Gailltír Seize title After Gripping Final

County Intermediate Camogie Championship Final 2018

Gailltír 1-17
De La Salle 2-13

Brian Flannery at the WIT Arena

Gailltír regained the Waterford Senior Camogie title in the wake of a pulsating one-point victory over De La Salle at the WIT Arena on Sunday last.
A sparkling display from the Fitzgerald cousins Annie and Aoife who contributed 1-12 between them had a major influence on the destination of the County trophy.
This was a real heavyweight battle between two fine teams and after 60-plus minutes a single point separated the sides.
Gailltír deservedly led by four points at the break having bossed the opening period. However an Abby Flynn three pointer mid-way through the second levelled the game after 42 minutes. It was anyone’s title from there to the tape. Crucially thereafter Gailltír hit three in a row and five of the next seven points and held just enough nous and experience to hold off the De La Salle challenge. In this game deciding period, player of the game Annie Fitzgerald hit four out five of her sides final points.

The Gailltír team celebrate their slender Senior County Final victory over De La Salle at the WIT Arena on Sunday last. 							| Photos: Noel Browne

The Gailltír team celebrate their slender Senior County Final victory over De La Salle at the WIT Arena on Sunday last. | Photos: Noel Browne

De La Salle, without a title at this level, looked nervous at the start with Gailltír making the far better opening. The pace of Annie Fitzgerald at half-forward was causing all sorts of problems for her opponent and it was no surprise that after 8 minutes a searing run from the Gailltír Number 12 ended with Aoife Fitzgerald billowing the net to put her side 1-2 to 0-1 ahead. It took a fabulous save from Brianna O’Regan to deny Annie Fitzgerald a second Gailltír goal after 14 minutes as the former champions were stamping their authority on the game.
County player Kate Lynch was having a good day at centre-forward for the Barony with both Emma Roche and Áine Lyng operating in the same postal code as the prodigious Beth Carton and managing to mostly restrict her influence.

Three successive points Áine Lyng, Annie Fitzgerald and Aoife Fitzgerald swelled the Gaultier lead to seven points (1-9 to 0-5) approaching the break.
Beth Carton and Abby Flynn were the only scores for De La Salle throughout the game and attracted all the attention from the Gaultier defence.
By game’s end, four Gailltír players found their names in referee Martin Quilty’s notebook for personal fouls on the De La Salle twin scoring threat.
In first half injury time Ciara Jackman struggled to control a long delivery with corner forward Holly Ryan gathering the breaking ball before being hauled down by Margo Heffernan. There was no hesitation in the awarding of the penalty and with similar haste Beth Carton crashed the ball to the net to give De La Salle renewed hope trailing 1-9 to 1-5 at the break.
Beth Carton was De La Salle’s only scorer in the first half which included two fine points from play.

De La Salle’s Niamh Murphy in control as she wins possession.

De La Salle’s Niamh Murphy in control as she wins possession.

Carton opened scoring in the second half with a free after having been fouled herself with Annie Fitzgerald replying with a nap shot on the run.
Abby Flynn was becoming far more influential with Carton converting the free when her scoring partner was obstructed on route to goal. Moments later Abby Flynn had a point of her own from play to reduce the margin to just two points (1-10 to 1-8) after 38 minutes. Annie Fitzgerald and Áine Lyng pointed to restore a four point advantage for Gailltír after 40 minutes. Beth Carton converted another placed ball when Abby Flynn was fouled to bring the margin back to a goal. Niamh Murphy won possession in centre-field and passed to Carton on her shoulder who in turn placed an inch perfect pass to Abby Flynn in the corner.

Flynn immediately turned her marker and evaded two more challenges before shooting low to the net to bring the sides level (2-9 to 1-12) with 18 minutes to play.
Points in succession from Annie Fitzgerald (2) and Aoife Fitzgerald was the perfect response from the girls in sky blue to keep their opponents out of reach.
As the game swung from end to end, Beth Carton converted two more frees with Annie Fitzgerald matching her county colleague point for point with two of her own to keep the margin three points approaching full time. A pointed free in the 60th minute and another in injury time from Beth Carton reduced the margin to the minimum with time almost elapsed. Carton saw a final attempt at goal go narrowly wide with referee Martin Quilty blowing the full-time whistle seconds later to trigger the Gailltír celebrations.

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