Davidstown rule in replay
D’TOWN-C’CUDDY RAPPAREES 2-6 2-3
THE GIRLS from Davidstownhad to call upon every ounce of their defensive acumen to repel a strong-finishing Rapparees side on the way to collecting the Minor camogie Roinn 2B championship title with a gripping 2-6 to 2-3 victory in this replay in Boolabawn.
While each member of the home side played their part in victory, much of the plaudits are reserved for talented goalkeeper Taragh Cooper, who commanded her area with authority.
Simply put, the home side wouldn’t have won without her assurance between the sticks, as she was confident under the dropping ball, repelled most shots that came her way, and distributed her puck-outs with accuracy.
And with Ellie Jevens in uncompromising form just in front of her, that double-act proved pivotal in taking home the spoils after over two hours of competitive action.
The locals were also helped by doing the majority of their scoring in the first-half, with Ava O’Connor getting them up and running when slapping over the opening point on two minutes.
Cooper had already intervened on a couple of occasions before Lucy Egan doubled their tally on six minutes, while Jade Power’s shot from the right wing bounced off the turf and into the net to build a 1-2 to nil lead one minute later.
The Rapps were soon denied twice in rapid succession as Cooper got out quick to save from Ciara Boland and then from Erin Peoples on the follow-up.
Donna Delahunty picked off a point at the other end, and fortune favoured them again on 23 minutes when Rachel Murphy-Buckley was unsighted by a mass of bodies as Delahunty’s teasing delivery ended up in the net.
Erin Cahill notched Rapparees’ first point on 24 minutes, but two placed balls from Lauren Delaney (one free, one ‘45) meant that the Bellefield girls had a lot of ground to make up after the break as they trailed by 2-5 to 0-1.
But they made a valiant attempt at hauling in the leaders and one got the sense that the full-time whistle came as sweet relief to Davidstown-Courtnacuddy as Rapparees had really cranked up the pressure.
Eadhba Farrell saw her free from out the field veer off a defender’s hurl for a goal that inspired confidence, and she supplied two more frees as the gap was reduced to 2-6 to 1-3 with four minutes remaining.
However, Cooper had one last party trick, as she somehow produced an outstanding save when Bonnie Kinnaird looked set to goal from close range.
And that save proved decisive in the end as not even Cooper stood a chance in stopping Ciara O’Connor’s bullet in injury time as Davidstown-Courtnacuddy tasted success.
Davidstown-Courtnacuddy: Taragh Cooper; Ellie Jevens, Hollie Kelly; Mairéad Crean (capt.), Lauren Delaney (0-3, 2 frees, 1 ‘45); Lucy Egan (0-1), Jade Power (1-0), Anna Jevens; Ava O’Connor (0-1), Donna Delahunty (1-1); Catherine Moitie, Aoibhinn Crean. Subs. - Tara Ennis for Moitie (35), Jamie Egan for Crean (47), also Beth Murphy, Amy Murphy, Katie Roche.
Rapparees: Rachel Murphy-Buckley; Méadhbh Foley, Abbie Dagg; Aine Murphy, Kathleen Redmond (capt.); Eadhba Farrell (1-2 frees), Bonnie Kinnaird, Erin Cahill (0-1); Ciara Boland, Ciara O’Connor (1-0); Anna Kavanagh, Erin Peoples. Subs. - Jessie O’Brien for Peoples (54), also Rita Murphy.
Referee: David O’Leary (Rathnure).
Davidstown-Courtnacuddy (above), who defeated Rapparees (below) in the replayed final.