Burgess/Duharra back in their seventh county final

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Burgess/Duharra back in their seventh county final thumbnailJenny Grace (Duharra) in control ahead of Gemma Fox (Annacarty). Pic: Rose Mannion. MT40829RM



Burgess/Duharra are back in the chase of their seventh County final after they saw off the challenge of a young Annacarty side in the semi-final held on Saturday last in the Ragg camogie pitch.
For the second successive year, Duharra made light work of this pairing again. In brilliant sunshine and a strong cross pitch breeze which favoured neither side, the gap was much wider this time round, thirteen points in fact compared to seven last year. Annacarty lacked determination, skill, speed and accuracy and it told in the end.
The reigning champions made it look all so easy as they looked sharper and more determined and without doubt, possessed a lot more skill when in possession, finding target far too easily.
It was the defending titleholders Burgess/Duharra who were first on the scoreboard when Ciardha Maher split the uprights in the opening minute, The evergreen Eimear McDonnell had her name on the score sheet less than two minutes later while Laura Reid had no bother as she fired over one minute later. Three points from three forwards in three minutes and the side was looking good but when Siobhan O'Neill dropped a long free to the forwards, it was Rosanna O'Donnell who caught the Duharra net to level the sides for the one and only time in the game after five minutes of play.
Duharra motored on with a Jenny Grace free but the writing was on the wall for the challengers when McDonnell struck for a ninth minute goal with fine passages of play from Jenny Grace and Amy Kennedy. McDonnell took up the corner forward position usually occupied by Tara Kennedy who is on the injury list.
Unable to get the ball beyond midfield, there was huge pressure building on the Annacarty backs and when Ciardha Maher struck for a tenth minute goal the game ended as a contest for Annacarty. The Duharra forwards and midfield were all over the Annacarty backs, crowding them out and commanding the game with Amy Kennedy and Ciardha Maher setting up Laura Reid who added a point to put a fine lead of eight points between the sides after twelve minutes while Eibhlish McDonnell worked hard to keep the Annacarty flag flying.
Joint captain Gemma Grace showed strong defending skills and when she leaped into the air and plucked a ball from the sky, it was crucial at that moment as Annacarty threatened a goal, but Grace fired out of danger and back upfield. Annacarty withstood another attack on goal but Jenny Grace kept the white flag waving from another free. Duharra came back on the attack through the hard working Amy Kennedy crossed to Jenny Grace and she found Ciara McKeogh who raced in and fired over. Ciannait Walsh finished out the half with a well taken midfield free but Duharra were in the driving seat with a cushion of eight points 2-7 to 1-2.
Ciara McKeogh dropped over her second point on the resumption and even before Annacarty had a chance to settle back down. Jenny Grace and Ciannait Walsh traded from placed balls but Annacarty were now tightening up more and defending better forcing Duharra off possession and even forcing them over the line and into error. They were also working a lot harder but were unable to get the results they so badly needed as Jenny Grace punished them with two further points from placed balls. Jenny Grace struck over her third free in fourteen minutes and with the ball up and down the pitch, the game lost its flow and began to turn into rucks. Eibhlish McDonald eventually raced in and fired over in the 47th minute, their second score in the last half.
As the game turned into a stop start affair with little threats from either side, Caoimhe Maher picked off a well taken point when she raced forward and fired over. Annacarty denied another Burgess attack when Sheelagh Carew dispossessed Eimear McDonnell and minutes later Ciardha Maher was forced out wide. Ciardha Maher and a Walsh (free) traded with seven minutes remaining but it was Duharra who finished proceedings with a Grace free in a lack lustre finish.
Player of the match: Gemma Grace (Burgess/Duharra).
Scorers: Burgess/Duharra: Jenny Grace (0-7, frees), Ciardha Maher, Eimear McDonnell (1-1 each), Laura Reid, Ciara McKeogh, Caoimhe Maher (0-2 each).
Annacarty: Rosanna O'Donnell (1-0), Ciannait Walsh (0-3, frees), Eibhlis McDonald (0-2).
BURGESS/DUHARRA: Ciara Holohan, Elaine King, Gemma Grace, Una Quigley, Maeve Moloney, Trish O'Halloran, Aisling Cremin, Caoimhe Maher, Jenny Grace, Ciara McKeogh, Amy Kennedy, Ruth Barry, Eimear McDonnell, Ciardha Maher, Laura Reid. Subs: Fiona McCauley (for C. Maher, 53 mins), Katie Grace (for M. Moloney, 54 mins), Emily Morrissey (for A. Kennedy, 55 mins), Grace O'Dwyer (for E. King, 60 mins), (Kaitlin O'Halloran for R. Barry, 60 mins).
ANNACARTY: Aoife Butler, Mary O'Dwyer, Sarah Burke, Laura Heffernan, Anne O'Dwyer, Siobhan O'Neill, Sheelagh Carew, Gemma Fox, Jean Kelly, Rachel O'Dwyer, Rosanna O'Donnell, Ciannait Walsh, Karen Fox, Sinead Buckley, Eibhlis McDonald. Sub: Aoife Ryan (for R. O'Dwyer, 48 mins).
REFEREE: John Lillis (Drom/Inch).


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