Colaiste Phobal Roscrea crowned All Ireland Junior Camogie champions for the first time

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Colaiste Phobal Roscrea crowned All Ireland Junior Camogie champions for the first time thumbnailColaiste Phobal Roscrea won the All Ireland Junior D camogie championship for the first time after defeating Clarin College Athenry by 7.7 to 1-3 in Crinkle on Saturday last.

COLAISTE Phobal Roscrea were crowned All Ireland Junior camogie champions for the very first time after a one sided affair with Clarin College Athenry on a wet Saturday last in Crinkill GAA pitch.
While the scoreline might suggest it was one way traffic, it was anything but. Roscrea were put to the test by their opponents in a strong tough affair but they were more than equal to the challenge and were by far the deserved winners.
For the Roscrea school they had reached a junior final before but were beaten on the day while this is Athenry's first time to reach a final. Both school's also have a number of players playing with their County U-16 squads.
Although it was Athenry's Elora Mahon who split the uprights within a minute of the start, Ciara Sammon had the sides level from a free one minute later. Caoimhe Flannery's sixth minute goal was the tonic Roscrea needed to get them off to a flying start, and they simply went on to build from there. Athenry couldn't control play as Eilish Gleeson and Aisling Ryan went racing upfield where Ryan picked out Fiona Scully who blasted past Carla Burke, Athenry's net minder, and Roscrea were well and truly on their way.
Clarin College began to make inroads for a brief few minutes with Ailbhe Keogh and Ciara Gill pushing for goal but Sharon Shanahan was very strong and dependable in centre back and taking control she fired back down field where Ciara Sammon stuck it in the back of the Athenry net after 12 minutes.
However, this advantage was short lived as Rachel Brogan's long shot was helped to the forwards by Aideen Cooley and after a pile up in the goalmouth eventually Ciara Gill forced the ball over the line with 11 minutes left to the break. Orlaith Phelan fired over at the opposite end but all the time Colaiste Phobal looked far more in control and dangerous with the entire team playing as a unit, something they didn't allow Athenry to do.
Roscrea, who were so determined and focused, were holding most of the possession but struck three consecutive efforts wide, forced out by great defending until full forward Fiona Scully struck for her second goal as she raced in, defying two Athenry markers, six minutes before the break.
The confidence was oozing and with each goal struck, Roscrea grew even more confident while Athenry heads were bending lower and lower. Athenry did manage to get the ball back upfield where Ailbhe Keogh went low for goal but Roscrea net minder Emily Doughan was well in control as she took hold and fired back outfield that brought about a great passing of play involving Orlagh Phelan and Ciara Sammon who in turn crossed to Reanne Conlon and as she picked out Fiona Scully, the Athenry goalie came out to challenge, slipped and lost control and Scully buried the ball which left Colaiste Phobal leading 5-3 to 1-1 at the break.
The young girls from Roscrea commenced the last half where they left off with Sharon Shanahan displaying wonderful judgement when she stepped up to take a long range free about 40m out and the ball went all the way to the back of the Athenry net in the 36th minute.
True to the Athenry form they dug deep to control the game in an effort to salvage something from the last half but try as they did they just couldn't handle the Roscrea storm that came at them. Shanahan converted a '45' while Aisling Quinn passed a lovely ball to Ciara Muldoon and she struck between the uprights keeping the Athenry flag flying. The Galway girls won a point but Elora Mahon badly missed the ball where Roscrea's Eilish Gleeson was quickest to react and collecting she fired the ball out of danger and back into play. Kate Hogan was having a great game, winning and feeding from the centre which was put to good use by the forwards.
Elora Mahon kept the Athenry flag flying when she pointed from a placed ball but that was as good as it got for the Galway girls as Andrea Scully buried the ball in the Athenry net with nine minutes of normal time remaining, the ball coming all the way up from Kayleigh O'Meara, to Kate Hogan and Orlaigh Phelan also involved.
With five minutes remaining, Sharon Shanahan dropped a 40m free to the forwards where Caoimhe Flannery leaped up and plucked from the air, crossed to Andrea Scully who offloaded to her sister Fiona and racing forward she slipped and crashed with the ball into the Athenry net. The umpire raised the green flag but after referee Aidan O'Brien consulted, the goal was disallowed as the game drifted towards full time. However, Scully dropped over a point on time while sister Andrea out on the wing, finished with two well taken points deep into injury time and Roscrea celebrated at the final whistle.
Manager Margaret O'Gorman, who has been nominated for an award for her commitment to sport in Colaiste Phobal, will attend the National Teachers Awards which will be held in Trinity College in Dublin on March 23 as a result of the nomination which came "from someone in the school". There are nine categories, but O'Gorman is down to the final five in the sport and commitment category. Commenting on the nomination she said "it's nice to be considered and thought of".
Speaking about the game she said that she knew what they were coming up against in Athenry. "Any Connaught team, any Galway team especially is going to be strong but I always had faith in my own girls. We had a wake-up call in the semi-final, a call we all needed but we came out fighting here to-day." she said. "The girls were primed, they were focused and we knew they wouldn't go down without a fight to-day".
Midfielder Eilish Gleeson commented that "everyone gave their best and we played 100% better today than we did in the semi-final. We knew it would be tough and they were physical". She praised the forwards and the backs "who were fantastic and availed of the opportunities," she said.
Player of the match Sharon Shanahan was a very steady reliable centre back who read the game well throughout. She was also an accurate free taker who bagged a fantastic long range goal from a free. "It was heavy on the field and conditions weren't good out there so my legs are sore now," she said after the game. "We thought the semi-final was our toughest game but it was nothing to this which was really tough and we took our chances and it paid off. We had a good lot of practice matches and we trained hard". The sturdy centre back thanked the management saying "they train hard too and they get sponsorship for us and they are great to look after us". On a final word, she hoped that would have no home work for the week!!
Player of the match: Sharon Shanahan (Colaiste Phobal Roscrea).
Scorers: Colaiste Phobal Roscrea: Orlaith Scully (2-3), Fiona Scully (2-1), Ciara Sammon (1-1, 0-1 free), Sharon Shanahan (1-1, 1-0 free, 0-1 '45'), Caoimhe Flannery (1-0), Orlaith Phelan (0-1).
Clarin College Athenry: Ciara Gill (1-0), Elora Mahon (0-2, 0.1 free), Ciara Muldoon (0-1).
COLAISTE PHOBAL ROSCREA: Emily Doughan (Shinrone), Alice Maher (Moneygall), Jane Cleary (Shinrone), Kayleigh O'Meara (Moneygall), Leah Ryan (Shinrone), Sharon Shanahan (Shinrone), Aisling Ryan (Naomh Brid), Eilish Gleeson (Shinrone), Kate Hogan (St Cronan's), Reanne Conlon (St Cronan's), Orlagh Phelan (Naomh Brid), Caoimhe Flannery (St Cronan's), Andrea Scully (Camross), Fiona Scully. Captain (Camross), Ciara Sammon, Vice Captain (Shinrone). Subs: Kelsey Wing (St Cronans) (for Fiona Scully, inj., 25 mins), Fiona Scully (for K.Wing, half time), Kesley Wing (for C. Sammon).
CLARIN COLLEGE ATHENRY: Carla Burke, Mairead Cooke, Rebecca Caulfield, Megan Greally, Nessa Cooley, Rachael Brogan, Laura Forde, Elora Mahon, Katie Brogan, Aideen Cooley, Ailbhe Keogh, Caoimhe Kennedy, Ciara Gill, Ciara Muldoon, Laoise Bond. Subs: Aisling Quinn (for C. Kennedy, half time), Kellie Naughton (for C. Muldoon, inj., 46 mins), Natasha Murphy (for L. Bond, 50 mins), Ruth Fitzgerald (for L. Forde, 29 mins), Leisha Long (for A. Cooley, 29 mins).
REFEEREE: Aidan O'Brien (Wexford).


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