CAMOGIE: Sarsfields Edge Through

Sarsfields camogie

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

Sarsfields 1-11 Mullagh 1-10 

Darren Kelly in Loughrea 

Sarsfields are back in the county senior camogie final after two late frees from Siobhan and Niamh McGrath.  After trailing 0-8 to 0-4 at half-time, the defending champions clawed their way back before Niamh McGrath’s long delivery cannoned off keeper Catriona Daly’s stick for the game’s opening goal.

When Maria Cooney added a point, Sarsfields were 1-9 to 0-8 ahead but Mullagh stormed back into the tie as Aoife Donohue rattled a shot to the net before Tegan Canning and Rachel Monaghan put them ahead.

But after Sarsfields overturned the deficit, Mullagh failed to force extra-time and for the third consecutive year, their championship dreams were shattered.  Mullagh had the wind in the first half but made the suprising decision to play a sweeper as they attempted to stop Sarsfields’ goal threat.

It succeeded but Siobhan McGrath took Sarah Spellman’s pass in the second minute before turning inside and saw her lob over Daly drop over the bar.  That was her only point from play though Niamh and Orlaith McGrath gave Sarsfields a 0-3 to 0-2 advantage on 11 minutes.

Mullagh’s scores came from two Aoife Donohue frees as they took time settling but started to take over entering the third quarter.  Monaghan got the equaliser on 18 minutes before Karen Kennedy gave Mullagh the lead with an excellent strike from the right flank.

Their half backs were holding firm and attackers grew in confidence.  Canning and Therese Manton set up Monaghan for the fifth on 20 minutes before two more placed balls from Monaghan made it 0-7 to 0-3.

Mullagh could have had a goal as a long-range Monaghan delivery on 28 minutes forced keeper Laura Glynn to be alert.  However, beforehand, Siobhan McGrath had strong penalty claims after dispossessing Daly.

Orlaith McGrath and Donohue traded giving Mullagh an 0-8 to 0-4 half-time advantage.  Daly delivering a stunning one handed save to deny Orlaith McGrath after the restart but Siobhan McGrath converted four frees to level before setting up sister Niamh for the goal on 46 minutes.  But Mullagh rallied back and nobody would have complained if extra-time was needed.

Sarsfields will be favourites for the final but will know Ardrahan can’t be taken lightly.  Glynn in goal; Erica Leslie, Maria Cooney, Niamh, Orlaith and Siobhan McGrath were their top performers.  Daly in goal; Claudia Lowry, Sarah Dervan, Aoife Donohue, Monaghan and Kennedy did best for Mullagh.

Scorers – Sarsfields: Siobhan McGrath 0-6 (five frees), Niamh McGrath 1-2, Orlaith McGrath 0-2, Maria Cooney 0-1. 

Scorers – Mullagh: Aoife Donohue 1-3 (three frees), Rachel Monaghan 0-5 (two frees, one ‘45), Karen Kennedy 0-1, Tegan Canning 0-1. 

Sarsfields: Laura Glynn; Kate Gallagher, Laura Ward, Sinead Cannon; Erica Leslie, Tara Kenny, Joanne Daly; Clodagh McGrath, Niamh McGrath; Maria Cooney, Orlaith McGrath, Sarah Spellman; Cora Kenny, Siobhan McGrath, Rachel Murray.

Subs used: Klara Donohue for Murray (50 mins).

Mullagh: Catriona Daly; Claudia Lowry, Sarah Dervan, Deirdre Kelly; Ciara Donohue, Sinead Cahalan, Jennifer Coone; Grace Finnerty, Therese Manton; Tegan Canning, Rachel Monaghan, Katie Manning; Karen Kennedy, Aoife Donohue, Patricia Manning.

Referee: John McDonagh (Kinvara)

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