The Burgess-Duharra players pictured celebrating their Munster senior club Camogie championship final win over Inagh-Kilnamona at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
Tipperary champions Burgess-Duharra placed provincial titles back-to-back at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Saturday afternoon when Pat Cremin’s team beat Inagh-Kilnamona by three points (2-10 to 1-10) in the final of the AIB Munster Senior Club Camogie Championship.
AIB Munster Senior Club Camogie Championship Final
Burgess-Duharra 2-10 Inagh-Kilnamona (Clare) 1-10
Burgess-Duharra led 2-8 to 0-4 at the break, but surrendered the initiative in the second half when conceding 1-6 without reply against a ferocious Inagh-Kilnamona side.
Although Burgess-Duharra failed to score for twenty-eight minutes of the second half the Tipperary champions clung on well in the end to win. Jenny Grace, Ciardha Maher, Eimear McDonnell and player of the match Amy Kennedy shone brightly for Burgess-Duharra.
This provincial final was played in horrible conditions, but Burgess-Duharra made light of the weather in the opening half when piecing together some terrific moves with Amy Kennedy and Eimear McDonnell threatening goals on a regular basis.
But the management team led by Pat Cremin and featuring selectors Eoin Hogan and Noel Gleeson need to pay careful attention to the patterns associated with the second half.
Burgess-Duharra are certainly dangerous up front (zero wides), but the fact that Inagh-Kilnamona completely and utterly dominated the middle third of the field in the second half must be of concern to the Tipperary champions. Ironically enough Burgess-Duharra’s second half wobble may serve the side well and put them on their guard ahead of January’s All-Ireland semi-final.
Burgess-Duharra opened the scoring via an Eimear McDonnell strike before Inagh-Kilnamona centre-back Clare Hehir misjudged the flight of a Jenny Grace free which dropped short and the Tipperary champions led 1-1 to no-score after just three minutes.
To be fair Inagh-Kilnamona responded very positively to the situation they found themselves in and appeared to have the Burgess-Duharra full-back line in trouble between the third and seventh minutes when Amy Keating struck three successive points (one free) to leave one between the sides.
Burgess-Duharra, however, checked the momentum of the Clare side in the tenth minute when Amy Kennedy struck for the opening goal of the game - Jenny Grace, an absolute warrior, blocked down an Inagh-Kilnamona defender and hand-passed to Eimear McDonnell. The corner-forward then found Tara Kennedy in support and the Burgess-Duharra centre-forward set up sister Amy for a smashing left-handed finish (2-1 to 0-3).
Eimear McDonnell added a point from play soon after and when McDonnell was fouled for a free in the 13th minute Jenny Grace fired her side into a 2-3 to 0-3 lead.
Sinéad O’Loughlin responded for Inagh-Kilnamona in the 15th minute, but Burgess-Duharra closed out the opening half with five successive points to lead 2-8 to 0-4 at the break.
Amy Kennedy set up Eimear McDonnell for a lovely right-handed point to set Burgess-Duharra on their way before Caoimhe Maher provided the assist for an excellent Ciardha Maher strike. Jenny Grace then added a free to her side’s tally before Eimear McDonnell scored her fourth point of the opening half in the 32nd minute; then came the turn of Tara Kennedy to land another and Burgess-Duharra led by ten at the break.
The level of Inagh-Kilnamona’s discomfort was probably best illustrated by Fiona Lafferty’s decision to ambitiously go for goal from a free 23 yards from goal in the 27th minute (the strike flew wide).
The Burgess-Duharra advantage was extended to 11 points in the first minute of the second half when Ciara McKeogh set up Amy Kennedy, but from that juncture on Inagh-Kilnamona locked down the middle third of the field like a vice and took control. The Burgess-Duharra inside forwards were duly starved of possession and this contest, as a result, was utterly transformed.
A converted Amy Keating free represented the Clare champions’ first score since the 15th minute - that strike materialised in the sixth minute of the second half, but Inagh-Kilnamona soon added another Keating free before plundering a goal in the 40th minute. Clare Hehir picked out Fiona Lafferty and although Amanda Egan blocked Lafferty’s effort on the line Sinéad O’Loughlin buried the rebound to leave six between the sides (2-9 to 1-6).
Inagh-Kilnamona were flying now with Fiona Lafferty, Aoife Keane and Andrea O’Keeffe dominating the middle third of the field. Indeed, Fiona Lafferty drilled over a point in the 45th minute before Amy Keating converted a brace of ‘50s either side of an Andrea O’Keeffe point.
And, with two minutes of normal time remaining the Burgess-Duharra lead was down to just two points (2-9 to 1-10).
The Tipperary champions had now conceded 1-6 without reply and appeared to be wobbling. And, you can be sure that the Burgess-Duharra faithful were glad of the ten-point buffer enjoyed by the side managed by Pat Cremin at the break.
Finally, Burgess-Duharra’s twenty-eight minutes without a score came to a conclusion in the 59th minute when Ciardha Maher set up player of the match Amy Kennedy for a vital point.
There was still time for Inagh-Kilnamona to bridge the gap, but the Clare champions failed to create a goal-scoring opportunity thereafter and trudged off the field feeling a little frustrated following the decision of referee Philip Dee to play less than two minutes of injury time.
Burgess-Duharra: Ciara Houlihan, Elaine King (joint-captain), Gemma Grace, Amanda Egan, Áine Gillespie, Caoimhe Maher, Aisling Cremin, Ciara McKeogh (joint-captain), Ruth Barry, Jenny Grace (1-2, 1-2 frees), Tara Kennedy, Laura Reid, Ciardha Maher (0-1), Amy Kennedy (1-3), Eimear McDonnell (0-4). Subs: (59th) Katie O’Flaherty for Áine Gillespie.
Inagh-Kilnamona (Clare): Rebecca Keating, Jane Fitzgerald, Siobhán Lafferty, Michelle Mescall, Teresa O’Keeffe, Clare Hehir, Laoise Ryan, Aoife Keane, Andrea O’Keeffe (0-1), Sinéad Quinn, Sinéad O’Loughlin (1-1), Marie O’Halloran, Amy Keating (0-7, 0-3 fees, 0-2 ‘50s), Fiona Lafferty (0-1), Sinéad Power. Subs: (38th) Claire Commane for Jane Fitzgerald.
Referee: Philip Dee (Limerick).