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Bunclody win Rackard league Camogie A Final

Bunclody 1-6 Horeswood 0-3

It was a case of ‘The Clash of the Titans’ in Wexford Park last Wednesday evening when Bunclody took on Horeswood in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn A camogie final. Both teams entered into the fray with the possibility of completing a football and camogie county double in one season and both were in the hunt for a successive title after winning Rackard League camogie championships in 2014. Only one winner could take all however and so an intriguing finale beckoned.

It was Bunclody who began the stronger with a stiff breeze at their backs. Horeswood netminder Amy Ennis was called into play almost instantly to prevent an early goal and Bunclody had to settle with two Aoife Mahon frees instead to build up a quick lead. The game then opened up with a couple of goal chances at either end snuffled out by keen defending on both sides. From the beginning, Katie Kehoe and Emer hunt led a great defensive effort for Horeswood that lasted throughout the match.

Horeswood got back into the match through playing an energetic running game led admirably by Eadaoin Kent and Kathryn Dempsey. This seemed to trouble Bunclody for some time, but the hardworking Bunclody team gave nothing away at the back despite these repeated attacks. On the tenth minute mark, Aoife Mahon got the game’s first point from play to open up a three point lead just before Kate Foley got the score board ticking for Horewood with a good point of her own. With only two points between them at halftime, it looked like it would take something special or the break of a ball to separate the teams.

Horeswood came out of the blocks flying in the second half and looked to be in a strong position with the help of the breeze and much of the play in the Bunclody half. Two key plays got the Horeswood girls and their support going. A Horeswood free was won when Kate Foley and Aoife Mahon both caught the sliotar at the same time and refused to let go to the amusement of the stand. Then, Katie Kehoe put in three huge blocks in a row to rally the troops. Unfortunately they could not convert this period of dominance into scores and Bunclody’s Aoife Mahon came back into the game with a bang to punish them. Two fantastic points fitting for any final opened up a now sizable four point gap. The first was a massive free into the wind and the second came from a great catch and strike off the resultant puck out.

Kate Foley responded with two powerful shots at goal to get her team back in it but Bunclody keeper Rachel Kehoe was as solid as rock. With ten minutes to go, the killer blows came. Another Aoife Mahon free and an excellent Lisa Kelly goal brought the scores to 1-6 to 0-1. Kate Foley got two more points and Horeswood were unlucky to hit the goalpost as they fought to stay in it but Bunclody deservedly ran out winners over the hour. It was admirable to see even in the dying moments, Bunclody forwards Laoise Kearney and Riona Mahon working their socks off to keep Horeswood under pressure up front. Another day and maybe Horeswood would have had a little bit more luck in front of goal, but the great thing about sport is that no one can win them all.

~Seán Óg Whelan

Bunclody: Rachel Kehoe, Naomi Kavanagh, Ola Bialko, Tracey Furlong, Yvonne Kelly, Eilish O’Rourke, Lisa Kelly, Rebecca Murphy, Aoife Mahon, Caoimhe Jordan, Laoise Kearney, Eimear Kearney, Riona Mahon, Aoife Kavanagh, Chloe Murphy, Debbie Wilson, Doireann Ni Bhroin, Aoife Murphy, Ella Keane, Mollie Ring, Nicole Hawson, Sorcha O’Rourke, Rachel Black, Leah Morris, Jacqui Kehoe, Erin O’Leary, Rebecca O’Neill

Horeswood: Amy Ennis, Katie Kehoe, Emer Hunt, Ciara Walsh, Sinead Clancy, Lydia McGrath, Kate Foley, Jade Cleere, Kathryn Dempsey, Eadaoin Kent, Sarah Foley, Amy Cousins, Annie-Rose Lyng, Sarah Cummins, Mai Dempsey, Eimear Rowe, Yvonne Murphy Walsh, Hannah Chapman