niland point made it look like Clarinbridge were going to pull away. However, substitute Sarah Healy gave her side hope with a well-struck penalty, but Niland responded from the puck out. Skehill denied Clarinbridge another goal scoring opportunity, but on the 62nd minute, a long ball in from Siobhán Carr fell out of Skehill’s hand and into the back of the net. A minute later, Healy struck a long ball into the square and it lobbed into the back of the Clarinbridge net, but it was not enough to get St Thomas' over the line, Clarinbridge prevailing by 1-13 to 3-5.

Results: Windows and Rooflights LTD Senior A Championship: Ardrahan 1-25 Carnmore 0-14; Athenry 3-15 Davitts 0-8; Mullagh 4-10 Craughwell 2-9; Sarsfields 1-14 Oranmore Maree 0-10.

Windows and Rooflights LTD Senior B Championship: Salthill Knocknacarra 2-7 Castlegar 1-9; St Thomas 3-5 Clarinbridge 1-13; Eyrecourt 0-13 Kinvara 0-12.

Duanes Hardware Intermediate Championship: Ahascragh Caltra 2-10 Mountbellew/Moylough 1-11; Pearses 1-6 St Colmans 0-13; Shamrocks 1-18 Killimor 0-2; Cappataggle 0-11 Abbeyknockmoy 1-5;

C2 Security Junior A Championship; Kilconieron 2-10 Kiltormer 2-10; Cappataggle 0-11 Abbeyknockmoy 1-5; Liam Mellows were winners over Ballinderreen; Turloughmore 1-7 Sarsfields 0-6.


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