Milford marvels make history
By Daragh Ó Conchúir
Milford 3-06 Killimor 1-06
A resolute defensive performance fronted by player of the match Sarah Sexton, Anna Geary and team captain Elaine O’Riordan, was at the very core of Milford’s historic All-Ireland Senior Club camogie championship-winning display at Croke Park on Saturday night.
Such was the overall work ethic of the North Cork girls they completely snuffed out the considerable threat of Killimor duo, Brenda Hanney and Martina Conroy.
“I’m delighted for the girls” said manager, Frank Flannery.
“It’s a monumental occasion. We didn’t play particularly well but we won. Finals are for winning and that’s the main thing. We were a bit edgy but we said if we conceded no goals we’d win the match.
“I think up to today we conceded 2-6 from play all year. We conceded 1-1 today. Eight games, 3-7. That’s good. That’s what our game is built on. You see our wing-forwards, they tuck back like footballers and that’s the way the game is gone.
“We didn’t expect Emer Watson’s free to go over the bar and it did so that’s a bonus. It was a big score at the time and I think it took off from there. I think Anna [Geary] and Sarah Sexton really brought us into the game as well.
“Regina [Curtin] did so well too. She has been sick all week but you wouldn’t have known it out there as she gave absolutely everything. That’s what these girls are about.
Two goals from Maria Watson and another by Deirdre O’Reilly augmented those defensive efforts to cement Milford’s night to remember.
In particular, it was their quick-fire double in the space of a minute that blew this game wide open.
The first was a wonderfully-crafted effort, as county football star O’Reilly didn’t even have to break stride to crash the ball to the net in the 20th minute after a visionary pass from the outstanding Marie O’Neill. Watson scrambled a second almost immediately after and Milford led 2-4 to 0-5 at half-time.
Watson finished expertly from a Regina Curtin pass in the 41st minute and Flannery’s charges saw the game out comfortably from there.
Killimor kept plugging away but never threatened to breach the outstanding Milford rearguard until Brenda Hanney doubled a brilliant goal in the 59th minute.
It was much too late for Tommy Callagy’s crew to fashion any sort of comeback but even in the couple of remaining minutes, they never looked like denying their opponents a deserved success.
Scorers for Milford: M Watson 2-0, E Watson 0-4fs, D O’Reilly 1-0, M O’Neill 0-2.
Scorers for Killimor: M Conroy 0-5 (4fs, 1 45); B Hanney 1-1.
Milford: R Finn; K Galvin, M Walsh, L Healy; E O’Riordan, A Geary, S Sexton; O O’Mahony, A Thompson; E Watson, D O’Reilly, A Watson; M O’Neill, R Curtin, M Watson.
Subs: L O’Flynn for A Watson (40), D Hayes for Galvin (56), A O’Flynn for Curtin (56), E Friel for M Watson (58), N O’Brien for Healy (58).
Killimor: H Campbell; J Brien, K Brien, N Hanney; M Duane, AM Hayes, M Callagy; AM Starr, E Haverty; C Conroy, M Conroy, A Brehony; S Keane, B Hanney, D Starr.
Subs: R Groves for Brehony (39); N Burke for D Starr (49).
Referee: G O’Dowd (Limerick).
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