Late rally earns Kildare a place in All Ireland semi-final.
Cavan 2-08, Kildare 2-09
Kildare U16 camogie produced an excellent final quarter to outscore opponents Cavan by seven points to one and advance to the All Ireland semi-final of the competition. Late on, Cavan did have the opportunity of an equaliser that their overall play probably deserved but Clodagh Keenaghan’s ‘45’ drifted wide of the right hand post and the referee’s final whistle sounded at the puck-out, to the delight of the visiting team, management and support.
Kildare began this game brightly and Emma Kielty pointed in the opening attack. However, just as in the previous game, the visitors failed to make their advantage of territory and possession count on the scoreboard with a number of scoring opportunities off target. Against the run of play Cavan edged in front with points from Niamh Keenaghan and Ciara Bannon. Kildare’s dominance was rewarded when Caoimhe McKenna sent over the equaliser and shortly afterwards took the lead when Eilis Mahon got a vital touch in a goalmouth scramble. The goal seemed to energise the home team who were now settled into the game and attacked with pace and purpose. Cavan recorded the last four scores of the half, all points from Clodagh Henaghan (free) Ciara Finnegan, Meghan Shields and Phillippa Watters and forced Kildare goalkeeper Aoife Coughlan to make a couple of good saves as they led by the minimum, 0-06 to 1-02 at the interval. During the opening half Kildare management were forced to make a change with Caoimhe Maher replacing the unwell Ciara Friel. Maher was to make a significant contribution before the end of this game.
Into the second half and playing with a slight breeze and a lot of confidence, Cavan were now dictating matters in this game. Gaining possession, Watters moved purposefully in on goal before sending an unstoppable shot past Coughlan and a clear lead for her side. Maher announced her scoring presence with a fine point as the Lillies endeavoured to stay in touch. This was soon cancelled by Bannon’s second point of the afternoon and, as the Cavan attack continued to stretch the Kildare defence, they were thankful for the form and pace of corner back Lilley Evans who averted the danger on a number of occasions. Towards the end of the third quarter Kildare registered two quick points, courtesy of Anna Gallagher and Maher to remain in touch. However, approaching the twentieth minute, following a melee near the Kildare goal, Cavan’s Emer Fitzpatrick got the important touch to force the sliothar across the line for a goal and a five point lead for her team. With the clock moving on and defeat and exit from the championship now a possibility, it was time for the young Kildare team to show character. This they did, firstly Maher pointed from a placed ball but this was cancelled when Eadaoin McDermott sent over in what was to be Cavan’s last score of the day. Then Ruth Clancy, playing well throughout, picked out Gallagher whose scoring effort dipped late and lovely for a green flag to reduce the deficit to two points. Kildare were now attacking with greater determination than earlier and two further points from placed balls (‘45’ and free) from the in-form Maher had the teams on level terms. With the scoreboard (incorrectly) showing Kildare ahead by a point, Gallagher sent over the lead point for Kildare which they maintained through the tense final minutes which included Keenaghan’s late brave effort to draw the game.
Cavan will, no doubt, be disappointed to lose this game. They were a match for Kildare in all aspects of this contest, with a number of players possessing very good skills and pace, but in the end came up just short. Kildare, to their credit, showed great determination in forcing their way back into a game that seemed to be drifting away. Now into the business end of the competition, they need to capitalise on periods of dominance, an issue likely to be addressed on the training ground in the lead up to the semi final.
Scorers, Kildare : Anna Gallagher 1-02, Caoimhe Maher 0-05, Eilis Mahon 1-00, Emma Kielty, Caoimhe McKenna 0-01 each. Cavan : Phillipa Watters 1-01, Ciara Bannon 0-02, Emer Fitzpatrick 1-00, Ciara Finnegan, Meghan Shields, Clodagh Keenaghan, Niamh Keenaghan, Eadaoin McDermott 0-01 each
Kildare : Aoife Coughlan, Sarah Cullen, Ciara Naughton, Lilley Evans, Eilis Kenny, Kate Christansen, Eimear Finn, Ruth Clancy, Ciara Friel, Emma Kielty, Caoimhe Sheil, Sorcha Gillman, Anna Gallagher, Caoimhe McKenna, Eilis Mahon. Subs used : Caoimhe Maher, Meabh Kennedy. Natasha Farrell, Jenny Cullen, Georgina Foley.
Cavan : Kara O’Reilly, Rachel Doureen, Jasmin Brady, Sinead Reilly, Meghan McKenna, Shanise Fitzsimons, Reanne Doureen, Ciara Finnegan, Eadaoin McDermott, Meghan Shields, Clodagh Keenaghan, Niamh Reilly, Ciara Bannon, Phillipa Waters, Emer Fitzpatrick. Subs : Rachael Fleming, Veronica Clarke, Katelyn McGonnell, Emma Colwell