Leinster League Final Div 1

by on the 3rd of May 2024

Piltown 2-13 Na Fianna 3-06 .

Sunday 7 April 24

Piltown travelled to the capital for the third time this year in the Leinster League , and this time they were bringing silverware back down the M7 after defeating Dublin giants Na Fianna on their own pitch after they had won the coin toss to see who would have home advantage after the original venue wasn’t playable

The pitch in Drumcondra was immaculate though and both teams took to the pitch in glorious sunshine in front of a sizeable crowd.

Piltown got a great start as Aine Doyle put the ball over the bar in the first minute as we played into a considerable breeze, but this was equalised immediately by Meadbh Ni Cheallachain for Na Fianna. They took the lead in the 4th minute when Ciara O’Looney stood over a free on the right hand side and put it over the bar. It was going end to end ,regardless of it being only 5 minutes old , and down in the Na Fianna end Chloe Blackmore got onto the loose ball and put it past Catriona Feeney in the Dubliners goal. What a great start for the away side, but Na Fianna were on the attack again straight away as they worked the ball to midfielder Grainne Free, she struck it long towards Mairebeth Kirby’s goal and it fell dangerously around the square, Meadbh Ni Cheallachain pulled on it in midair and it went over the bar. There was serious tackling going on all over the pitch, especially between the 45s , as the battle for the upper hand and the ball between half backs and midfield was going to be the winning or losing of it.

Ciara O’Looney struck another free from out wide over the bar before Heather Phelan struck 3 points in a row , two frees and one from play where she displayed her handling skills, catching a low bouncing ball , turning her marker and putting it over the bar out near the 45 , into the strong breeze in the 18th minute. Ciara O’Looney replied with her third of the half in the 19th minute , which proved to be their final score of the half. Piltown weren’t finished yet though as Aine Doyle pointed another free near the 45 in the 23rd minute, Leah Cooney got on the scoresheet with a great lift , turn and strike from the centre, and then a hammer blow as Ellen O’Keeffe burst through and placed the ball in the right hand side of the net to leave the half time score.


A seven point lead as the second half started and playing with the wind also… Game Over ?

And it looked even more so as Piltown scored the next two points from Chloe Blackmore and Aine Doyle as they got free in central positions.

But hang on a minute. Don’t hand out the cup yet. Suddenly Na Fianna were bursting through on goal and Ciara O’Looney had the ball in the net in the 35th minute. Okay relax, get the ball down the field, and it was sent into Leah Cooney and she put it over the bar .Na Fianna were now flooding the midfield and going for it, and again they were suddenly through on goal and Sinead Costello raised another green flag to leave the score 2-09 to 2-05 after 42 minutes. The home side were on top now and Piltown were wobbling.

Once again the numbers in midfield were doing the business for the home side and the ball was coming back in on top of the Piltown full back line, and when Jenni O’Dea was adjudged to have fouled Sinead Costello in the square it was a penalty and a golden opportunity for the home side. Once again it was Ciara O’Looney that stood over the ball , it was her against Marie-beth Kirby in goal. O’Looney went to the left , Kirby did also , but the ball went just above Kirby’s outstretched hurley into the net and make it a one point lead! Don’t hand out the cup indeed!!

16 minutes left and who would keep their nerve, and no one holds their nerve better than Heather Phelan when she stands over a free, and she scored another free from the centre , 40 yards out. It was all hands on deck now as Alice Talbot, Niamh Culleton, Karen Duggan and Ellen O’Keeffe worked hard to keep the Dublin side out , and it was working , they were limiting them to long range passes that were intercepted and turned into counter attacks. Aine Doyle , Leah Cooney, captain Sophie Holden, worked hard to create chances and we got three more through Aine, Ellen and Heather to leave the Final Score 2-13 To 3-06 , and a four point victory.

Leinster Camogie Cathaoirleach Martin Quilty presented the cup to Piltown captain Sophie Holden.

A sweet victory after so many near wins over the last few years. Congratulations to all the girls involved and to the great management team striving to get the absolute best out of this panel of players .


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