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Carnew Emmets were simply unstoppable

Annacurra defeated in Intermediate decider 

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The Carnew team celebrate after their victory over Annacurra in the Intermediate camogie final.

The Carnew team celebrate after their victory over Annacurra in the Intermediate camogie final.

Carnew captain Shauna Keogh with her son, Páidí

Carnew captain Shauna Keogh with her son, Páidí

Carnew supporters Margaret Doran and Kathleen Keogh.

Carnew supporters Margaret Doran and Kathleen Keogh.

A piper led the players onto the pitch

A piper led the players onto the pitch

Hugs all round.

Hugs all round.

Nicole and Brooke Curran

Nicole and Brooke Curran

Aoife and Evan Kenny.

Aoife and Evan Kenny.

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The Carnew team celebrate after their victory over Annacurra in the Intermediate camogie final.

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Carnew Emmets 1-10

Annacurra 0-9

The background to Carnew’s Intermediate camogie championship triumph over Annacurra was dominated by the occasion’s contemptible disorganisation. Earlier in the morning, a significant number of the panel were playing for the club’s footballers in a successful Junior ‘B’ championship semi-final.
Barely two hours after that game finished, those same dual players were lining up in an intermediate camogie final, having been afforded little time to enjoy their achievement that morning, not to mention recover from it.
This dispiriting itinerary only reflected the grit, determination, and quality that many of those players possess, not just to play both games, but to win them.
It certainly helps when you can boast the ability of Nicole Curran and corner-forward. Of Carnew’s 1-10, she scored 1-9. 1-7 of that tally came from placed balls, and her cutting edge rarely looked misplaced. She was lazer-focused with a hurl in-hand.
She was not on her own, of course. Shauna Keogh was outstanding at centre-forward and was a regular port of call for Caitlin Hughes from puck-outs. It was a real team effort, all the same, and it had to be against an Annacurra side that met Carnew head on in a physical war of attrition.
The game was competitive from minute one to minute 60+, between the 2020 junior champions and the beaten intermediate finalists. Both sets of players will be waking up with bruises, such was how much of a battle it was. That’s not to suggest that there was a degree of ill-feeling or confrontation about the game – there wasn’t – rather it was a match between two sides that had no intention of leaving Arklow without the trophy.

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In a game that was destined to be decided by the small margins, it made sense that it was that little bit of quality that Nicole Curran brought that was the principle difference when all was said and done.
Her four points, one from play, one 65’, and two frees, had Carnew in command at the water break at 0-5 to 0-2, and while Annacurra stuck with Emmets for much of the second quarter, matching them blow for blow through points from Siofra Byrne and Emma Doyle, Curran’s radar was unwavering. She ended the half with 0-9 as Carnew led by 0-9 to 0-4.
The second half never really settled into any recognisable rhythm. The physicality was the same as it was in the first half, but the difference was that the longer the game wore on, the more tired the players became. Couple the two elements together and it makes for a stop-start 30 minutes of camogie, during which many players required treatment for a litany of impact injuries.
Siofra Byrne, who was impressive on the day, was unable to complete the game, as she went off with a knee injury with five minutes left to play in the second half.
This all meant that scoring was at a premium, and while Annacurra did manage to get back to outscore them over the course of the second half, they were not able to do enough to drag themselves back into the game and threaten to turn the game on its head.
The game was all but won within five minutes of the restart. Unsurprisingly, Shauna Keogh was in the thick of things; first towering over those around her to win a Caitlin Hughes puck-out on the right-hand side.
This instigated a move that saw Hughes and Ella Doran combining well down that right flank before the latter was sent into space around the back of the Annacurra full-back line. Before she could get a shot off, she was brought down within sight of the goal and a penalty was given. Up stepped Nicole Curran, who confidently stroked the ball beyond Leanne Lifely in the goalmouth.
It was that extra bit of insurance that gave Carnew the comfort and security to keep Annacurra at an arm’s length. They only managed one more score in the game, coming from the also impressive Maire Deegan.
Annacurra tried their utmost to battle their way back into the game but could not manage it, as Carnew Emmets completed their two-for-two on a day when they should not have needed to do so.
Carnew Emmets: Caitlin Hughes; Emma Kinsella, Aoife Darcy, Marie Doran; Alanna Dagge, Ciara Wafer, Sinead O’Leary; Mary Collins, Maire Deegan (0-1); Ella Doran, Shauna Keogh, Erin Callaghan; Aoife Callaghan, Orlaith Molloy, Nicole Curran (1-9, pen, 7f, 1 65). Subs: Emma Kelly for O. Molloy (50), Grace Cosgrave for E. Doran (60+5).
Annacurra: Leanne Lifely; Saidhbh Byrne, Colleen Clune, Juliette Ni Chonaill; Caoimhe Murphy, Sarah Lifely, Jamie O’Neill; Siofra Byrne (0-2), Niamh Shannon; Laci-Jane Shannon (0-2, 1f), Emma Doyle (0-2f), Hannah Doyle; Alison Moules (0-1f), Nadine Fitzgerald (0-2, 1f), Aisling Shannon. Sub: Laura Doyle for J. O’Neill (36), Molly Hynes for N. Fitzgerald (40), Claire Byrne for A. Shannon (50), Keelin Stafford for A. Moules (50), Chloe Cullen for S. Byrne (50), Ellen Walsh for S. Byrne (55).
Referee: Ciaran Russell


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