By Robert Cox at Eire Og GAA
Kildare Camogie Junior League Final
Two goals from the hurl of the evergreen Della Murray helped Kilcock to a seven point win over Nurney in the Kildare Camogie Junior League final on Saturday the 28thJune.
Kilcock who were keen to atone for two final loses to Rathcoffey in 2013, were never headed in this encounter at Eire Og’s GAA grounds and were also helped on their way to a 3-6 to 2-2 victory with a Jill Browne goal early in the first half.
The girls in green and gold, who are trained by former Meath goalkeeper Mark Gannon, went into the final as slight favourites having topped the round-robin stages, remaining unbeaten in the process. And with Murray in the form of her life along the way after banging seven goals past Broadford in two games, the North Kildare side had one the counties most dangerous forwards in the armour.
Unfortunately Nurney were only able to field eleven players, meaning Gannon and his assistant Kevin Morley had to re-jig things just before the off, with four girls having to drop down to the bench.
All this meant that space was aplenty on the large Eire Og pitch and it was Kilcock who adapted the quickest, finding themselves two goals to no score up after only ten minutes thanks to a fine individual goal from Murray and a top notch finish from Browne.
Murray’s daughter Lorna was showing why she is a county minor, by dominating around midfield, with Andrea McGrath also putting in a fine shift early on. Coincidently enough, both girls had only just returned to the fold after the excursions of the dreaded Leaving Cert!
The Murray’s were at it again a few minutes later, with Lorna pointing a long range free before Della got in for her second goal to practically put the game beyond doubt with only twenty three minutes on the clock and Kilcock with a ten point lead. Nurney for their part, despite their best efforts, still remained scoreless.
The game remained that way until the break, with any Nurney attack dealt with easily by goalie Niamh McCarthy and defenders Niamh O’Brien and Linda Byrne.
Half time score: Kilcock 3-1 Nurney 0-0
Kilcock once again burst out of the traps in the second half and hit three unanswered points within the first four minutes including two from Della Murray and one from her sister Rhona.
Nurney had to wait until the sixth minute of the second period to register their first score, a goal before tagging on a point two minutes later. Kilcock weren’t about to rest on their laurels though and let the South Kildare side back into the game, as they hit two late points to seal the tie and despite conceding a further 1-1, Gannon’s side ran out convincing winners on a scoreline of 3-6 to 2-2.
Best for the eventual winners were Niamh McCarthy in goal, Linda Byrne, Niamh O’Brien and Eleanor Lavin at the back. While in midfield Lorna Murray and McGrath worked tirelessly throughout, turning up in both ends of the field at crucial junctures. Upfront Rhona Murray was a constant threat with her runs from deep at wing forward and Jill Browne took her opportunity when it presented itself but once again it was Della Murray who stole the show with a personally tally of 2-3, causing trouble every time her side attacked.
Afterwards captain fantastic Aoife Divily raised the league trophy aloft, much to the delight of her team-mates, mentors and large Kilcock crowd in attendance. The win was extra special for Kilcock as it was their first adult camogie title in thirty years.
One thinks it won’t be thirty years before the next piece of silverware is making its way via Divily’s car to Branganstown. With Mark Gannon doing great things with this bunch of players, anything is possible.
Kilcock: Niamh McCarthy, Linda Byrne, Niamh O’Brien, Aoife Divily, Orla Vesey, Eleanor Lavin, Andrea McGrath, Lorna Murray, Rhona O’Leary, Jill Browne, Della Murray.
Subs: Shannon Farrell, Maeve Mulhall, Keelan Shiels, Sorcha Shiels, Lauren O’Neill, Helena Deegan, Lauren Hill.