Dy­namic duo power Kilrush

Vic­tory in twelve-a-side fi­nal

New Ross Standard - - SPORT - DEAN GOOD­I­SON

KILRUSH BUF­FERS AL­LEY

DRIVEN ON by the dy­namic duo of Lorna For­tune and Emma Tomkins, Kilrush pow­ered past Buf­fers Al­ley to the Mi­nor camo­gie Roinn 2A twelve-a-side ti­tle in Mon­ageer on Mon­day of last week.

Nat­u­rally, there were more than two rea­sons for this suc­cess. The de­fence was mag­nif­i­cent, the at­tack kept their op­po­nents off bal­ance through­out, and Rachel Ka­vanagh was an un­sung de­fen­sive foil in mid­field.

How­ever, it was the class in pos­ses­sion and di­rect run­ning abil­ity of For­tune and Tomkins that turned a close game at half-time (1-3 to 0-4) into a con­test that Kilrush never looked like sur­ren­der­ing.

Not that Buf­fers Al­ley didn’t have their chances. On the short pitch with the small goals there is a pre­mium on good shot se­lec­tion, yet the Mon­amolin side were con­stantly un­der pres­sure from a sticky set of de­fend­ers and it re­sulted in 19 wides be­ing swat­ted.

Ten of those were in the first-half when the Al­ley were play­ing up the hill. There was a bal­ance to the game in this pe­riod and Kilrush would prob­a­bly have con­sid­ered them­selves a lit­tle for­tu­nate to take a two-point lead in at the in­ter­val.

Scores from Amy Mit­ten (two), Sadbh Doyle and Sinéad Fur­long helped their side into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead af­ter 19 min­utes.

How­ever, For­tune dragged her side within one be­fore she raced away on the right of goal and fired past Fiona Cousins.

Play­ing down the hill af­ter the break, Buf­fers Al­ley tested ‘keeper Lisa For­tune with an ar­ray of balls into the goal­mouth. What they found was a ta­lented shot-stop­per, some­one whose com­po­sure put her whole de­fence at ease.

For­tune raced away from one of her long puck-outs to net in the 36th minute, but Saoirse O’Con­nor hand­passed home a ma­jor re­sponse mo­ments later.

When Ka­vanagh sent Tomkins away in the 41st minute, she fired to the net to make it 3-4 to 1-6.

The goal lifted Kilrush and soon Naoise Hen­nessy sprinted clear on the left and smashed home.

When Eil­ish O’Rourke popped over a classy point in the 57th minute, her side had built a 4-8 to 1-7 lead.

Buf­fers Al­ley re­fused to throw in the towel and Ma­rina Mor­daunt did beat Lisa For­tune af­ter her ini­tial shot was saved.

Fit­tingly it was Kilrush who had the last say, as Hen­nessy pulled home for her sec­ond goal and Lorna For­tune put the seal on a suc­cess­ful sea­son with an in­jury-time free.

Kilrush: Lisa For­tune (joint capt.); Emer Fitzger­ald, Maura O’Rourke (joint capt.); Jenny Do­ran, Eil­ish O’Rourke (0-1); Rachel Ka­vanagh, Lorna For­tune (2-5, 0-1 free), Emma Tomkins (1-3); Meg Don­nelly, Hermione Mur­phy; Chelsea Sun­der­land, Naoise Hen­nessy (2-0). Subs. - Mary Claire McCrea for Fitzger­ald, inj. (24), Sarah Kenny for Sun­der­land (39), Áine Do­ran for Don­nelly (53), also Edana Mim­nagh, Orla Byrne, Orla Fitzger­ald, Leona Kenny.

Buf­fers Al­ley: Fiona Cousins; Becky Ka­vanagh (joint capt.), An­drea Kin­sella; Aoife Whe­lan (joint capt.), Eleanor Ham­mel; Saoirse O’Con­nor (1-0), Sinéad Fur­long (0-2, 1 free), Ma­rina Mor­daunt (1-0); Sadbh Doyle (0-2), Sarah Mor­daunt; Amy Mit­ten (0-3), Beib­inn O’Brien. Subs. - Amy Costello for S. Mor­daunt (51), Orna Cor­ri­gan for Ham­mel (60+1), also Eimear Ka­vanagh, Gráinne DempseyDoyle, Rose McCarthy, Lau­ren Mur­phy, Nessa Níc Cor­cráin.

Ref­eree: Ai­dan Breen (Mar­shal­stown-Cas­tle­dock­rell).

The vic­to­ri­ous Kilrush team.

The run­ners-up from Buf­fers Al­ley.

Maura O’Rourke of Kilrush un­der pres­sure from Amy Mit­ten.

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