St Killian’s 2-5
St Pius X Magherafelt 1-4
St Killian’s won their first Fr Davies’ Cup camogie final the hard way in Ballymena at the weekend. They stayed ahead from Dara Martin’s fifth-minute goal until the finish, but their defence soaked up a huge amount of pressure from a St Pius X Magherafelt side that accumulated 18 wides over the hour.
Many of those wides can be attributed to the defensive qualities of the likes of Oonagh Ward, Annie Leech and the McKillop sisters, but St Pius X did create enough opportunities to win two finals. Instead, for the second year running, they finish runners-up.
Aimee Devlin had an early point for the Magherafelt side – direct from a 45, early in the game, but St Killian’s looked more likely to punch holes in their defence with direct running over the next 10 minutes.
Martin handpassed the opening goal in the fifth minute, but, in doing so, shipped a heavy challenge from the goalkeeper and was forced out of the action.
Mary Kane floated over a nice point, and a few minutes later Sinead Cosgrove barged her way through the centre to find the net, only to be called back for over-carrying.
St Killian’s went completely out of the frame for the second quarter as Sinead Conlon, Eimear McElwee and Niamh McGuckin took the game to them with Sarah Cassidy sweeping well at the back of midfield.
Although Eimear McElwee pointed in the 22nd minute, St Pius X were guilty of poor shooting and went in two points down at the break.
Despite an early pointed free from St Killian’s midfielder Dervla Cosgrove, St Pius X continued to take the game to the opposition, but had only points from Aimee Devlin (free) and Niamh McGuckin to show before Tower awoke from their slumber and fired over three points in four minutes just after the three-quarter mark to go four up.
It looked enough until two crucial scores five minutes from time. Firstly Niamh McGuckin lifted the sliotar to the net for a St Pius goal that closed the game to a single point.
Tierna Carson then charged through the centre and fired low to the corner of the net from 20 metres.
It was the score that killed the game and St Killian’s took control over the remaining minutes to claim the title and a place in the All-Ireland semi-finals in February.
St Killian’s: Sarah Kane, Cliodhna McManus, Oonagh Ward, Annie Leech, Siobhán McKillop, Claire Kearney (Leah Cosgrove), Clodagh McKillop, Dervla Cosgrove 0-2 frees, Laoise McKenna, Niamh McKendry, Tierna Carson 1-1, Mary Kane 0-1, Sinéad Convery 0-1, Sinéad Cosgrove, Dara Martin 1-0 (Aimee McDonnell).
Subs: A.Duffin, H. McLoughlin, C. Diamond, N. Dempster, E. Carey, M. Ward, S. McNeill, M. McLaughlin, O. McNaughton, C. McCann.