Offaly camogie Minor A final
St.Cillians 3-13 Birr 0-5
St.Cillians were crowned Minor A champions after a 17 point victory over Birr in St.Brendan’s Park Birr last Saturday afternoon. Seeking revenge for their u16 counterparts Cillians were quick off the mark to ensure a blue and white victory as a very talented forward line from St.Cillians scored 2-7 throughout the game. Top scorer Dara Hanamy started St.Cillians scoring campaign after she picked up a loose ball to point. A wonderful score then from Aideen Freeman extended their lead to two points after the wing forward caught the puck out turned her marker and broke through to point. Aoife Hogan scored Birr’s first score 10 minutes in followed by a Mairead Jenning’s free to level the sides. Two points from Elizabeth Harding and Cailin Fitzgerald began St.Cillians 17 point lead which Birr had no answer for. Full Forward Dara Hanamy found the net twice in a row when the number 14 broke past three Birr defenders to found the net. Seconds later Hanamy hit the net again after a long Aisling Brennan free was batted down in front of the goal and Dara was on hand to tap the ball over the goal line. Mairead Jennings hit Birr’s third score from a ’45 but the number 6 who originally lined out at corner forward was forced back as centre-back as St.Cillians kept the Birr defence on the back foot. Ailsing Brennan then added her name to the score sheet after a long distance free eased over the black spot. Two more Aisling Brennan free’s along with a Cailin Fitzgerald point stretched St.Cillians lead to 2-8 to 0-4 when the half time whistle sounded. Persistent St.Cillians returned from the half time break hungry for more scores as seconds from the second half throw in Aideen Freeman found the net to add to Dara Hanamy’s two first half goals. It was all St.Cillians in the second half as Birr only managed to add a single point from a Mairead Jennings free. Ciara Brennan, Dara Hanamy, Cailin Fitzgerald and Aisling Brennan all added points before the final whistle blew crowing St.Cillians Minor A champions for 2015 as joined captains Siobhan Killeen and Cailin Fitzgerald collecting the cup from county board chairperson Breda Hynes.
Birr: Elaine Mullins, Caoimhe Abbott, Aoibhe Whelhan, Niamh Horan, Doireann Errity, Mairead Jennings, Niamh Campbell, Trudi Feenane, Gillian Irwin, Alanna Roddy, Francis Hoare, Sarah Harding, Marrissa Cleary, Aoife Gilligan, Sarah Dooley.
Subs: Emma Behan, Isobel Davis, Roisin Donavan, Megan Kinsella, Niamh Middleton, Isobel Murphy, Andrea Cooke, Emma Guilfoyle.
St.Cillians: Nicola Dolan, Lisa Hoctor, Megan King, Orla Plunkett, Shiofra Ryan, Ailsing Brennan, Siobhan Killeen, Niamh Killeen, Ciara Brennan, Aideen Freeman, Cailin Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Harding, Rachel Doaln, Dara Hanamy, Aoife Hogan
Subs: Katy Corrigan, Ellen Cashen, Chloe Costello, Brid Ryan, Aoife Cogavin, Orla Killeen, Michelle Maher, Aoife Hoctor, Sara Pinguri, Cathy Fogarty, Ebny Hogan.
Player of the match: Aisling Brennan. The centre back hit five points for her side but also ended Birr attacks before they became a dangerous threat. Her teammates Cailin Fitzgerald and Dara Hanamy also had super games in the forward line. Mairead Jennings and Sarah Harding tried extremely hard for Birr but St.Cillians were stronger.
Moment of the match: Dara Hanamy found the net twice in less than five minutes giving St.Cillians a seven point lead half way through the first half. It was from that moment on Cillians never looked back.
Score of the match: Aideen Freeman’s first half point was a strong contender for this accolade but Ciara Brennan’s second half point was a peach. The mid fielder took a pass from a side-line and pointed from distance without even looking at the posts.
Referee watch: Praise must be awarded to Kieran Pat Kelly as the referee arrived with four umpires and linesmen for the game. Kelly also explained to players what they did wrong when fouls were committed. He kept up with the fast pace of the game but to fault the St.Rynaghs man he did allow players to jostle each other which is an infringement in camogie under 10.2 rough play and Dissent in the camogie rule book. Overall the man in charge had a solid performance.
Venue watch: St.Brendan’s Park was in very good condition for the game and had the correct amount of stewards for the final. The pitch looked in great nick even after hosting the minor B final before the A final. All praise must go the the St.Brendan’s Park and Birr GAA club as they hosted almost all of the camogie finals this year at such a high standard.
Camogie watch: Referee Kieran Pat Kelly allowed players to jostle each other which is an infringement in camogie under 10.2 rough play and Dissent in the camogie rule book. Birr’s Gillian Irwin made great use of the dropping the hurl to handpass during the game something that is a rare sight at underage camogie.
What’s next: Both clubs end their year on both a positive and negative note. Although Birr lost this final the sides also met in the U16A final where Birr came out victorious on that occasion. St.Cillians have made up for their u16 loss from this win with both clubs having extremely bright futures ahead of them.
Birr: Mairead Jennings 0-4 (0-3f’s 0-1’45) Aoife Hogan 0-1
St.Cillians: Dara Hanamy 2-1, Aideen Freeman 1-1, Cailin Fitzgearld 0-4, Elizabeth Harding 0-1, Aisling Brennan 0-5 0-3 f, Ciara Brennan 0-1,