Leinster journey at an end as O’Moore’s overtake valiant Rower

by on the 11th of November 2023

Leinster Intermediate Club Semi Final

O’Moores 1-10

Rower-Inistioge 1-7

by Trevor Spillane, Kilkenny People Newspaper

A place in the Leinster final proved to be a step too far for the Rower-Inistioge as their provincial journey ended at the semi-final stage.

The Kilkenny intermediate champions gave their all, but ran out of steam as a free-flowing O’Moores assembled a second half comeback that earned them an impressive, and deserved win.

Having played back to back games on successive weekends which needed extra-time, the reserve of energy they needed to make another late charge in Graig’s Dr Tierney Park wasn’t there.

O’Moores showed confidence and resilience to keep themselves in a tight game where scores proved hard to come by. The dangerous pace of Mary Keating and Liadan Fennell was a key factor in their win; so too was the threat posed by Laura Marie Maher, who struck what proved to be a telling blow six minutes from time.

Having worked their way back on to level terms – the sides were all square on four separate occasions – O’Moores hit what proved a decisive score when Maher latched on to Mary Hyland’s snappy delivery up the right flank. Gathering possession, a sharp turn and quick burst of pace gave Maher room to cut inside. She didn’t need a second invitation, cutting through the Rower defence before bearing down on goal and lashing an unstoppable shot to the net.

The goal was a huge blow for the Rower, who had worked hard to get themselves into a position of authority from early on.

Pushed in front courtesy of Cria Langton’s 45, the Rower could have taken a big jump ahead when Christine Lyng’s clever fifth minute lay-off gave Kelly Hamilton a clear shot at goal, but her effort was beaten away by Aoife Donovan. The danger wasn’t over, as the rebound fell to Caoimhe Keher-Murtagh, but her shot flashed wide of the post.

O’Moores recovered from that scare, taking the lead courtesy of two points in quick succession from Lorna O’Sullivan and Amy McKane, the first coming after some good work by Mary Keating, but it wasn’t long before the Rower were celebrating. Following a superb crossfield pass from Hamilton, Keher-Murtagh left her marker for dead as she sprinted towards goal, pausing only to unleash an unstoppable shot to the net.

That 11th minute goal proved invaluable for the Rower as, in a game where scores proved hard to come by, it helped them stay in front for the remainder of the half. Although Maher strung three frees together in quick succession for O’Moores, a like score from Aine Gannon and one from play by Rachel O’Dwyer kept them ahead with 20 minutes on the clock (1-3 to 0-5).

The visitors suffered a setback when they lost defender Aoife Hyland to injury, but recovered to draw level when Amy McKane finished a good move with a point. However, the Rower found just enough time to get their noses in front before the break. Cria Langton edged her side ahead again, converting a free after Sarah Ryan was fouled in a tussle for possession (1-4 to 0-6).

The Rower were quickest off the mark on the restart, Langton picking off a point – but it could have been so much better. She did well to control a loose ball after Aine Gannon’s 35th minute point dropped short, but her instinctive pull flashed over the bar, when it could have easily ended up in the net.

That proved to be a let-off for O’Moores, one they heeded. Stepping up the pace they took control of midfield and poured into attack. When Laura Marie Maher teed up Amy Flanagan for a shot a 39th minute goal looked certain, but Emma Kavanagh raced from her goal to make a brave save. It was her last act of the game, as she was forced to leave the field with an injury.

Sensing they had the advantage, O’Moores kicked on. With Maher (2) and Lucy Conroy on target they were ahead by the 51st minute, a position they cemented when Maher struck for that all-important goal a few minutes later.

With a four-point lead (1-9 to 1-5) to their name O’Moores were determined to see the game out. They didn’t panic, instead using their pace to play their way out of trouble, with Mary Keating and Liadan Fennell doing most of the legwork.

The Rower didn’t give up and piled on the pressure, pulling back two points through Aine Gannon, but one more Murphy free ensured O’Moores booked their place in the final.

Teams and scorers

O’Moores – Laura Marie Maher (1-6, 0-5 frees); Amy McKane (0-2); Lorna O’Sullivan, Lucy Conroy (0-1 each).

Rower-Inistioge – Caoimhe Keher-Murtagh (1-0), Cria Langton (0-3, 0-1 free, 0-1 45), Aine Gannon (0-3, 0-2 frees), Rachel O’Dwyer (0-1).

Rower-Inistioge – Emma Kavanagh; Grace Galavan, Sinead Kelly, Grainne Kelly; Aine Galavan, Aine Gannon, Ellen Murphy; Christine Lyng, Aisling Kelly; Ciara Foskin, Rachel O’Dwyer, Cria Langton, Sarah Ryan; Caoimhe Keher-Murtagh, Kelly Hamilton. Subs: Catriona Ryan for Kavanagh (inj), 42 mins; Katelyn Kelly for Ryan, 49 mins; Lizzie Lyng for A Kelly, 56 mins; Amy Ryan for O’Dwyer, 56 mins.

O’Moores – Aoife Donovan; Rosemary Bermingham, Aoife Hyland, Mary Hyland; Aisling Bohan, Rachel Williams, Jenny McEvoy; Lucy Conroy, Ellen Conroy; Mary Keating, Laura Marie Maher, Liadan C Fennell; Amy Flanagan, Amy McKane, Lorna O’Sullivan. Subs: Julie Ann Bennett for A Hyland (inj), 22 mins; Derbhile C Fennell for O’Sullivan, 53 mins; Hannah O’Connor for Flanagan, 60 mins.

Referee – Bernard Heaney (Meath)

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