Seniors Leinster Champs again after overcoming brave Offaly

by on the 9th of June 2015

Kilkenny 2-11    Offaly 1-09

Denise Gaule finished with 2-05 as the Kilkenny senior camogie team regained the Leinster senior title for the first time since 2013 when they defeated Offaly 2-11 to 1-09 in Nowlan park on Sunday.

It was the Offaly who began the game well and raced into a 1-01 to no score lead within the opening three minutes. Orlaigh Kirwan opened the Faithful account with a point from thirty meters in the first minute. Niamh Larkin then got in for the Offaly goal in the third minute; she gained possession forty five meters from goal cut through the Kilkenny defence to blast home from close range to put the losers 1-01 to no score ahead. Kilkenny bounced back brilliantly hitting 2-03 on the bounce. Denise Gaule opened Kilkenny’s account with a free after Michelle Quilty was fouled.  Kilkenny were then awarded a penalty in the eleventh minute when Denise Gaule was dragged down by Offaly net minder Eleanor Clendennen, she stood up to take the resulting penalty and blast it home to equalized the contest at 1-01 apiece.  Aoife Neary then put Kilkenny into the lead with a well taken point from thirty five meters in the twelfth minute.  Denise Gaule then got in for her and Kilkenny’s second goal in the fiftieth minute after latching onto an Ann Dalton pass to blast home from the edge of the small square. She extended Kilkenny’s lead with a point from twenty one meters in the seventieth minute after latching onto a Miriam Walsh pass to put Kilkenny 2-03 to 1-01 ahead. Offaly responded well to this concession and got two on the trot. Siobhan Flannery started the burst with a free from thirty five meters in the twenty second minute. She followed this up with a further free in the twenty fourth minute from forty meters to cut the deficit to three points 2-03 to 0-03.  Michelle Quilty put Kilkenny four clear again with a point in the twenty seventh minute after latching onto an Aoife Neary pass. Siobhan Flannery responded with a free from thirty five meters on the stroke of half time to cut the gap to three again 2-04 to 1-04 at the break.  The game was hanging firmly in the balance and with the second half to come, it was a matter of who wanted it more.

Denise Gaule opened Kilkenny’s account with a free in the opening minute from fifty meters a massive score to push Kilkenny four clear 2-05 to 1-04. Siobhan Flannery responded with a free from forty five meters to put three in it again after thirty four minutes. Kilkenny then got two on the trot. Ann Dalton who was causing the Offaly half backline serious trouble, tapped over an excellent point from thirty five meters from out near the sideline in the thirty seventh minute.  Denise Gaule then tapped over a massive free from sixty meters in the thirty ninth minute to push Kilkenny five clear 2-07 to 1-05.  Offaly responded with two points on the trot from Siobhan Flannery frees. She tapped over her sixth free of the afternoon in the forty second minute to cut the deficit to four. She followed this up in the forty fifth minute with a massive free from sixty meters to cut the gap to three 2-07 to 1-07. Katie Power responded for Kilkenny with a well taken point in the forty sixth minute from thirty five meters. Ann Dalton pushed Kilkenny five clear again with a massive point from all of sixty meters in the forty seventh minute.  Offaly responded with a further Siobhan Flannery free in the fiftieth minute from twenty one meters after she was fouled to make it 2-09 to 1-08. Kilkenny would of being bitterly disappointed at this stage that all of Offaly’s second half scores up to that point came from place balls from Siobhan Flannery. Michelle Quilty put five in it again 2-10 to 1-08 with a well taken point from twenty five meters after latching onto a brilliant cross field pass by Denise Gaule in the fifty fourth minute. Offaly were given a life line in the fifty sixth minute when they were awarded a penalty after Rachel Brennan was dragged down by Catherine Foley for which she was dismissed on a second yellow card. Siobhan Flannery stood up to the resulting penalty, but the Kilkenny defense brilliantly blocked it out for a forty five which Siobhan Flannery tapped over the bar to cut the deficit to four points again. Kilkenny endured a nervy final few minute as Offaly threw everything at Kilkenny to get back into the contest but the Kilkenny defense showed great resilience to keep out the Faithful attack. Denise Gaule ensured victory for Kilkenny with a sixty third minute point from thirty meters after latching onto Michelle Quilty pass to ensure Kilkenny claimed back the Leinster crown for the first time since 2013 on a 2-11 to 1-09 score line.

Scorers – Kilkenny: Denise Gaule 2-05 (2-03f), Ann Dalton 0-02, Michelle Quilty 0-02, Katie Power 0-01,Aoife Neary 0-01.  Offaly:  Siobhan Flannery 0-08 (7f, 1-45), Niamh Larkin 1-00, Orlaigh Kirwan 0-01.

Kilkenny: Emma Kavanagh, Stacey Quirke, Edwina Keane, Catherine Foley, Jacqui Frisby, Colette Dormer, Davina Tobin, Aisling Dunphy, Claire Phelan, Michelle Quilty, Miriam Walsh, Ann Dalton, Aoife Neary, Denise Gaule, Katie Power.

Sub: Siobhan Murphy, Kate McDonald (Capt), Edel Maher, Anna Farrell, Mairead Power, Catherine Doherty, Shelly Farrell, Aine Connery, Meighean Farrell.

Offaly:  Eleanor Clendennen; Fiona Stephens, Jean Brady, Sheila Sullivan, Aisling Brennan, Orlaigh Kirwan Marian Crean, Roisin Egan, Arlene Watkins, Cailin Fitzgerald, Aoife Kelly, Siobhan Flannery, Niamh Larkin , Rachel Brennan, Tina Hannon.

Sub: Mairead Jennings, Linda Sullivan, Christine Cleary, Kelly Sammon, Mary Wyer, Deirdre Cashen, Lauren Keenaghan, Patrice Delaney, Helen Dolan, Kerri Mcleish, Lorraine Keena, Sheila Sullivan, Terri Delaney, Michaela Morkan.

Referee: Ray Kelly (Kildare)

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