AIB All Ireland Senior Camogie Club final
Loughgiel 1-14 Sarsfield’s (Galway) 2-14
Loughgiel’s first appearance in an All-Ireland Club Camogie final ended in a 2-14 to 1-14 defeat by holders Sarsfields at Croke Park but the Shamrock’s gave it everything over a pulsating hours camogie and will inevitably reflect on the goals they conceded at the start of both halves as the reason for their ultimate downfall.
Siobhan McGrath’s early goal helped Galway side Sarsfield’s into a five-point lead after five minutes and at this stage of the game the big travelling Loughgiel support could have been forgiven for expecting the worse.
The Antrim and Ulster champions recovered from that terrible start and showed bags of courage, skill and determination and a goal from Caitrin Dobbin after 27 minutes saw them edge ahead before half-time before a late point from player of the match, Siobhan McGrath tied the contest at the halfway stage.
Things appeared to be swinging the way of the Shamrocks when Roisin McCormick, who was excellent throughout, edged them ahead from a pointed free on the restart but a Rachel Murray goal for the Galway girls after 7 minutes saw them take a lead they would not relinquish despite another battling comeback from Loughgiel.
The Shamrocks staged a second remarkable rally with Roisin McCormick leading the way with an exhibition of free taking as the Galway defence continued to concede frees in an effort to contain a rampant Loughgiel attack and with 9 minutes remaining it was all square for the 5th time in the contest.
Two minutes later McCormick responded again to a Niamh McGrath point for Sarsfields to level matters again but it was Sarsfields who found that final spurt going down the home straight with Niamh McGrath, Siobhan McGrath and substitute Sarah Spellman edging them four in front.
McCormick made it a three point game with her side’s final score from another free in injury time to conclude the scoring but it was Sarsfields who saw out the contest to claim the Bill & Agnes Carroll Cup for the second time in this calendar year as Player of the final, Niamh McGrath stepped up to collect the trophy.
Disappointment for Charlie Dillon’s side but Loughgiel can take a lot of satisfaction and pride from this performance and for periods in both halves they were the better team but those early goals in each half ultimately cost them a first title but they will surely be back for another crack next year.
Loughgiel: E Boyle; C Campbell, K Lynn, C McKillop; M Lynn, U McNaughton, S Devlin; A Boyle, L Mcaughton; C Laverty, M McKillen, A Connolly; C Dobbin, R McCormick, A Lynn. Subs: K McKillop for Connolly (45); C Boyle for Campbell (50); C Higgins for Laverty (62).
Sarsfields: L Glynn; R Kelly, L Ward, K Gallagher; T Kenny, M Cooney, J Daly; C McGrath, N McGrath; K Donohoe, R Murray, C Kenny; S Corcoran, S McGrath, C Kelly. Subs: S Spellman for Cooney (inj 24); C McGrath for Kelly (62)’ C Cahalan for Corcoran (65).
Loughgiel: R McCormick 0-9 (9 fs); C Dobbin 1-1; A Lynn 0-2; L McNaughton, M McKillen 0-1 each.
Sarsfields: S McGrath 1-5 (5fs); R Murray 1-0; C Kelly 0-2; N McGrath 0-3 (1f); K Donohoe, S Corcoran, S Spellman 0-1 each.
Referee: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny).