With all the Cup and Shield Finals of the Camogie Leagues down for decision there was a feast of camogie over the weekend at a number of venues. Top of the bill was the meeting of Johnstown Bridge and Celbridge in the Senior League Cup in Leixlip on Sunday in which Johnstown Bridge exacted a measure of revenge for their defeat by Celbridge in last year’s Championship Final on a 2-12 to 1-5 scoreline and laid down a marker as the team to beat in this years upcoming championship. It was also a red letter day for the Bridge as their victory was the first senior trophy for the club. The Bridge were just about shading the first half and were leading 0-6 to 0-4 coming up to half time. But just on half time Susie O Carroll managed to shake off her marker and finished to the net to give Celbridge a 1-4 to 0-6 lead at half time.
Johnstown Bridge, however dominated the second half due in no short measure to the exploits of Roisin O Connell who notched up two goals assisted by Siobhan Hurley points from frees as well as an excellent performance overall. Ciara Mooney and Emma Farrell showed up well in the Bridge attack to give the Celbridge defence a torrid time , while their defence led by Ashling Holden and Jenna Murphy held the Celbridge attack to just on point in the second half.
This was a double for Johnstown Bridge as their Juniors won the Division 2 Shield beating Broadford on a score line of 4-6 to 2-1
Meanwhile in the Senior Shield Final St. Laurence’s showed that they are no back number with a comprehensive win over Clane. Playing against the wind and the hill Laurence’s completely dominated the first half as their forwards went on a scoring spree the feature of which was a hat trick of goals by full forward Lizzie Finnegan with Reiltin Treacy and Maria McNaughton contributing a goal each. Clane rallied a bit in the second half but their attacking efforts were comfortably dealt with by a strong Laurence’s defence while two further goals put the final outcome beyond doubt.
Scorers St. Laurence’s Lizzie Finnegan, 3-0, Lorraine Bowes 0-5, Reiltin Treacy 1-1, Amanda Fullam 0-2, Louise Keatley 0-2, Maria Mc Naughton 1-0, Carol Nolan 1-0, Mel Treacy 1-0.
Clane Ciara Smullen 0-2, Melissa Lyons 0-1.
The most exciting contest of the day was the Junior Div 1 Cup Final which saw Athy emerge narrow winners over Celbridge after extra time. Playing with the hill and wind Celbridge led 3-3 to 1-2 with goals coming from Sarah Kelly and Aisling O Halloran and another from a goalmouth scramble while Avril Carroll contributed three points. Eveleyn Crowley 1-0 and Emer Garry 0-2 kept Athy in touch
With the wind now in their favour Athy dominated the early exchanges of the second half and scoring 2-2 without reply took a two point lead . Emer Mc Manus goaled just after the restart and Katie Moylan registered another major while Garry added another two points to her tally from placed balls. However a Celbridge major from Lorraine Mann revived Celbridge’s challenge and after Athy’s Emer Garry and Celbridge’s Katie Devine exchanged points, Athy’s Eveleyn Crowley’s late point left it all square at full time.
A Garry goal from a long free early in the first period of extra time proved to be the decisive score. Points from Celbridge’s Sarah Kelly and Catherine Pierce narrowed the gap but again it was Athy’s Eveleyn Crowley who finished the scoring with a point to seal the issue.
Laurence’s also completed a double when their Juniors ground out a 4-9 to 2-6 victory over a young Moorfield team in the Division 1 Shield in a match that seemed to go on for an inordinate amount of time. As the match progressed Laurence’s experience began to come to the fore with Pamella Donovan dominating at the back and player of the match Elaine Miley scoring 3-1 of Laurence’s halftime score of 4-4 their first goal coming from a scramble and a brace of points from Alison Keatley in quick succession and a single from Maggie Keatle. Louise Mc Mullen with a goal and Derval Kelly two points provided Moorfield’s halftime score of 1-2 .
Moorfield might have expected to do better with the wind and in fairness they stopped the goal rot but Miley was still able to throw over another five points while a further 1-2 by Kelly and points from Fionnuala Kelly and Ciara Conaty and good work by Clodagh Cummins and Shauna Doyle were not enough to bridge the gap.
In the Intermediate Cup Final played in Sallins on Wednesday Leixlip just shaded a closely fought encounter with Naas emerging 1-12 to 2-7 winners in the end. Leixlip led 1-5 to 0-2 at half time. Clodagh Farrell was the star of the show scoring most of Leixlip’s tally.
In the second half a Marie Bergin goal put Naas back in the match as they drew level with five minutes to go but two further points from play and a placed ball by Farrell sealed the issue for Naas. For Naas goalie Niamh Burke was outstanding along with Amy O Hara at full back
Next weekend the attention shifts from the County scene to the All Ireland Championship when Kildare Juniors play their first round of the Premier Junior All Ireland Championship against Dublin on Saturday 2nd June at a Dublin Venue to be arranged. Games then follow against Down and Waterford in Group One. Having won the Junior A Championship last year this is a step up in class for Kildare but the rewards of rising to the challenge would be a chance to play in a final in Croke Park in September something that all inter county players aspire to. Good luck to the girls in their endeavours.