Offaly minor camogie team kicked their All-Ireland minor A championship to a winning start after a comfortable seven point win over the south east side on a sunny afternoon in Moystowns last Saturday.
The South East side started the game strong hitting two points in the opening stages after a short free found Beth Carton and Anne Corcoran got around her marker also to point. A Gillian Irwin point got Offaly off the mark and there was no stopping the faithful side from this point on. Waterford’s huge determination edged them in front after a series of scores from Molly Curran (0-1), Beth Carton (0-1) and Dawn Power (1-1) went without answer.
Two quick fire goals from Mairead Jennings and Teri Delaney along with points from Roisin Egan (0-3, 0-2 from ’45’s) and Mairead Jennings (0-1 f) turned Waterford on their backs after they lead 1-5 to 0-4 moments before Offaly hit a purple patch. Lining out different that the programme,Waterford’s number 14 Beth Carton operated at center-forward and was the driving force behind each Waterford attack hitting (0-6 4f’s, 0-1 ’45).
Corner forward Mairead Jennings and Center-forward Roisin Egan were immensely accurate from placed balls the pair hitting 0-8 between them, Mairead on free’s and Roisin on ’45’s and long distance frees. Another second half goal from Aideen Freeman set up Offaly from a comfortable victory over Waterford against the breeze. Aisling Power hit the Deise’s second goal mid-way through the second half in a bid to keep her side in touch after Beth Carton pointed three times in a row unanswered. Cailin Fitzgerald was a power house at number 8 and must have covered every blade of grass to help in defense and attack.
Switching from center-forward to center-back Roisin Egan showed great reading of the game, while Sarah Harding always seemed a threat on the edge of the square. Captain Grainne Dolan showed great skill and fitness to run from deep in defense to take an Aideen Freeman handpass to hit the sliotar over the crossbar. A final free from Mairead Jennings finished up the game at 3-13 to 2-9 with Uìbh Fhailì taking their first points of the championship.
The Offaly youngsters now play Dublin away on February 28th and are away to Galway on March 21st. Their next home game is March 29th and with no venue or time yet we hope that supporters will come to the second and final game in the group, details being announced closer to the time.