O’Brien to the fore in Division 1 battle with Éire Óg
Carnew Emmets are under-14 Division 1 camogie champions following a swashbuckling win over Éire Óg on Monday evening.
The irrepressible Karen O’Brien scored two of their five goals and was in imperious form throughout, as Carnew shrugged off the brave, second-half comeback from Éire Óg to ease to a well-deserved victory in Ballinakill.
A sweltering afternoon around the county gave way to a humid, overcast Monday evening in Ballinakill, where a bumper evening of camogie took place, with both the Division 1 and 2 league titles up for grabs on the night.
It was Carnew who grabbed the initiative in the division one decider, however. Karen O’Brien’s brace of early scores had them in front by one before the first major was fired across the bow, when Muireann Darcy’s initial shot was blocked into the path of Amy Jordan, who bundled into the back of the net.
The game slipped into something of a lull for the middle third of the first half, as both sides probed the other in search of openings. Fortunately for Carnew, they were propped up by the impressive Leanne Twamley at full-back and Maebh Molloy at centre-back, both of whom provided a steady platform for their forward colleagues.
After that initial skirmish of an opening ten minutes, the next score would not arrive until the 20th minute, when Muireann Darcy hooked a shot into the corner to double her side’s goal account.
Further scores from Laoise Doran and Muireann Darcy had them well in charge at 2-4 to 0-1 at half-time and, seemingly, cruising.
Then again, orthodox thinking would suggest that Carnew had the game well in-hand nine points to the good.
However, Éire Óg apparently read that script, scoffed at it, and threw it in the bin.
Within less than four minutes, Greystones had two goals back and the game was very much back on. First, the impressive, industrious Sadhbh Hartley scrambled a shot over the line.
Within a couple of minutes, Jessica Barrie reduced the gap to within just four points with a scrappy goal of her own, after Kate Myler had had an initial shot saved well by Abbey Finnerty.
All of a sudden, with 25 minutes left to play, there was an air of tension about the game, as nerves began to increase on the Carnew sideline. They needed a score to settle the nerves and reassert their superiority on the game.
Enter stage left, Karen O’Brien. The best player on the park amidst a large collection of excellent performances, hers in the heart of the midfield was commanding and skillful in equal measure.
And it was she whose goal on 37 minutes – a tantalising effort that floated over the head of Isla Burns – settled them back down. It also opened the floodgates, with Caoimhe Kinsella adding a fourth and Karen O’Brien netting her second of the day to all but put the game to bed, despite Éire Óg’s spirited attempts to drag themselves back into the game.
Subsequent scores from Laoise Doran, Maebh Molloy, and Muireann Darcy put the icing on the cake following an entertaining game showcasing the talent that has and will continue to emerge out of both Carnew and Greystones.
Carnew Emmets: Abbey Finnerty; Carly Brownrigg, Leanne Twamley, Olivia Austin; Aoife Neville, Maebh Molloy (0-1, f), Sophie Twamley; Karen O’Brien (2-3), Caoimhe Kinsella (1-0); Niamh Wafer, Laoise Doran (0-2), Colleen Gregan; Muireann Darcy (1-2), Amy Jordan (1-0), Leah Doran. Subs: Aoibhe Doran, Dearbhail Gregan, Faye O’Brien.
Éire Óg: Isla Burns; Dearbhla Kinsella, Ciara O’Farrell, Molly Howlett; Ciara Browne, Maisie Grey, Teagan Mullally; Caoimhe Davis, Aine Ryan; Jessica Barrie (1-0), Sadhbh Hartley (1-1, 1f), Kate Myler; Eimear Carey, Georgia Cullen, Saoirse Crean Ni Oireachtaigh. Subs: Sarah McCluskey, Siofra Scanlon, Layla White, Siofra O’Farrell, Abigail Breathnach, Faye Healy.
Referee: Max Molloy (Annacurra)