Nenagh Éire Óg have qualified for the county junior A Camogie semi-final, where they will face neighbours Kildangan, following an entertaining encounter with Holycross-Ballycahill at MacDonagh Park on Saturday afternoon.
County Junior A
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-11
The opening seven minutes all belonged to visitors as they camped in the Nenagh half, but only had one point to show for their endeavours. The next three minutes, however, belonged to the Blues as we opened up a lead that we never looked like surrendering. Sarah Quigley found the unmarked Alanna Morris from a puck-out who then in turn fed Grace O’Brien. Grace beat two players before blasting home to open our account with our very first attack. Nenagh added another goal almost straight away as Louise Hickey collected possession and found the lively Alicia Hallinan who expertly got around her marker before unleashing a low shot to the bottom corner. Grace O’Brien and Maeve Coffey added two more points to open the lead to 2-2 to 0-1 after eleven minutes.
Holycross added two pointed frees either side of two fine points from Grace O’Brien in the 13th and 21st minutes. Holycross finished the half on a high note as they scored two points before forcing Nenagh net minder Sarah Quigley into a brilliant save. Holly O’Brien finished Nenagh’s scoring with a point in the 27th minute to leave proceedings 2-5 to 0-4 at the half-time break.
Nenagh opened the second period in fine form with a Grace O’Brien point, but it was the visitors who managed to lift their game and rattled off 1-1 in the 37th and 39th minute to close the gap to four points, but it was to be the closest they got.
Substitute Kristen Howard fed Alicia Hallinan who duly pointed before a Holly O’Brien goal-bound effort was brilliantly stopped by the Holycross goalkeeper.
The defining moment of the game came in the 51st minute when Sarah Quigley was again called into action and she produced a magnificent save. The ball was worked up the field and Howard again was the playmaker finding Grace O’Brien with a great pass and the sharpshooter duly pointed. Holycross piled on the pressure to their credit, but could not break down a resolute Éire Óg defence and time and again the backs emerged with the ball to relieve the pressure.
The O’Brien sisters Holly (2) and Grace (1) notched up three points to leave the full-time score at Nenagh Éire Óg 2-11 Holycross-Ballycahill Camogie Club 1-5.
Overall the management team of Kieran O’Brien and Noel Coffey will be delighted with their charges. The backs mopped up a lot of pressure and showed a huge amount of maturity beyond their years. Aileen Duggan, playing in the unusual position of full-back, had a fine game with Kara Mulqueen and Emer Ryan beside her putting in a hard hour’s work. The half-back line of Ruth Hassett, Hazel McAuliffe and Alanna Morris were superb while Michelle Collins and Ciara McGrath did Trojan work at midfield. The forwards all hurled well and managed some magnificent scores over the course of the game.
Nenagh now face Kildangan next weekend in the county semi-final.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Sarah Quigley, Emer Ryan, Hazel McAuliffe, Kara Mulqueen, Ruth Hassett, Aileen Duggan, Alanna Morris, Michelle Collins, Ciara McGrath, Alicia Hallinan (1-1), Louise Hickey, Grace O’Brien (1-6), Leah Sheedy, Maeve Coffey, Holly O’Brien (0-4). Subs: Kristen Howard for Sheedy, Zoey Gratton for Coffey, Hazel Coffey for Hickey.
Referee: Pat Lynch (Loughmore-Castleiney).
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