Oulart-The Ballagh (Wexford) 3-13
Drom & Inch (Tipperary) 0-5
The Wexford stranglehold on camogie tightened further as Oulart-The Ballagh strolled to victory to claim the All-Ireland senior club title in comprehensive fashion at Croke Park.
Powered by the Leacy sisters, Úna and Mary, Ursula Jacob, Aideen Brennan, Stacey Kehoe and the outstanding Stacey Redmond, Oulart were much too powerful for a Drom/Inch outfit that failed to score in the first half.
To give the Tipperary gang their due credit, they never stopped trying, with Joanne Ryan and Michelle Shortt giving all that they had, but their efforts were fruitless against a team of such power, experience and talent.
The early exchanges were scrappy enough as the teams struggled to cope with the conditions. A pre-match shower of hailstones made handling difficult but Oulart gradually imposed themselves.
Drom/Inch goalie, Rosie Kenneally was called upon to be very brave when throwing her body in front of a Stacey Kehoe shot.
Jacob got the scoring under way after being placed cleverly by Louise Sinnott and though Niamh Harkin was brilliantly hooked at the other end by Ciara Storey, that was to be a very rare attacking foray by the Munster champions.
Kehoe had capitalised on more good work by Sinnott by the time Brennan poked the sliotar to an empty net in the 15th minute, after team captain, Una Leacy had drawn two defenders and Kenneally.
Jacob and Kehoe slotted two more points before Una Leacy finshed brilliantly to the net nine minutes later.
It was 2-6 to 0-0 at half time, with the closest Drom/Inch coming to breaking their drought when Harkin’s rasping shot for goal ricocheted off the upright just before the interval.
Hopes of a comeback were summarily dispatched by Oulart, who carried on as they had left off and opened up an 18-point margin by the 40th minute. Brennan notched up her second goal despite a valiant attempt by Kenneally to stop her shot.
Catriona Shortt finally landed Drom/Inch’s first point from a 43rd minute free and it marked a slight upsurge in fortunes.
Former Tipperary captain, Geraldine Kinane took a pass from Harkin to send a crisp shot over the bar and the industrious Ryan landed her side’s third successive point.
Mary Looby and Shortt also shot points before the end but there was never any doubt about the destination of the Bill Carroll Cup, Brennan, Jacob and Kehoe all raising white flags before the final whistle sparked delirious celebrations in the Oulart camp.
Scorers – Oulart-The Ballagh: A Brennan 2-2; U Jacob 0-7(2fs); Stacey Kehoe 0-3; U Leacy 1-0; L Sinnott 0-1
Drom/Inch: C Shortt 0-2(1f, 1 45); G Kinane, J Ryan, M Looby 0-1 each
Oulart-The Ballagh: H Jacob; C Atkinson, C Storey, K Atkinson; S Redmond, M Leacy, S Sinnott; D Ryan, Shelley Kehoe; T Stamp, U Jacob, L Sinnott; A Brennan, U Jacob, Stacey Kehoe. Sub: Sharon Kehoe for L Sinnott (53); A O’Connor for U Leacy inj (56); K Dunne for Stamp (58); E Moran for Brennan (58); D Kirwan for K Atkinson (59)
Drom/Inch: R Kenneally; P McGrath, L Bourke, N Connolly; N Harrington, M Shortt, T Shortt; S Bourke, J Ryan; G Kinane, A Kennedy, E Shanahan; C Shortt, N Harkin, M Looby. Subs: A Eviston for Kennedy (25); A McGrath for Shanahan (43); M Barry for T Shortt (43); D Dunne for Harrington (53); S Corcoran for C Shortt (60)
Referee: O Elliott (Antrim)
Eoghan Rua (Derry) 2-8
Ardrahan (Galway) 0-12
Eoghan Rua showed the resolve of champions as they retained their All-Ireland intermediate club camogie title in an incident-packed final at Croke Park.
The Derry girls were extremely fortunate to be still in the game at half time, having been outplayed for the majority of proceeding at that stage.
Goals from Jane Carey and Gráinne McGoldrick proved significant however, as they remained in touch at the interval, trailing by 0-9 to 2-0.
Manager, Joe Passmore clearly earned his corn at half time and his charges were a completely different proposition after the resumption, as they dominated the middle third having been over-run in that sector in the opening period.
With Gráinne McGoldrick playing plenty of ball and proving deadly accurate from placed efforts, and Megan Kerr benefiting from an increased supply, Eoghan Rua gradually got themselves in front and were deserved victors in the end.
Ardrahan will be devastated though, as that three-point interval lead was such a scant indicator of their superiority in the first half.
Brenda Kerins was on fire for the Galwegians, weighing in with three points from play. Her influence was curbed somewhat after Eoghan Rua captain, Méabh McGoldrick was given the marking duties, but that robbed the Ulster crew of a pivotal presence at centre-back.
Aoife Callanan was outstanding too, contributing four points and winning mountains of possession but with the 15th and 17th minute strikes by Carey and Gráinne McGoldrick, the game was still a contest when Ardrahan should really have been out of sight.
Crucially, Jane Carey, Kelly Maybin and Maeve Dillon helped effect a massive turnaround at midfield in the second half and their forwards responded to the increase in supply impressively.
That also enabled Méabh McGoldrick to return to centre-back and Kerins, starved of any ball, was eventually forced to follow her.
It was Gráinne McGoldrick who was the star though, shooting six second half points, while Kerr added a brace after showing good pace and elusiveness.
And yet Ardrahan might have snatched it, but goalkeeper Sara Skehill, who had goaled from a penalty in the semi-final, could only manage one point from two similar opportunities in the final six minutes.
Fittingly it was Gráinne McGoldrick who saved the second penalty and cleared. Callanan did reduce the margin to two points with a late free but Eoghan Rua held on to make it two-in-row.
Scorers – Eoghan Rua: G McGoldrick 1-6 (0-3fs, 0-2 45s); M Kerr 0-2; J Carey 1-0
Adrahan: A Callanan 0-6 (3fs, 1 45); B Kerins 0-3; S Gardiner (f), K O’Shaughnessy, S Skehill (pen) 0-1 each
Eoghan Rua: A Moore; A Carey, M Mooney, A Archibald; E McNamee, M McGoldrick, M Heneghan; K Maybin, J Carey; C Tracey, G McGoldrick, M Dillon; G McMullan, R McAleese, M Kerr. Sub: A Holmes for Tracey (55)
Ardrahan: S Skehill; M Howley, C Murphy, S Keehan; N Murphy, A Lynskey, S Gardiner; A Callanan, E Holland; A Brennan, S Healy, R O’Toole; S Forde, B Kerins, K O’Shaughnessy. Subs: O Keehan for Brennan blood (12-16); O Keehan for Howley (57); M Forde for Brennan (59)
Referee: J Dolan (Clare)