Goals make the difference as Na Piarsaigh beat Crecora in Intermediate Camogie Final.

Sunday 1st October 2017 in Clarina.

Na Piarsaigh won their first Intermediate title since 2007 with a hard fought 2-7 to 0-7 over Crecora in Clarina on Sunday. For Crecora it was a heart-breaking third consecutive final defeat. It was the original game of two halves of cliché and ultimately it was a strong Na Piarsaigh first half defensive effort that held Crecora to five points when backed by the strong breeze that proved to be the difference between the sides.

Despite the tough conditions it was a game of high quality and intensity with no quarter given by either side. Na Piarsaigh opened an early 0-2 to 0-1 lead as both sides exchanged frees until Sarah Collins opened the scoring from play with a fine point from a tight angle on the right. Crecora were creating chances and Collins drove one narrowly wide while another hand-passed effort beat the keeper but stuck in soft ground on the line until Aideen McNamara cleared the danger.

A Michelle Barrett strike and two more frees were all that Crecora were to take from the half and at the other end Aislinn Condon pulled off a good save from Aoife Wilson to restrict Na Piarsaigh’s first half tally to those two early Wilson frees.

Immediately after the break however Na Piarsaigh were to level the game when an Aoife Wilson free caught a deflection in a forest of raised hurleys and swing into the far corner of the net. The game was to lie in the balance as another Wilson free was cancelled by Sarah Collins point.

Na Piarsaigh Claire Casey being presented with the Cup

Aideen McNamara was again the saviour as she again cleared from the line as Crecora piled on the pressure against the breeze. Laura O’Neill saved a Sarah Colins strike and it looked like Crecora had no answer to the Na Piarsaigh defence. Dearbhla Egan pointed from play to put Crecora ahead with what proved to be their final score of the game.

It was the turn of the Na Piarsaigh attack as Rachel Considine found Eve Meaney in space in front of goal and she finished well to put Na Piarsaigh back in front. Sinéad McNamara extended the lead to three with a well taken ’45.

Again Crecora went on the attack but a 21m free saw Sarah Collins shot saved by Laura O’Neill. This was to be Crecora’s last chance and points from Rachel Considine, Sinéad Madden and Aoife Wilson saw Na Piarsaigh close out the game.

Captain Claire Casey accepted the trophy on behalf of the impressive champions after what was an enthralling match.

Scorers:

Na Piarsaigh: Aoife Wilson 1-4 (1-3 frees), Eve Meaney 1-0, Sinéad McNamara 0-1 (’45), Rachel Considine 0-1, Sinéad Madden 0-1

Crecora: Dearbhla Egan 0-4 (3 frees), Sarah Collins 0-2, Michelle Barrett 0-1

Na Piarsaigh: Laura O’Neill, Róisín McNamara, Claire Casey, Aideen McNamara, Lorna Flanagan, Sinéad McNamara, Jane Wilson, Sinéad Madden, Aoife Wilson, Eve Meaney, Tara Hurley, Aoife Henn, Rachel Considine, Ciara Hogan, Niamh Tuite

Crecora: Aislinn Condon, Leshia Horgan, Aoife Coughlan, Sophie O’Callaghan, Orla Ryan, Lisa Barrett, Megan Quinn, Michelle Barrett, Lucy Breen, Ciara Murphy, Anna Kennedy, Maria Power, Dearbhla Egan, Sarah Collins, Niamh Cooke