Slaughtneil (Derry) 1-9 St Martin’s (Wexford) 0-7 - AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Camogie Final
Tina Hannon scored a goal and six points and was named player-of-the-match for the second year in succession as Slaughtneil completed a remarkable AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Championship three-in-a-row while the snow fell at Croke Park.
And though the landmark has been achieved by four clubs on five previous occasions, Kilkenny powerhouses St Paul’s managing it twice, this is the first time a team from a county not operating at senior level has done so.
That speaks volumes for the Carntogher crew, particularly as they were without three of last year’s victorious side and still produced their best final performance.
As usual, while former Offaly star Hannon might have been the headline act, she had no shortage of backing, Bróna Ní Chaiside, Aoife Ní Chaiside, Shannon Graham, Louise Dougan and Faoiltiarna Burke among the highlight performers.
As newcomers to this stage, St Martin’s probably could have done with a good start but the opposite occurred as Hannon cut inside from the left and shot for point in the fourth minute.
She didn’t catch it properly however, and to the horror of four-time Wexford All-Ireland winner and two-time All-Star Mags D’Arcy, the sliotar dropped into the corner of the net.
Josie McMullan added a point soon after and though Emma Codd got St Martin’s off the mark in the 10th minute, Slaughtneil struck five of the next six points, including two classy efforts from play by Hannon and another brace from placed balls, as well as a smart finish on the swivel by Graham.
Chloe Foxe converted a free for St Martin’s and they did have the last say of the half as Linda Bolger raised a white flag from a poor puckout by Joelene Bradley, with the rain teeming down.
That left it 1-6 to 0-3 at the interval and as the rain transitioned into sleet and then heavy snow, Slaughtneil quickly went about putting the game to bed.
Hannon did the needful from a free within seconds of the restart and then fed Aoife Ní Chaiside, who sprang forward from centre-back to split the uprights and put eight between them.
St Martin’s tried all they knew but they needed a goal and Bradley saved Codd’s 47th minute penalty to maintain a stunning record of not conceding a major since the opening quarter of last year’s All-Ireland Final.
Slaughtneil went into protective mode and St Martin’s fired the last three points via Bolger, Foxe (free) and Lettie Whelan but for the third year in a row, there would be no denying Slaughtneil.
Slaughtneil: J Bradley, G O’Kane, B Ní Chaiside, C McEldowney, E Ní Chaiside, A Ní Chaiside (0-01), B McAllister, S Graham (0-01), F Burke, L Dougan, T Hannon (1-07 0-05f), S Bradley, T Mellon, J McMullan, S Mellon.
Subs: N Glass for T Mellon (56), C Ni Mhianáin for McMullan (60+2), E McGrath for McAllister (60+2)
St Martin's: M D’Arcy, A O’Connor, N Lambert, MC Morrissey, A Ennis, K O’Connor, M Barrett, C O’Connor, E O’Connor, A Cardiff, L Bolger (0-02), C Foxe (0-3 0-03f), E Codd (0-1), A Cronin, L Whelan (0-1).
Subs: L Firman for Ennis (41), A Hennessy for E O’Connor (41), A Ryan for K O’Connor (53), S O’Connor for Whelan (60+2)
Clonduff (Down) 0-10 Gailltír (Waterford) 0-9 - AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Camogie Final
It was a pillar-to-post victory for Clonduff as they grabbed their first AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Camogie title but they were pushed all the way by a youthful Gailltír side.
Victorious skipper Paula Gribben was the driving force for the Down women with an all-action display but had more than ample support from the Carr sisters, Sara-Louise and Fionnuala, who scored four points between them on the 25th anniversary of their father Ross securing his second All-Ireland Senior football title with Down.
The trio were one of 10 players that were members of the Down team that lost the All-Ireland Intermediate Final last September and so were putting those bad memories to rest.
The big news before throw-in was that dual All-Ireland winner with Waterford, three-time Soaring Star and seven-time All-Ireland Poc Fada champion Trish Jackman, who is a lecturer in the University of Lincoln, was making her first start since Gailltír’s All-Ireland Semi-Final loss to Eglish two years ago.
Jackman was sited at full-forward but could only look on as Clonduff flew out of the traps and twice built up a five-point advantage.
That included the first five scores of the game, Gribben converting three frees and a 45, and Sara-Louise Carr firing over a brilliant point.
Annie Fitzgerald would play a key role in dragging Gailltír back into proceedings, getting her side’s opening score from play and converting a free immediately after being fouled.
Sara-Louise Carr stretched Clonduff’s advantage once more with a neat point and that score was quickly followed by a monstrous one from the middle of the field by Fionnuala to make it 7-2.
But Gailltír were settling into the game and getting a real return when running at the heart of the Clonduff defence, with Fitzgerald in particular a constant thorn, while Áine Lyng and Emma Roche began to exert a greater influence in deeper positions to provide more of a platform for the pacy attackers.
They struck the last three points of the half via the sticks of Clodagh Carroll and Fitzgerald ('45 and a free) to trail 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval.
They might have gone in ahead though, as Fitzgerald was put through by Jackman in injury time, only for Clare Gilligan to first make a brilliant hook and then foul the marauding centre-forward. Lyng took the resultant penalty but it was saved by a combination of Karen Haughey and then Sara-Louise Carr in the last action of the half.
The second period followed a similar trend as Clonduff dominated the third quarter, Sara-Louise Carr banging over her third point and Gribben, who was picking up so much ball around the middle third, putting four between them once more from a placed ball.
Gailltír took over from then on but will rue near-misses with shots for goal from Jackman, Carroll and Fitzgerald.
The latter reduced the margin to the minimum with three scores, the third from play in the 58th minute after wonderful work by Kate Lynch, but crucially Gribben responded with a fantastic conversion of a free outside the 45 after a heavy challenge on Megan O’Reilly.
Lyng made it a one-point game once more from a free but Clonduff defended resolutely to hold out.
Clonduff: K Haughey, N O’Hagan, J Boden, S Murphy, C McGilligan, E Rafferty, F Carr (0-1), B Fitzpatrick, C Cowan, C Fitzpatrick, SL Carr (0-3), P Gribben (0-6 0-05f, 1 '45), O Gribben, K McGilligan.
Subs: M O’Reilly for Rafferty (ht), R Mulholland for C Fitzpatrick (57)
Gailltír: C Jackman, E Mahony, M Heffernan, C Dunne, L Sheridan, E Roche, H Flynn, S Fitzgerald, A Lyng (0-01), C Carroll (0-01 0-01f), Annie Fitzgerald (0-070-04f 2 '45), K Lynch, A Corcoran, T Jackman, E Walsh.
Subs: C O’Sulivan for Walsh (ht), Aoife Fitzgerald for Corcoran (ht), Corcoran for Carroll (54)
Referee: J McDonagh (Galway)