Ivan Smyth at Bekan
Shamrocks were crowned Connacht Intermediate Camogie champions as they secured a surprisingly comfortable victory over Athleague of Roscommon in Bekan last Sunday.
The win sees the club that represents the parishes of Loughrea, Kilnadeema and Leitrim qualify for the All-Ireland semi-final next weekend, when they will face the Munster champions, either Kerry’s Clanmaurice or Shannon Rovers from Tipperary, who meet this weekend in their provincial decider.
The margin of victory was something few in attendance would have predicted, especially as Shamrocks trailed 1-6 to 1-4 after 18 minutes. During that period, this looked set to be an encounter that would be decided in the final moments of battle but instead Shamrocks fired home 4-5 without reply either side of the break after falling two behind.
The winners plundered an uninterrupted 3-4 without reply before the break to take complete control.
The Roscommon champions looked worthy challengers in the opening throes of this contest. Katie Donoghue (free) and Niamh McInerney helped Shamrocks into an early advantage inside the Dome before Athleague hit back in style.
Tara Naughton converted a free while from the resulting puckout, Kelly Hopkins’ long range delivery broke to inter county player Naughton as she blasted home from close range.
With both sets of forwards looking menacing with the ball bouncing off the surface and into the attackers’ hand, it was Shamrocks turn to respond. Niamh McInerney produced a fine delivery into Emily Lawless with the corner-forward wheeling away and burying to the bottom corner of the net.
Athleague began to take a measure of control after the goal though. Fitzmaurice, Naughton (free) and Niamh Conway all found the target, and despite a McInerney response, Shamrocks were being pinned back.
Pictured: The Shamrocks squad that captured the Connacht intermediate title last Sunday. Back row, from left: Shannon Ridge, Andrea Comar, Aisling Coen, Ava Lawless, Mary Larkin, Caoimhe Lynch, Amy Morgan, Caroline Lawless, Leanne Lawless, Jessica Waldron, Miranda Comar, Leah O’Halloran, and Katie Gilchrist. Front: Emma Lyons, Shauna Murray, Niamh McInerney, Ciara McClearn, Avril Donoghue, Katie Donoghue, Ciara Donoghue, Ally Hesnan, Rachel McInerney, Sarah Devine, Lonnie Drennan, Leah Fallon, and Emily Lawless. Photos: Joe Keane.
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