CAMOGIE: Ardrahan into County Final

Ardrahan St Thomas camogie

Lough Rea Hotel & Spa County Senior Camogie Semi-Finals – Monday, 29th October 2018 

Ardrahan 1-8 St. Thomas 0-8 

Darren Kelly in Loughrea 

Ardrahan qualified for the County Senior Camogie Final on Monday after Brenda Kerins’ goal five minutes from time finally gave the south Galway side a winning margin.  St. Thomas only split the posts once in open play as nine wides undone their championship challenge.

Ardrahan had the wind in the first half and took an early three-point advantage.  Rebecca Hennelly delivered one of her best performances in 2018 working hard to win possession in rucks as well as splitting the posts when required.

She struck two frees while also taking Ava Lynskey’s pass for another as they went 0-3 to 0-0 ahead.  And the latter came close to breaking the deadlock as well only for St. Thomas full back Lorraine Coen to make the critical block.

The first half was always going to be about damage limitation for St. Thomas and they finally got off the mark with Sarah Healy’s long range free on nine minutes. The All-Star nominee added another before the quarter hour but that was the extent of their first half scoring.

Ardrahan led 0-5 to 0-2 at half-time as Hennelly got a free before a 27th minute 45.  However, their cushion looked insufficient with the elements but another Hennelly free upon the restart put Ardrahan four ahead.  But two more Healy frees left St. Thomas just 0-6 to 0-4 behind on 37 minutes.

Vinny Healy’s team needed a greater spread of scorers and they had some opportunities only to be off target.  And when Cliodhna Walsh pointed for Ardrahan on 43 minutes, the 2013 county champions were starting to see the finish line.

Hennelly missed a free and it seemed to spark St. Thomas into life as Healy set up Deirdre Burke on 47 minutes.  Healy scored again and only the minimum separated the teams but in two phases, Ardrahan stamped their final ticket.

Hennelly put over a free before Lynskey’s run allowed Kerins hit the roof of the net.  St. Thomas desperately chased the saving goal.  Healy’s 63rd minute grazed over the bar before a 45 left it a one-goal contest.  But time eventually caught up.

On a day where work rate was required, Ardrahan weren’t found wanting.  Marguerite Howley, Megan Carr, Olivia Keehan and Shauna Healy, Lynskey and Hennelly stood out.  St. Thomas will rue missed chances as they never led over the hour.  Coen, Heather Cooney, Burke and Healy did best.

Scorers – Ardrahan: Rebecca Hennelly 0-7 (five frees, one ‘45), Brenda Kerins 1-0, Cliodhna Walsh 0-1. 

Scorers – St. Thomas: Sarah Healy 0-7 (six frees, one ‘45), Deirdre Burke 0-1. 

Ardrahan: Claire Higgins; Aine Murphy, Shauna Healy, Marguerite Howley; Megan Carr, Siobhan Gardiner, Olivia Keehan; Rebecca Hennelly, Andrea Mullins; Ava Lynskey, Aoife Lynskey, Dearbhaile Walshe; Cliodhna Walsh, Brenda Kerins, Caoimhe Cahill.

St. Thomas: Sinead Skehill; Fiona Burke, Lorraine Coen, Aoife Brennan; Siobhan Skehill, Heather Cooney, Michelle Prendergast; Deirdre Burke, Rachael Quinn; Caroline Murray, Aine Keane, Finola Keely; Sandra Tannian, Amy Caulfield, Sarah Healy.

Subs used: Elaine Tannian for S Tannian (55 mins), Marie Farrell for Keely (57 mins), Aisling Headd for Murray (59 mins).

Referee: Liam Gordon (Killimor)

Ardrahan will face Sarsfields in the 2018 Lough Rea Hotel & Spa County Senior Camogie Final on Sunday, 11th November.