A HAT-TRICK OF clinically taken goals from Maria Watson gave Milford a day to remember at Croke Park as they were crowned the AIB All-Ireland senior camogie champions after beating Killimor by a scoreline of 3-06 to 1-06.
Indeed, it was Watson’s quick-fire double in the space of a minute that blew this game wide open.
The first was a wonderfully-crafted effort, as Watson didn’t even have to break stride to crash the sliotar to the net in the 20th minute after a visionary pass from Marie O’Neill.
She scrambled a second almost immediately after to give Milford lead of 2-4 to 0-5 at half time.
Watson’s third saw her finish expertly from a Regina Curtin pass in the 41st minute and Frankie Flannery’s charges comfortably saw the game out from there.
Killimor, who won this title in 2011, kept plugging away but never threatened to breach the outstanding Milford rearguard until Brenda Hanney scored a brilliant goal in the 59th minute.
It was too late for any dramatic conclusions though and the Bill Carroll Cup was southbound.
Milford: M Watson 3-0; E Watson 0-4(fs); M O’Neill 0-2
Killimor: M Conroy 0-5 (0-4fs, 0-1 45); B Hanney 1-1
Milford: R Finn; K Galvin, M Walsh, L Healy; E O’Riordan, A Geary, S Sexton; O O’Mahony, A Thompson; E Watson, D O’Reilly, A Watson; M O’Neill, R Curtin, M Watson. Subs: L O’Flynn for A Watson (40); D Hayes for Galvin (56); A O’Flynn for Curtin (56); E Friel for M Watson (58)
Killimor: H Campbell; J Brien, K Brien, N Hanney; M Duane, AM Hayes, M Callagy; AM Starr, E Haverty; C Conroy, M Conroy, A Brehony; S Keane, B Hanney, D Starr. Subs: R Groves for Brehony (39); N Burke for D Starr (49)
Castlegar take intermediate crown
Earlier Saturday, Aislinn Connolly scored all but one of her side’s points in a player-of-the-match performance as Castlegar won the All-Ireland intermediate club camogie title at Donaghmore-Ashbourne.
The daughter of hurling legend John Connolly, the Castlegar woman was uncharacteristically off-target with a number of opportunities but her contribution of one goal and seven points was undoubtedly the significant one this afternoon.
A Lizzie Lyng goal helped The Rower-Inistioge into a 1-2 to 0-1 lead but Connolly planted a 20-metre free to the net at the other end of the field to put the sides level at the break on 1-3 apiece.
Three frees from the outstanding Kelly Hamilton propelled the Kilkenny champions to a two-point lead with ten minutes remaining but they failed to score again.
With Sara Kelly hugely influential, it was Castlegar that finished the strongest and three more points from Connolly and another from Katie Connell secured the honours for the Galway side.
Castlegar: A Connolly 1-7 (1-4fs, 0-1 45); K Connell 0-1
The Rower-Inistioge: K Hamilton 0-6(fs); L Lyng 1-0
Castlegar: E Concannon; K Murphy, D Burke, L Farragher; S Jacobsen, C Lee, O Keane; E Murphy, A Connolly; T Connolly, R Flaherty, S Kelly; K Connell, M Corcoran, M Farragher. Sub: T Kennedy for White (44)
The Rower-Inistioge: E Kavanagh; J Cullen, E Lyng, B Dempsey; E Hynes, K Hamilton, C Lyng; A Gannon, B Langton; S O’Mahoney, L Lyng, B White; C Lyng, C Ryan, A Lyng. Sub: K Noone for T Connolly (45)