Aisling McCarthy superb as Cahir girls create history

Camogie

Camogie

Cahir 2-8 Nenagh Eire Og 1-6

Cahir camogie club wrote themselves into the club’s history books on Sunday last when their Junior team won the ‘B’ title for the first time with a 5 point victory over North club Nenagh.

These two very young set of players were playing their first Junior ‘B’ final which was a 13 aside competition due to the unavailability of players.

However, at the end of a very entertaining hour, it was Nenagh Eire Og who had to give way to a stronger and hungrier Cahir side who had built up a comfortable lead at the break. Great credit to the Cahir side who never gave up but fought back with sheer determination and a will to succeed approach that was to see them crowned champions. Cahir too didn’t have it all their own way though and an early second half come back from Nenagh saw one point separate them for a short while until Cahir rearranged their troops which helped them to pull clear.

It was Nenagh who took the game to their opponents and had two points, Michelle O’Dwyer and a free from Ciara McGrath, on the scoreboard in the opening four minutes.

Cahir, who were playing with the aid of a strong cross pitch breeze, opened their account when Aisling McCarthy caught a dropping ball which was sent in as a free by midfielder Emma Buckley and McCarthy found the uprights. Nenagh tried hard to force a goal at the opposite end when Brenda O’Sullivan’s great shot was blocked down by Cahir keeper Orla McEniry but the resulting ‘45’ was tapped over by the accurate Ciara McGrath to keep Nenagh ahead.

The resulting puck out spelt disaster for Nenagh when Aisling McCarthy caught, sent across to the corner where Rachel Doyle superbly read the game as she took hold of possession, and turning, she side stepped her marker and her effort gave Nenagh keeper Donna Mitchell no chance. Nenagh were shocked and found it hard to come to grips with this early onslaught as Cahir commenced to build on the encouragement coming from the spectators as Sinead Kennedy tapped over two further points and a great effort from Rachel Doyle after she burst out of a pile up and split the uprights. Aisling Condon pushed them further ahead before Zoe Gratton worked hard to get the ball into the Nenagh end where Brenda O’Sullivan kept the North flag flying. Nenagh trailed by double scores on the break, 1.5 to 0.4.

An early fight back from Nenagh on resumption changed the game entirely for a short time as they took Cahir by storm when sub Lisa Maher fired over in the first minute. Cahir fought back and when Alanna Morris fouled Sinead Kennedy, it was Kennedy who tapped over. However, it looked like Nenagh could turn the result in their favor when Danielle Harrington’s great effort was taken down by the reliable Orla McEniry but Nenagh’s super sub Lisa Maher made a long reaching stretch and falling forward she connected with the ball from a scramble to see it over the Cahir line eight minutes in.

Cahir were applying a lot of pressure and winning a lot of ball too with Aisling O’Connor, Emma Buckley and Sinead Kennedy dominant. However, it was Aisling McCarthy who caught the attention as she covered every blade of grass and set up many attacks and one could only wonder why this fine player hasn’t featured with Tipp senior camogie team.

Sinead Kennedy pointed after she caught an Aoife Casey free and Cahir went two ahead. Looking more confident in all sections of the pitch, positional changes meant disaster struck for Nenagh when sub Laura Keating struck for Cahir’s second goal with ten minutes remaining.

Pushing forward for a third goal, Buckley, Condon and McCarthy came heavy on the Nenagh backline but keeper Mitchell stood firm and the resulting clearance was gathered by Sinead Kennedy who fired back in and over.

The final minutes brought fierce excitement as Nenagh tried hard to recover but good keeping from Orla McEniry denied and Alanna Morris had to settle for a point. An energetic Cahir were back on the attack when Nenagh’s Lisa Maher fouled Laura Dillon and pushing hard to put their North opponents away, Aoife Casey dropped the ball into the thick of the action where Louise Hickey struggled to clear out field but time ran out for Nenagh and Cahir were crowned Junior ‘B’ champions at their first attempt.

Scorers: Cahir: Sinead Kennedy 0.5 ( 0.1f), Rachel Doyle 1.1, Laura Keating 1.0, Aisling McCarthy, Aisling Condon 0.1 each.

Cahir: Orla McEniry, Shauna O’Donnell, Laurna McEniry, Aoife Bourke (Captain), Aoife Casey, Jackie Heffernan, Aisling O’Connor, Emma Buckley, Aisling McCarthy, Aisling Condon, Sinead Kennedy, Laura Dillon, Rachel Doyle.

Subs: Megan Heffernan for A. Bourke, Laura Keating for J. Heffernan, Clara O’Donnell for S. O’Donnell.