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Friday 14 December 2018

Champions Knockananna beaten

Camogie Senior Championship: Donard-The-Glen 6-7 Knockananna 3-7

Sive Byrne of Donard is chased by Aimee Maher of Knockananna
Sive Byrne of Donard is chased by Aimee Maher of Knockananna

Liam O'Loughlin at Knockananna

Donard came into this clash against current County Senior Camogie title holders Knockananna with a one hundred per cent record.

The champions, for their part had dropped a point when they were held to a draw by Glenealy in Glenealy.

They were minus a couple of players on this occasion because of a clash with the Rose of Tralee festival and the presence of a Wicklow Rose from Tinahely in the competition.

The game was played in Knockananna on Tuesday evening last August 21st on a fine sunny evening.

The home side made the quicker start and were ahead by 1-1 to no score after four minutes.

Laura Hogan at full-forward opened the scoring with a point from play and corner-forward Loretta Mutton netted the goal three minutes later.

However, the strong midfield partnership of Sive Byrne and Katie Anne O'Neill began to assert themselves for Donard and play moved dramatically in the direction of the Knockananna goal.

Corner-forwards Kelly O'Neill and Claire Whelan scored two goals in the space of two minutes and from here on Donard were very dominant for most of the first half.

Their full-forward line was dangerous every time the ball went in but the Knockananna full-back line defended valiantly and, with centre back Claire Byrne and wing-back Emily O'Reilly playing well and hurling a lot of ball, Donard were unable to reflect their dominance on the score board.

Claire Whelan pointed a free and had another point from play. Donard had a stroke of good fortune on 21 minutes when an attempted effort for a point from outfield by Katie Anne O'Neill went all the way to the net.

This score seemed to stir Knockananna into a bit of a fight back over the last ten minutes of the half.

Shannagh Goetelen and Aimee Maher were gaining parity at midfield and with Laura Hogan now operating at centre-forward, the champions came more into the game.

Sarah Byrne scored a point and when Lorretta Mutton got her second goal two minutes from the break Knockananna were back in the game. The half-time score stood at 3-3 to 2-2 in favour of Donard.

Knockananna needed to keep the momentum going early in the second half but Donard got the start that the champions needed.

Kelly O'Neill had the ball in the Knockananna net in their very first attack and added a point straight from the puck out.

Claire Whelan added another point from a free to leave Donard with a cushion of a nine-point lead after five minutes of the half.

Knockananna fought their way but didn't score until a thirteenth minute point from a free by Niamh Byrne.

Two minutes later Niamh Mutton raised their hopes when she got their third goal.

Shannagh Goetelen, who had a great second half, followed with a fine point and for a brief period the champions were back in the hunt.

However, Nora O'Neill responded with a point and when Kelly O'Neill buried a close in free in the net for goal number five, it was clear that this would be Donard's game.

Amy Switzer added a point but even though the champions continued to battle and had points from Sarah Byrne, Niamh Byrne and Eireann Moules, the Donard girls had the final say with a sixth goal scored by Claire O'Neill and a final point from Kelly O'Neill.

That full-forward line started strongly and finished strongly. It leads to an interesting conclusion to the Camogie Championship. Donard are now back in the final while we are told that Knockananna and Glenealy must play off for that second place. Final score Donard 6-7, Knockananna 3-7.

Scorers - Donard: Kelly O'Neill 3-2, Claire Whelan 2-3, Katie Anne O'Neill 1-0, Nora O'Neill 0-1, Amy Switzer 0-1. Knockananna - Lorretta Mutton 2-0, Niamh Mutton 1-0, Sarah Byrne 0-2, Niamh Byrne 0-2, Laura Hogan 0-1, Shannagh Goetelen 0-1, Eireann Moules 0-1.

Donard: Lynsey Walsh; Katie Daynes, Jenny Tyrell, Amy Barrett; Casey Kelly, Lizzy Brophy, Carmel Whelan; Sive Byrne, Katie Anne O'Neill; Aoife Grace, Nora O'Neill, Amy Switzer; Claire Whelan, Zena Carey, Kelly O'Neill. Subs Cleo Dwyer and Samantha Mills.

Knockananna: Macayla Murphy; Orla Kealey, Aine O'Keeffe, Sarah Tallon; Derbhla Byrne, Claire Byrne, Emily O'Reilly; Shannagh Goetelen, Aimee Maher; Niamh Byrne, Sarah Byrne, Eireann Moules; Lorretta Mutton, Laura Hogan, Niamh Mutton. Subs. Eirin Byrne.

Referee: Brian Deering (Rathvilly).

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