Joy for Annacurra after replay thriller
Annacurra 1-6 Aughrim 1-4
Last Sunday evening in Arklow saw the women of Aughrim and Annacurra to lock horns again in what turned out to be a very entertaining camogie final.
The start of the game was played at a fairly frenetic pace, but scoring was at a premium in the opening phases of play due to both defences been very strong on top of that there was a breeze that was difficult to judge.
After a period of great defending, Annacurra hit the first score from play from Grainne Quigley who judged the breeze to perfection to land a great score from play.
This score kicked Aughrim into gear. This led to an Aughrim goal through midfielder Emma Murphy who latched on to the ball in the midfield and hit a ball in towards the goal and after the sticks went flying the ball ended up in the back of the Annacurra net.
Annacurra then hit their purple patch on the score board. The first of these scores coming from the aforementioned Quigley who yet again judged the breeze well, hitting another point from out the field.
Annacurra corner-forward Sarah Barnes then managed to win a ball out near the side-line and from a very acute angle she managed to split the posts with a fine point.
With the sides now level, Annacurra hit what turned out to be a huge blow for Aughrim in the context of the match, wing forward Aisling Shannon latched onto a ball near the 21-yard-line after a melee near the goal.
Shannon hit a fierce shot which rattled the back of the net. From nearly the next attack Shannon then fired over a great score. With the game edging towards the half time whistle Aughrim fired over a free from Sheenagh Byrne. Leaving the score 1-1 to 1-4 at the half-time whistle.
The second half started much like the first with both defences seeming to come out on top. A lot of the play was in the middle third of the pitch. Aughrim hit the first score of the second half after about six minutes of play with Sheenagh Byrne hitting over another free from out the field.
For the next few minutes both teams evened each other out before Annacurra hit a ball in towards the Aughrim square this resulted in some fine defending from Aughrim who eventually got rid of the ball this resulted in a 45 for Annacurra which Nicole Quigley calmly slotted between the posts.
With both defences being so strong, scores were very hard to come by for both sides, especially from play. Aughrim hit their next score, from a free from Byrne.
Annacurra then responded with a fantastic long-range free through Grainne Quigley. With the game edging near the final whistle, Aughrim tried everything to get the goal to level it. The game was in its dying moments when they won a free on the 21-yard-line which Byrne quickly put over the bar.
The referee allowed one more attack in which Aughrim managed to manufacture another 21-yard-free. Byrne was over the free and hit it towards the goal, but Annacurra defended heroically and eventually cleared the ball to win the game by two points, 1-4 to 1-6.
Annacurra: Kali Thompson; Nadine Fitzgerald, Eimear Gregory, Cara Robinson; Aisling Quigley, Grainne Quigley (0-3), Sarah Lifely; Emily Rose Byrne, Niamh Shannon; Grace O'Sullivan, Emma Doyle, Aisling Shannon (1-1); Sarah Barnes (0-1), Nicole Quigley (0-1f), Ciara Shannon. Subs: Alison Moules for Ciara Shannon.
Aughrim: Grace Harper; Aine O'Shea, Eirin O'Toole, Aoife Healy; Doireann O'Brien, Aoife O'Brien, Emer O'Toole; Ellen O'Hare, Emma Murphy (1-0); Mia O Connor, Kate Campbell, Sheenagh Byrne (0-4f); Annette Keenan, Rachel Campbell, Katie O'Byrne. Subs: Aoife Bolger for Katie O'Byrne, Ava Whelan for Mia O'Connor, Amy O'Neill for Annette Keenan.
Referee: Damien Byrne (Kiltegan)