Milford turn on the magic
By Stephen Barry
Milford 5-17 Ballincollig 0-07
Milford became the first team to capture back-to-back Cork senior camogie titles since Cloughduv in 2002 with a 25-point hammering of Ballincollig yesterday.
Ballincollig, playing in their first final, sought to become the seventh first-time winners of the senior crown in the past 11 years, but the Cork, Munster and All-Ireland champions had virtually sealed victory as early as first-half injury time, when they reeled off a pair of goals, from Orlaith O’Mahony and Maria Watson, to stretch the interval-gap to 10 points.
“The way the championship has gone this year, a lot of the teams have played nine or 10 against us in the backs,” said captain and player-of-the-match Elaine O’Riordan, “so I’ve ended up being the free-player sweeping at the back. It’s the way the games are going against us, but we’re learning to deal with it so it’s grand.”
The much feared North Cork side found their way around Ballincollig’s seven-player defence as early as the fourth minute with a Deirdre O’Reilly goal.
Ballincollig stuck doggedly to their task, blocking and harrying Milford and reducing the deficit to three. However Milford’s late run of 2-1 punctured Ballincollig’s dreams.
Maura Flanagan added a fourth goal early in the final period as the game became somewhat ill-tempered. However Milford saw out the storm and the floodgates opened for them in the final quarter, adding 1-10 without reply.
“It was a really special one to win and it means more than last year’s win in a way,” said two-time winning captain O’Riordan.
“A lot of teams find the second-year syndrome hard to overcome, especially after such a great year last year, but as you can see, the hunger is still there within the team.”
A further sign of the changing of the guard in Cork camogie came in the Senior B final where the county’s oldest and most successful club, Glen Rovers, took their first title at that grade.
Led at centre-back by Lauren Callanan, they built up a seven-point half-time lead over Éire Óg. Erin Corkery scored 1-1 to renew the Westerners hopes but Denise Luby and Sinead O’Halloran sealed the 1-13 to 2-7 victory.
Scorers for Milford: M Watson, L O’Flynn (1-3 each), E Watson (0-5, 1f, 1 pen), D O’Reilly (1-1), M O’Neill (0-4), O O’Mahony, M Flanagan (1-0 each), S O’Flynn (0-1).
Scorers for Ballincollig: D Cronin (0-5, 3fs, 1 45), L Dorgan, M O’Donoghue (0-1 each).
MILFORD: R Finn; M Walsh, L Healy; E O’Riordan; K Galvin, A Geary, A Watson; A Thompson, O O’Mahony; E Watson, D O’Reilly, S O’Flynn; M O’Neill, M Flanagan, M Watson.
Subs: L O’Flynn for O’Flynn (42), D Hayes for Healy and A O’Flynn for Thompson (52), E O’Friel for E Watson (56), N O’Connor.
BALLINCOLLIG: S O’Sullivan; A Kiely, E Murphy, L Weste; S Buckley; E Casey, K O’Donoghue, C Ryan; D Cronin, J Hennigan; M O’Donoghue, L Dorgan, P Buttimer; A Coughlan, S Coomey.
Subs: C Hennigan for Dorgan (37), S Barry for Ryan (58).
Referee: C Egan (Glen Rovers).
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