Hurling and camogie gets day out in O'Dorney
The Allianz Cumann na mBunscol GAA/INTO Mini Sevens hurling and camogie county finals were played on the splendid hurling surface at Tom Healy Park Abbeydorney on Wednesday last. A record number of schools participated in the camogie competition this year with eleven schools entering.
In excess of 110 girls played in the round robin series of the competition and though the standard apart from the finalists was lower than previous years one could see the improvement in the skills levels as the competition progressed. Most of these girls were performing in the competitive environment for the first time and will no doubt have learned from the experience.
The powerful Lixnaw team claimed this year's title with a comprehensive victory over the Glenderry girls who were pipped by the narrowest of margins last year.
Killury, Sliabh a 'Mhadra, Buailín Siar, Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn, Drumnacurra, Lixnaw, Glenderry, Abbeydorney Ardfert, Ballincrossig and Kilflynn competed this year, with Lixnaw, Glenderry, Abbeydorney and Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn progressing from the group stages to the semi finals. Lixnaw and Glenderry contested the final for the second consecutive year.
Emma Conway was in sparkling form and notched two early goals to set her team on the way. Gráinne Walsh and Katie Stack added further goals to lead 4-2 to 0-0 at the break with the points slotted over by Emma Conway from placed balls. Glenderry to their credit battled back in the second half with Niamh Gentleman landing a goal. But, Liznaw were not to be denied victory and won 6-2 to 1-0 to claim a third title in a row for Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál Lixnaw. Niamh Gentleman, Aoibhe O'Halloran and Eilísh Gaynor were best for Glenderry while Emma Conway, Gráinne Walsh, Gráinne Shanahan and the Bright sisters, Isabella and Scarlett, were outstanding for the champions.
Lixnaw: Emma Conway, Grainne Shanahan, Helena Pike, Grainne Walsh, Leoine Walz, Grace Flaherty, Katie Stack, Isabella Bright, Scarlett Bright Michaela Goggin.
Glenderry: Aoibhe O'Halloran, Niamh Gentleman, Katie Ellen Reidy, Kate Kenny, Lauren Bowler, Eilís Gaynor, Jennifer Harty, Adi Corridon, Ciara O'Connor, Meadbh Griffin.
In the hurling mini sevens eleven teams went in search of glory Killury, Sliabh a 'Mhadra, Buailín Siar, Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn, Drumnacurra, Lixnaw, Abbeydorney, Ardfert, Ballyduff, Kilflynn and Glenderry all vying for the coveted county title claimed by Lixnaw last year. Following the group stages Ardfert, Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn, Kilflynn and Sliabh a' Mhadra qualified for the semi-finals.
Ardfert faced Kilflynn and got off to a great start when a long ranged point from Fiachra O'Connor deceived all and ended up in the Kilflynn net. Fiachra and Adam Mac Donagh were dominant at mid field and Odhrán Ferris was vigilant in goals and though tightly marked Fionnán Egan converted from tight angles to ensure a place in the final. For Kilflynn Killian Hussey in goal, Seán McElligott and Darren Nolan performed well.
The other semi final was a real ding dong battle as Sliabh a' Mhadra were two to the good with minutes remaining 0-4 to 0-2. Ruairí ó hAiniféin slotting over from frees and Ciarán Ó Chonchúir dominant at mid field. Gaelscoil created the goal scoring opportunity but Sliabh a' Mhadra goalkeeper Killian Hussey saved brilliantly and from the counter attack they slotted the insurance point and a place in the final.
Ardfert produced their best performance of the day in the final. From Odhrán Ferris in goal to corner forward and top scorer in the final Fionnán Egan they played brilliantly as a team using possession wisely and availing of the scoring opportunities. Fiachra O'Connor opened the scoring with a fine point but seconds later Jack Enright levelled. Fionnán Egan notched two goals and Fiachra O'Connor added a point as Ardfert led 2-2 to 0-2 at the break. Jack Enright adding the second for his school from a free. Fiachra O'Connor extended the lead with two fine points following the resumption and Egan added two more goals and a point to extend the Ardfert lead. Aodán Curley landed a late goal for Sliabh a' Mhara but Ardfert responded with a point from midfielder Fiachra who got excellent assistance in this area from Adam Mac Donagh and Dónal O'Sullivan to claim victory.
Ardfert: Odhrán Ferris, Gary O'Riordan, Keith O'Mahoney, Fiachra O'Connor, Adam McDonagh, Fionán Egan, Dónal O'Sullivan, Tom O'Flaherty, Seán O'Connor, Tiernan O Sullivan, Alex Mc Grath,
Sliabh a' Mhadra: Evan Boyle, Luke Kennelly, Alex O'Grady, Liam Patterson, Aodhán Curley, Dan O'Sullivan, Jack Enright.Callum Carey Sheehy, Cormac Patterson, Jamie O'Carroll.
Mr. Conor Kearney Allianz Cumann ns mBunscol hurling officer made the presentations to the winning captains and we thank Conor for organising the competition and also thank the Abbeydorney hurling club for the use of their fine facility.