Despite trailing by seven points at half-time the Nenagh Éire Óg junior A Camogie fought back brilliantly in the second half to come within a puck of a ball of an excellent Holycross team at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Friday evening. Indeed, based on this display the Blues will now look forward to testing themselves against the very best in the county semi-finals.
County Junior A Camogie Championship
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-7 Holycross 1-13
Holycross, one of the favourites to win the county title, raced into a 1-1 to no-score lead inside the opening five minutes.
Julie Moylan’s effort at a three-pointer drifted agonisingly wide in the eighth minute before a Holly O’Brien free following a foul on Louise Hickey got the home side off the mark in the tenth. Julie Moylan then set Holly O’Brien up for a smashing left-handed effort to cut the deficit to two points in the 12th minute – 0-2 1-1.
A second Holycross point re-opened the three-point gap before the Holycross ‘keeper made a stunning save to deny Holly O’Brien a goal in the 14th minute.
In the 17th minute a Holly O’Brien free reduced the margin to two (0-3 to 1-2), but Holycross then proceeded to hit three points without reply to force themselves into a five-point lead.
Éire Óg ‘keeper Sarah Quigley made a stunning save to deny Holycross a goal in the 24th minute, but Holycross added two further points and led 1-7 to 0-3 when Holly O’Brien converted a ’50 in the 30th minute.
A Holycross effort at goal hit a post in the 31st minute and in the 32nd Holycross notched another point which helped the visitors into a 1-8 to 0-4 interval lead.
The Éire Óg team were superb in the second half. Despite facing a terrific team in Holycross the Blues battled on gamely and displayed all of the qualities that we have come to associate with this group of players.
A super individual effort from Michelle Collins got the Blues off the mark during the opening minute of the second half. Holycross then added two frees and a point from play to their tally to lead 1-11 to 0-5 by the 36th minute.
Éire Óg required a tonic and found it in the 37th minute when Holly O’Brien picked out Louise Hickey and the full-forward buried her shot in the roof of the Holycross net (1-5 to 1-11).
To their credit Holycross hit back with two points (one free), but a second Éire Óg goal, this time from Michelle Collins, dragged the Blues to within striking distance with fourteen minutes to play (2-5 to 1-13).
In the 54th minute Holly O’Brien converted an awkward free following a foul on Ciara McGrath and two minutes later Holycross scrambled the ball clear following a surging run from Aileen Duggan.
At the opposite end of the field Sarah Quigley and Alanna Morris combined to deny Holycross a late goal before Aileen Duggan fired over a point which left just three in it (2-7 to 1-13) entering injury time.
Éire Óg poured forward in search of an equalising goal, but Holycross stood firm.
As a result Holycross will progress to the semi-finals as group winners. Nenagh Éire Óg have also progressed to the semi-finals and would really appreciate your support in the last four. Please keep an eye on the club website and social media channels for updates on this vital fixture.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Sarah Quigley, Amy Heffernan, Rachel Maher, Kara Mulqueen, Saoirse Gleeson, Ciara McGrath, Rachel Spillane, Michelle Collins (1-1), Alanna Morris, Aislinn O’Brien, Sarah O’Connor, Aileen Duggan (0-1), Louise Hickey (1-0), Holly O’Brien (0-5, 0-3 frees, 0-1 ‘50), Julie Moylan. Subs: (HT) Elaine Slattery for Sarah O’Connor, (42nd) Mairéad Sheridan for Julie Moylan.
Referee: Joe Cahill (Kilruane MacDonagh’s).
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