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Senior Camogie Championship Final 2017

Senior Camogie championship final
Clontibret 2-11
Castleblayney 1-4

No written tribute to former camogie President Mary Lynch (Carrickmacross) in this year’s final match programme, could have honoured her as much the enthralling contest that unfolded in Inniskeen on Sunday last, when holders Castleblayney took on arch rivals Clontibret. As a player and coach Mary advocated a ‘no holds barred’ approach to the game and this contest would certainly have satisfied her, as it did the many supporters who turned up to watch the game.
Castleblayney set out their stall inside 3 minutes with a well-taken point by Niamh Brennan. However, Clontibret’s Marie Greenan negated this and then went on to put her side ahead in the 11th minute with 2 points – one from dead ball, the other from play. Clontibret though looked to be in real trouble when, 5 minutes later, Brennan struck low and into the corner of the net giving her team a 2-point lead. To their credit Clontibret remained composed and even at this stage looked the more threatening side – though they were also guilty of wasting opportunities up front. Their composure however was rewarded when Chloe McGuigan scored a lovely point from play and Marie Greenan added another point which, in the 24th minute, brought parity to proceedings. For the remainder of the first half play swung from end-to-end and both goalkeepers Aideen Green (Clontibret) and Roisín McKenna (Castleblayney) executed some terrific saves to the delight and relief of all concerned.

Half time score:
Clontibret 0-4
Castleblayney 1-1

From the resumption of play, the intensity of the exchanges between both teams escalated. Amber Lam opened the scoring for Castleblayney but Marie Greenan restored equality with a well-taken free. Niamh Brennan got the slimmest of opportunities from her marker and added a sweet point from play to push Castleblayney ahead again. However, their lead was short-lived as almost immediately Jennifer Duffy, possibly the youngest exponent of the game on the day, added to Clontibret’s tally, leaving the sides level again. With the game now entering the final quarter it was make or break time and both sets of management reshuffled their packs with the hope of breaking the stalemate for once and for all. Clontibret’s Marie Greenan within 20m of a net, is the stuff the can cause goalkeepers to have restless nights! Her redeployment on the edge of the square produced instant results – following a well worked passage of play from the Clontibret defence, Michelle Morgan laid off a low ball to Greenan. There was only ever going to be one outcome. Buoyed by this score Clontibret found a new impetus and brought the game to an even higher level. Young Duffy, now prowling shamelessly with the ‘big guns’ at mid-field, added another point and almost before the referee (Mairtín McGann, Armagh) had time to restart the play properly, Greenan, with deadly accuracy, rifled the net again. Castleblayney to their credit, refused to roll over, but attempts by Amber Lam to drive 2 frees low and hard, were severely rebuffed by a Clontibret defence who were now on fire. From the clearance Muireann Atkinson gained possession and sent the ball homeward to add another point to Clontibret’s tally. Castleblayney challenged relentlessly but with Clontibret’s Nicola Morgan, Aisling McElvaney and Hannah McSkeane in exceptional form, the battle for Castleblayney was uphill. Upfront Michelle Morgan showed star quality, and pace, time and time again, and late in the game was even joined by daughter Sioneen in a rare mother-daughter duo. Niamh Brennan continued to ply Castleblayney’s cause by adding her 3rd point from play. She was well supported by Orlagh Maguire and Sheena McKenna, but it was a day when Castleblayney must surely have wondered where their leaders were as Clontibret romped to the finish line aided 2 further points from Muireann Atkinson and Marie Greenan.

Final Score:
Clontibret 2-11
Castleblayney 1-4

Clontibret: Aideen Green, Joanne McSkane, Niamh Kieran, Donna Moen, Nicola Morgan, Sorcha McDonald, Ríoghnach Duffy, Aisling McElvaney, Hannah McSkeane, Éimear McKenna, Marie Greenan, Chloe McGuigan, Michelle Morgan, Aisling Greenan (Capt), Jennifer Duffy, Sioneen Morgan, Sinéad Mohan, Muireann Atkinson, Orlaith Boyle, Ailbhe Boyle.

Castleblayney: Roisín McKenna, Rebecca Treanor, Sheena McKenna, Janine McKenna, Arlene Leonard, Kelsey Lam, Karen Markey, Amber Lam, Leah Haughey, Rachel Markey, Elaine McKernan, Aoife Cullen, Eileen Cullen, Niamh Brennan (Capt), Roisín O Sullivan, Kate Deasy, Caoimhe O Sullivan, Corine McKenna, Jessica Cullen, Ciara Kelly, Orlaigh Dorrity, Orlagh Maguire, Emma Forde, Éimear Duffy, Siobhan McBennett.

Player of the Match: Aisling McElvaney (Clontibret)
Referee: Máirtín McGann (Armagh)

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