03 Jun 2017

Loreto Gorey and Ballindaggin play out the game of the season

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Ballindaggin 4-1 Loreto Gorey 3-1

Spectators in St. Patrick’s Park last Wednesday were treated to the Rackard League game of the season when they witnessed a truly great final between Loreto Gorey and Ballindaggin. With the Roinn B Allianz Cumann na mBunscol camogie title up from grabs, the stakes were high as these girls competed for glory. The end result was a final that will be talked about for a long time after.

Ballindaggin got off to a very good start in the first half, but missed several of their excellent goal chances. On fifteen minutes, Cerys Fortune soloed through and cut in for the game’s first score. With Róisín Dobbs and Niamh Doyle busy up front, the Ballindaggin girls went on to create and miss further goal chances as the half progressed. One could only feel that they could regret these spurned chances later in the game. This point was hammered home when the sleeping giant of Loreto Gorey found some devastating attacking form just before halftime.

Led by the impressive Siun Murdiff in midfield, the Gorey girls plundered a hatrick of goals just before halftime. While Murdiff was responsible for all three of these goals, she was ably assisted by Tara O’Connor and Caoimhe Browne on each occasion. This sensational seven minute salvo left the Ballindaggin girls stunned going into the halftime break.

The second half saw the terrible trio of Murdiff, O’Connor and Browne exert more pressure in attach and it looked like Ballindaggin’s chance had gone. When Murdiff powered through for her team’s first point of the game, it looked like all was lost. Ballindaggin lobbed in an Isobel Kavanagh 65 but repeatedly saw more of their goal chances spurned by a determined Loreto defence. Tamara Kelly also had a shot saved by Mia Kinsella in the Loreto goal.

These events made the closing stages of the game even more spectacular. Inspired by the tenacious Rebecca Codd and Isobel Kavanagh in defence, the Ballindaggin girls suddenly clicked into gear as the game entered its final ten minutes. Lauren Smyth started the comeback with a well taken goal. Then Anna Roban put her team right back in contention when she went on a mazy solo run and blasted straight to the back of the net. With five minutes to go, Niamh Kinch caught the ball on the edge of the square and produced an unstoppable bullet to level the game.

Loreto were now all at sea and frantically tried to chase the game. The momentum had shifted however and the instrumental Rebecca Codd repeatedly provided good ball into her forwards until Anna Roban conjured the winning goal. There was some late drama before the final whistle as Loreto were afforded one last gasp chance to equalise. This time a close range Murdiff free did not make it over the Ballindaggin line to the relief of their huge support. A titanic finish in many ways, this game is one that will be fondly remembered in Ballindaggin for many years to come.

Ballindaggin: Anna Kinsella, Eimer Tobin, Heather Boyce, Katie Bowe, Isobel Kavanagh, Anna Roban, Rebecca Codd, Cerys Fortune, Lauren Smyth, Róisín Dobbs, Emma Healy, Niamh Doyle, Tamara Kelly, Caitlin Doyle, Naomi Kavanagh McCarthy

Loreto Gorey: Mia Kinsella, Jennifer O’Gorman, Ava Callaghan, Anna Funge, Tara Cushe, Kila Kenny, Tara O’Connor, Siun Murdiff, Caoimhe Browne, Síofra Kenny, Niamh Kinch, Leah Owley O’Reilly, Eva O’Connor, Ciara Nolan, Clodagh Funge, Abbie Kinch, Karonlina Kwaitowska, Sophie Fitzpatrick