Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Oulart The Ballagh savoured their winning moment at GAA HQ.
# Silverware
Oulart and Piltown win All-Ireland club camogie titles
It was finals day at a bitterly cold Croke Park as the Wexford and Kilkenny clubs triumphed.

Oulart-The Ballagh 3-13

Mullagh 0-7

OULART-THE BALLAGH returned to the top of the club camogie tree with a convincing victory in the AIB All-Ireland senior club camogie final at Croke Park.

The Wexford squad is laced with experience, with four players who captained the county to All-Ireland glory in recent years in this year’s successful club captain Karen Atkinson, Ursula Jacob and the Leacy sisters, Mary and Úna.

They are renowned for their goal threat and with Mullagh guilty of some lax defending, capitalised to establish their supremacy.

They found the net inside the first minute and with two more in the second half, established a strong lead that Mullagh were always unlikely to reel in, given the lack of any real goal chances of their own.

The Connacht crew were caught napping after just 40 seconds, when two Oulart forwards managed to drift onto a loose ball behind the defence and it was Stacey Kehoe that sent a first-time shot off the sod beyond Catriona Daly for a goal.

Rachel Monaghan converted a free for Mullagh but Ursula Jacob did likewise at the other end of the field and Shelly Kehoe put four points between them.

Rachel Monaghan and Colleen Atkinson Ryan Byrne / INPHO It was a keenly contested affair but the Wexford outfit had too much for Mullagh Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

The Galwegians were hanging on a bit and it took a brilliant point-blank save by Daly to deny Úna Leacy a second Oulart goal.

Mullagh seemed to settle a bit after that and there were indications that they possessed the speed on the flanks to trouble the 2012 victors’ defence.

Monaghan converted a couple of frees but missed two more chances and with Jacob unerring at the other end, slotting three in a row, Oulart began to open up a bit of a gap.

Úna Leacy finished excellently off her left after a strong catch under pressure from Sarah Dervan and that left Philip Rossiter’s team leading by 1-6 to 0-3 at the interval.

Mullagh showed real intent at the start of the second half but Monaghan’s pointed free was all they had to show for it.

Instead, Úna Leacy pounced on some hesitancy in the Mullagh full-back line to stab home from close range in the 40th minute and her little jig of delight told you that she knew it was a key score.

Packie Dervan’s charges never stopped trying but there wasn’t the same belief about them after that score. Louise Sinnott had the simple task of grabbing Oulart’s third goal in the 47th minute, having been left completely unattended, seconds before being replaced.

Stacey Kehoe, Jacob, Diane Ryan and Shelly Kehoe added white flags to leave Oulart-The Ballagh 15 points to the good when the final whistle was sounded.

Piltown players celebrate after the game Ryan Byrne / INPHO Piltown players celebrate after the game Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Piltown 1-10

Lismore 1-9

PILTOWN HELD OFF a late rally from champions Lismore to claim their first AIB All-Ireland intermediate club camogie title in bitterly cold conditions at Croke Park.

Snow fell as the teams came out onto the pitch and did their warm-ups but had thankfully abated by the time referee Peter Dowd threw the sliotar in.

Lismore started well, with their half-back line particularly dominant but after Aoife Hannon landed an easy free Triona McGlone had been halted illegally, Piltown hit back with three points in two minutes.

Edel Long started the mini-flurry when her dropping shot was batted over Lismore goalkeeper, Tanya Morrissey. Alice Talbot landed a free from the next attack and Niamh Culleton slotted immediately after from the right flank.

Piltown were motoring and it got even better for them when Chloe Blackmore grabbed a 12th minute goal.

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Chloe Blackmore with Sarah Coughlan Donall Farmer / INPHO Chloe Blackmore scored the game's opening goal at Croke Park Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

The move started when Sarah Fenton’s attempted clearance was blocked and after a wonderful bit of inter-play between Katie Power and Niamh Culleton, the sliotar ended with Blackmore, who drove low to the right corner of the Lismore net.

Lismore were not without chances but were ponderous in possession at times, getting blocked far too many times, while Piltown also filtered a lot of players behind the ball to deny them the space they normally thrive on.

The Waterford side were given a massive lifeline though when Aoife Hannon rocketed a 20m free to the Piltown net, despite the presence of 6 players between the posts, to leave them trailing by just 1-6 to 1-4 at half time.

Chloe Holden and Aoife Talbot quickly doubled the advantage after the restart and though Hannon hit a couple of excellent frees, Katie Power made it three before Piltown captain, Laura Norris landed a brilliant point to make it four once more with seven minutes remaining.

The Piltown defence had been completely dominant throughout, confining Lismore to two points from play. Irish soccer international, Karen Duggan and Kellyann Doyle were the standout performers.

Laura Buckley and Edel Long dejected at the final whistle Donall Farmer / INPHO Dejection at the final whistle as Laura Buckley and Edel Long console each other Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Player of the match, Doyle was magnificent at left half-back, cutting out the supply repeatedly and then using the speed that has made her the U18 400m hurdles record-holder to turn defence into attack.

Lismore threw everything at them, with Grainne Kenneally an inspirational figure. Nicola Morrissey had a goal correctly ruled out in the 57th minute as she was in the square when providing the finishing touch.

Hannon converted frees either side of a score from Kennelly to reduce the margin to the minimum but time ran out and it was Piltown’s day.

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