Waterford 2-9 Kildare 1-5: Waterford have endured much heartbreak since making the step-up to the intermediate ranks in 2012 but after a deserved victory over a valiant Kildare unit, they will now be preparing for top flight camogie next year.
The Déise girls had fallen at the penultimate hurdle in each of their three previous campaigns at this level but having scored three second-half goals to edge a one-point verdict over Meath on this occasion, they were in no mood to waste the chance.
They were hot favourites, despite fielding five minor players, as they had beaten Kildare twice already this year and won the Division 2 league title.
Nerves might have played a part though, as they endured a horror start that would have derailed teams of less character.
But midfield duo, Trish Jackman and player of the match, Lorraine Bray thundered into the fray to deny Kildare’s dangerous looking attackers possession and in the end, they were full value for their win.
Stephen Fleming’s charges were rocked as Kildare flew out of the traps with Noelle Earley hand-passing to the net in the third minute, having been received a pass from Susie O’Carroll. Points from Melissa Lyons and Emer Reilly followed and Kildare were having fun.
Waterford never panicked and scored the next two goals and four points to establish a firm foothold in the game.
Leaving Cert student, Beth Carton got them off the mark and she followed up from a free before Bray and Jennie Simpson reduced the margin to one.
Then came two goals either end of the break that broke Kildare. The first came in the 29th minute when Aisling Power showed good strength before rifling to the Kildare net.
Then two minutes into the second half, Beth Carton sent a powerful shot beyond the Lilywhite defenders from an angled 20m free and it was Waterford’s to lose from then.
It took until the 52nd minute for the gifted O’Carroll to get her first score of the game, and though she followed up with another excellent effort from play three minutes later, Waterford were in control.
Midfielder partners Jackman and Bray had the final say, with the former slotting a free before Bray profited from tremendous work by Carton to slot her third point from play.
Scorers for Waterford:
B Carton 1-2(1-1fs); L Bray 0-3; A Power 1-0; T Jackman (f), J Simpson, N Morrissey, N Rockett 0-1 each
Scorers for Kildare:
N Earley 1-0; S O’Carroll (1f), M Lyons 0-2 each; E Reilly 0-1
D Brennan, K McMahon, C Whyte, V Falconer, J Simpson, C Raher, I Heffernan, T Jackman, L Bray, C McGlone, N Morrissey, B Carton, D Power, N Rockett, A Power.
S Curran for D Power (28), V O’Brien for Rockett (46), Rockett for Morrissey (48), C Murphy for McGlone (56)
R O’Connell, C Flanagan, C Nolan, F Trant, A Lyons, R Gorman, C Farrell, C Forde, O Bambury, L Keatley, S Hurley, E Reilly, S O’Carroll, N Earley, M Lyons.
H McDonnell for Forde (50), D Byrne for Trant (52)
J Byrne (Dublin)
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