After being denied two senior titles in the last decade, Athenry are within 60 minutes of an All-Ireland intermediate camogie title after they upset favourites Lismore from Waterford in Kinnegad on Sunday. 

Points for Therese Maher, Jessica Gill, Niamh Hannon and Noreen Coen ensured Katherine Duane’s charges book a final encounter with Kildare’s Johnstownbridge. 

In 2007 and 2009, Athenry fell to Cashel in two All-Ireland senior finals before club camogie moved their biggest day to the grandest stage.  And finally Athenry will walk out on Croke Park on March 4th along with Sarsfields who reached the senior final against Slaughtneil.

“There was fierce excitement,” said Duane to Galway Bay FM’s Tommy Devane after the final whistle.  “It was a tough battle.  Luckily enough, I don’t think at any point we were behind in the match and we kept control most times. 

“They could have snatched a goal at any stage.  We kept on our toes and we eventually pulled away with the win. 

“From what I had heard and seen of Lismore, they were a very balanced team.  If you compare 15 on 15, they certainly don’t have any Therese Mahers or Gina Glynns or Jessica Gills.  Those players for us obviously stood up today. 

“But I was also delighted for the likes of Dearbhla (Higgins) and Lorna Hannon and Elora Mahon.  They’re our younger girls and they’re going to be carrying the club into the future.  They showed a lot of leadership out there today.” 

“We’re absolutely delighted,” added Higgins when speaking to Devane.  “It was awful muck out there.  We were up five-two at half-time.  We’re just delighted to come away with the win.   

“It was very dirty and they pushed hard at us until the very last minute but we’re absolutely delighted to come away with the win. 

“We knew they were a tough side.  We knew it would be a very good game.  We put an awful lot of hard work (in) thanks to Katharine (Duane) and Tom Page.  They did an awful lot of work with us.  We knew it would be very, very tight.”