Rackard League Camogie Final 2012

Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Roinn ‘A’ Camogie Final

Third time lucky for Piercestown/Murrintown girls

Piercestown/Murrintown 5-5 Craanford 2-1

Craanford almost completed a three-in-a-row in Bellefield on Tuesday last only to be denied by the goal-scoring force of the girls from Piercestown. On the back of a Roinn ‘C’ title in 2010 and a Roinn ‘B’ title in 2011, Craanford had strong claims towards this years Roinn ‘A’ title and up until half time they looked to be on their way.

Piercestown started very well, threatening the Craanford goal early and calling Craanford goalkeeper Rebecca Doran into making a good save from Siobhán Alouf. Piercestown got the first score of the match in the fifth minute when Lettie Whelan saw her effort go in off the point for a well-taken point. Clodagh Walsh then hand-passed to Lettie Whelan who clipped over for her second. Craanford got their own account up and running when Katie Smyth collected a long Rebecca Doran puck-out and converted it into a well struck point from out the field.

It took some time for more scores to follow as both teams battled it out and defences rose to the fore. It was Piercestown who eventually made the breakthrough when Ciara O’Connor hit a dangerous ball across the goal for Clodagh Walsh to finish into the back of the net. Lettie Whelan was unlucky not to grab a second Piercestown goal immediately after when she rattled the side netting. Moments later she got a consolation score when she slotted over a 45 to bring the scores to 1-3 to 0-1.

It was Craanford who finished the half the stronger from here on in and got their offensive game going largely due to the efforts of Emer Kavanagh who hit some great ball up the field and Katie Smyth who was doing some great work in midfield. They got their just rewards when Emma Poole took on the entire Piercestown defence and somehow got her shot off to blast the sliotar into the top corner of the net. Craanford tried in vain to build on this momentum as the half drew to a close but were denied time and time again by a valiant Piercestown defence.

Piercestown came out in the second half and stunned Craanford with an early goal, Lettie Whelan passing to Siobhán Alouf who handpassed to the net while under pressure. Piercestown continually used the slight breeze and the excellent puck-outs of Megan Carty to keep the pressure on Craanford early in the half. Craanford began to respond through Katie Smyth who repeated made some great solo runs up the field and were unfortunate not to get a second goal when Amy Kelly was foiled by a smart Megan Carty save. It was Piercestown who were creating all the scoring chances at this stage and as the half progressed the scores began to flow. Ciara O Connor scored a well taken point and then Ella O’Connor made a tremendous overhead catch from a Craanford clearance and scored a goal with a dangerous high ball that went all the way. Ciara O’Connor caught another high ball to score her second point of the half and then Amy O’Leary nearly got a goal of her own only to be denied by an excellent Rebecca Doran save.

In the 17th minute of the half, Katie Smyth carried yet another ball the length of the field and passed to Emma Poole for her second goal and momentarily it looked like Craanford could get back into it. It wasn’t to be their day however as Piercestown had that little bit extra up front and they put the icing on the cake with a fifth goal when Ella O’Connor scored a fantastic goal from an acute angle and Elaine O Sullivan Connell tapped over a free with the last stroke of the game.

The final whistle was greeted with wild celebrations from the Piercestown girls who understandably were delighted at finally landing the title. Rackard League Co. Chairman Jim Dempsey presented the cup to winning captain Emma Codd and praised the great and growing traditions of both schools in the competition. For Craanford, this final represented the beginning of a great camogie dynasty for the future. For Piercestown it was the end of heartbreak after coming close in the two previous finals.