a captain's performance from Orla Fitzgerald inspired Kilrush to a memorable victory in the Under-14 camogie Roinn 2 championship final at Killurin on Sunday.
The dominant deadball expert swatted frees for fun and, with her midfield partners Lorna Fortune and Aoibhe McSweeney, shone in the centre of the field to help her side to championship glory.
It was always going to be a tough ask for the victors up against a really talented, up-and-coming Horeswood team. The New Ross District girls already had a football title under their belts coming into the game and were confident of adding another trophy to their ever-expanding cabinet.
They started off in the ascendancy and went three points to nil up after the opening ten minutes. Róisín Parker nailed a second-minute free and that was followed by a brace from stand-out Horeswood attacker Kate Foley.
Kilrush needed something special to get themselves back into the game and it came via Emma Tomkins' outstretched hurl as she deflected Orla Fitzgerald's long-range free into the net past an unfortunate Emer Hunt.
Points from Elena Kenny and Parker gave Horeswood a 0-6 to 1-0 advantage but back came Kilrush with 1-1 from frees from the unstoppable Fitzgerald.
Another Kenny point meant that the sides were deadlocked at the interval.
The Kilrush defence was impressive throughout, especially the full-back line of Meg Donnelly and Tina Walsh who, with Sarah Kenny's help, prevented Horeswood getting an all-important goal.
It was a sensational third quarter that really drove the Gorey District club to the title.
Fitzgerald drilled four dead balls and a point from play in the purple patch as Kilrush went from level pegging to five clear (2-6 to 0-7).
Horeswood got their first score of the second-half in the 48th minute through Parker.
Fitzgerald responded but two points from Katie Foley did narrow the gap to three heading into added time.
It was then that Kenny made a great save in the Kilrush goal to deny any last-gasp heroics and, despite a fourth Parker raised white flag in added time, there was nothing going to stop Fitzgerald picking up the trophy on behalf of her side.
Kilrush: Sarah Kenny; Meg Donnelly, Tina Walsh; Elizabeth O'Sullivan, Eilish O'Rourke; Lorna Fortune, Orla Fitzgerald (capt., 1-7, 1-4 frees, 0-2 '45s), Aoibhe McSweeney; Emma Tomkins (1-0), Mia Rothwell; Aisling Crawte, Shannon Hayes. Subs. - Jenny Doran for Walsh, Naoise Hennessy for Hayes, Rachel Kavanagh for Crawte, also Sian Rothwell, Caitlin Black, Abby Walsh, Edana Mimnagh, Amy Moore.
Horeswood: Emer Hunt; Ciara Corish, Katie Kehoe; Jade Cleere, Róisín Parker (0-4 frees); Sinéad Clancy, Leanne Rowe, Elena Kenny (0-2); Kathryn Dempsey, Katie Foley (0-5); Michelle Kinsella, Eadaoin Kent. Subs. - Amy Ennis for Kent, Maria Cairns for Cleere, also Amy Cummins, Ava Cooney, Annie Rose Lyng, Yvonne Murphy-Walsh.