Picture Credit ©INPHO/Donnie Phair (From the 2016 Final)
The Roscommon Minor Camogie team sealed their place in the All-Ireland C Championship Final with an emphatic victory over Cavan in Knockcroghery on Saturday.
Atrocious weather conditions threatened this re-fixture for a second time but the playing surface held up well and the young Roscommon girls served up a tenacious and skillful performance through a storm.
From the throw-in Roscommon were in control and in the second minute wing-forward Kathy Jones picked up the ball 30m from the goal and buried it in the back of the Cavan net. Gráinne White pushed her team further in front with two well-taken points from play and Shauna Fallon popped over another neat point after some good team-work. Ciara Finnegan was playing well for Cavan in the middle third but another masterful display from Eimera McNally in the Roscommon defence ensured that the visitors were restricted to a single pointed free by Shanise Fitzsimons in the first half. Roscommon put relentless pressure on the Cavan defence and goal-keeper Amy Kerrigan made a number of fine saves. Shauna Fallon converted two frees and Rachel Neilan raised a second for her team from a rebound after an attempt at goal by Maria Lohan. Roscommon went in at the break 2-5 to 0-1 up.
Rather than sit back with a comfortable lead in the second half Roscommon moved up a gear. Within ten minutes good team play saw Gráinne White score two points from play, Rachel Neilan goaled and Shauna Fallon scored another point. John Benton introduced five substitutes and all five settled well. Shauna Fallon added two further points and Patsy Farrell a goal before Shanise Fitzsimons got a rare point for Cavan. The Roscommon half back-line of Lisa Mullen, Meabh Tiernan and Aine O’Meara was water-tight. Nora Brennan raided forward from mid-field to take a fine point and also raised a green flag shortly after. In the inside forward line Gráinne White profited from a rich supply of ball from her team-mates scoring another 2-1 before the final whistle.
Roscommon will play Tyrone at home in their final round game on March 26th and look forward to an appearance in an All-Ireland Final in early April.
The Roscommon Minor Camogie squad is was as follows: Ceara Mulry, Eithne Brennan, Eimear McNally, Niamh Madden, Lisa Mullen, Meabh Tiernan, Aine O’Meara, Nora Brennan (1-1), Maria Lohan, Alisha Lenehan, Shauna Fallon (0-6, 0-3 frees), Kathy Jones (1-0), Aisling McGrath, Rachel Neilan (2-0), Gráinne White (2-5)
Subs: Patsy Farrell (1-0) for R. Neilan, Julie Healy for A. McGrath, Kate Doyle for N. Madden, Roisin Roddy for L. Mullen, Anna Fox for A. Lenehan, Jane Corbett, Lauyn Flaherty, Sarah Carty, Liosa Kilcline, Laura Keirns, Niamh McCourt, Zara Feeley, Ruth McNeill, Caoimhe Miley, Tara Kenny, Michaela Bracken, Macy McDermott.
Cavan: Amy Kerrigan, Siobhan Reilly, Eimear Tierney, Ciara Boyle, Emma Plunkett, Lauren Briody, Casey Maher, Ciara Finnegan, Jemma Wilson, Sarah Finnegan, Hannah Boylan, Shanise Fitzsimons (0-2), Meabh McDonnell, Ellie Briody,
Subs: Katelyn McGonnell, Ciara Fitzpatrick, Jasmine Brady, Martha Reilly, Daria Kaledek, Nomonde Majola.
Referee: Con O’Cealaigh (Wicklow)