Lough Rea Hotel & Spa Senior Camogie Championship – Tuesday, 10th July 2018
Mullagh 1-8 Eyrecourt 0-7
Darren Kelly in Duggan Park
If Mullagh win the Catherine Donnellan Cup, manager Madge Kennedy will look back on this game as a crucial victory but also one to remind her charges they have work to do yet.
On this display, the 2016 and 2017 county finalists will struggle when they meet the fellow contenders like Sarsfields and Oranmore/Maree later in the season. Mullagh finished with just one score from play and their winning goal carried major fortune.
After a disappointing 14-point loss to St. Thomas, Eyrecourt were given no chance but while Mullagh were the better side in a poor game, Eyrecourt were given plenty of chances and missed the boat a stunning victory.
It was a niggly, frustrating contest that lost its rhythm in the final quarter. Rachel Monaghan sent over a Mullagh free in the third minute and they were expected to hit the peddle and two minutes later, Aoife Donohue was denied by a Louise Corcoran hook and a Susan Earner save.
Eyrecourt opened their account on 12 minutes when Mairead Burke set up Paula Kenny. But while Mullagh were building up wides, Ray Gohery’s team weren’t punishing them with bad misses of their own.
Monaghan added a free before Burke equalised. And on 21 minutes, Sarah Dervan scored a good point over her shoulder to make it 0-3 to 0-2. The county captain and full back got her team’s only score from play!
Burke was Eyrecourt’s free taker and contributed a brace to give her side the lead. However, a penalty before half-time looked to be the tonic Mullagh needed but Monaghan’s shot saved by Aisling Downey before she put over a 45 to send the sides in level at 0-4 apiece.
The break did eventually come Mullagh’s away two minutes after the restart. A long Donohue free from the right dipped underneath the crossbar at the last moment for a goal and she quickly added another placed ball to make it 1-5 to 0-4.
It was a blow for Eyrecourt but they rallied. Burke tapped over a free before Niamh McCormack and Nessa Dolan set up Amanda Lynch on 37 minutes. And on the three-quarter mark, Kenny pointed again to leave it a one-point ball game.
But the stop-start, lack of flow started to spoil the game with off the ball incidents, physical exchanges and frustration with some refereeing decisions. And both teams left with injury concerns as Kenny went off followed a tangle with Monaghan, and Dervan had to be helped off after the final whistle.
The last three points came Mullagh’s way through Monaghan and Donohue (2) while Karen Kennedy had a goal chance near the finish. But Madge Kennedy will be hoping this is their bad game out of the system and thankful they picked up the three points.
Mullagh – Aoife Donohue 1-3 (1-2 frees, one ‘45), Rachel Monaghan 0-4 (three frees, one ‘45), Sarah Dervan 0-1
Eyrecourt – Mairead Burke 0-4 (three frees), Paula Kenny 0-2, Amanda Lynch 0-1
Mullagh: Catriona Daly; Claudia Lowry, Jennifer Coone, Patricia Manning; Ciara Donohue, Sinead Cahalan, Katie Manning; Grace Finnerty, Tegan Canning; Karen Kennedy, Rachel Monaghan, Aoife Donohue; Maria O’Brien, Sarah Dervan, Pearl Finnerty.
Eyrecourt: Susan Earner; Niamh Treacy, Aisling Downey, Olivia Mannion; Louise Corcoran, Leagh Flannery, Niamh McCormack; Paula Kenny, Amanda Lynch; Laoise Stones, Eva Lahart, Mairead Burke; Vivian McEvoy, Nessa Dolan, Cora McEvoy.
Referee: Noel Gavin