Carroll and Corry dominate as Bridge capture minor crown.
County Minor A camogie final
NEWMARKET ON FERGUS....2-4
By Michael O Connor.
The GAA season finally ended in Clarecastle at the weekend and fittingly the camogie sides of Newmarket and Sixmilebridge held centre stage for the last cup on offer in Clare GAA for 2010. Prior to the game the hurlers of Feakle/Killanena finished off a great season for North Clare capturing the Under 13 Mother hubbards division 1 title overcoming Clarecastle. The driving rain in Clarecastle did little to upset the ground conditions as both sides were in action in what a repeat of last weekends minor A hurling final.
Both sides had claims to feel they should win the title with the odds slightly favouring Sixmilebridge with marquee names of Clare camogie in their starting lineup. Sixmilebridge had three wides tallied up before the first meaningful attack from Newmarket on Fergus ended with a overhead flick to the Sixmilebridge net from Stephanie Coughlan for the perfect underdog start. Six minutes elapsed before Sixmilebridge finally assaulted the scoreboard courtesy of a Chloe Morey free as the NUIG student was engaged in a lively battle with county colleague Laura McMahon with the Newmarket girl holding her own against the Clare senior.
One of the stars of the Newmarket side over the duration of the game was youthful Rachel Kelleher in goal for half a dozen fine saves and indeed was most unlucky with two of the goals that eluded her as she got her hurl to close range shots. With the new age rules coming into force next year ironically she will not be able to play minor in 2011. Naoii Carroll forced a great save from Kelleher as Sixmilebridge were beginning to attack with more regularity. Carroll (2) and Niamh Corry had the sides level after nine minutes before the classy Carroll showed amazing touch and pace to race clear for Sixmilebridge’s first goal after 11 minutes. Carroll set up Sinead Touhy for a smart score before Kate O Neill responded for Newmarket after 21 minutes of keenly contested fare.
The rain that haunted Clarecastle kept away from this encounter until the final ten minutes. (1-2) from Carroll and Touhy between the 25th and 28th minutes surged Sixmilebridge (2-7) to (1-1) at the half time whistle with Sixmilebridge in total control for the final ten minutes of the first half as Newmarket defended with credit.
The odds on Newmarket winning lengthened considerably when Rachel O Halloran first timed a great effort to the corner of the Newmarket net a minute into the new half as the Blues were now 12 points adrift. Chloe Morey, Laura McMahon, Nikki Kaiser, Niamh Corry and Morey once more were on target by the end of the third quarter as the eventual champions led (3-11) to (1-3) with Newmarket hurling well but unable to finish in the final third as SIxmilebridge threatened through Carroll when in possession. 15 year old Nikki Kaiser hit (1-2) from frees in a three minute spell as her sides tally was doubled. The rain arrived for the final ten minutes as Sixmilebridge defended well despite honest attacking from Newmarket. Ciara Whelan blasted her sides fourth goal as Ali Quinlan and Naomi Carroll rounded off the scoring for a memorable win for the Bridge.
The champions had solid displays from Marie McGrath, Ciara Whelan, Chloe Morey, the determined Niamh Corry, Rachel O Halloran, Sinead Touhy, Ali Quinlan and the magnificent Naomi Carroll. Newmarket On Fergus did not deserve to be on the end of 16 point defeat but did not have the scoring threat that Sixmilebridge could lean on but had the heart to fight to the end. Their stars were Rachel Kelleher in goal, Joanne Hartigan, Joanne Walsh, Laura McMahon, Kate O Neill, Jenny Kelly, Kate Hayes and the impressive Nikki Kaiser.
SIXMILEBRIDGE: Eimear Murray, Sinead Hyland, Maire McGrath, Rachel Scanlon, Ciara Whelan (1-0), Chloe Morey (0-4), Ellen Roche, Niamh Corry (0-2), Fiona Murphy, Rachel O Halloran (1-0), Sinead Touhy (0-2), Niamh Whyte, Naomi Carroll (2-4), Ali Quinlan (0-2), Mairead Hyland. Subs; Laura Murray for Roche, Laura Whelan for Whyte, Emma Robbins for Hyland, Ciara Quinlivan, Niamh Murray.
NEWMARKET: Rachel Kelleher, Clodagh Lawlor, Joanne Hartigan, Sinead McInerney, Katie Hayes, Joanne Walsh, Brid Enright, Zelicka Browne, Nikki Kaiser (1-2), Kate O Neill (0-1), Laura McMahon (0-1), Jenny Kelly, Anne Marie Hayes, Caroline Feehily, Stephanie Coughlin (1-0). Subs: Saoirse Gleeson for Hayes, Laura Commane for O Neill,
REFEREE: Aidan Lynch