Wonderful Westmeath deny Kildare after extra-time thriller
Westmeath 2-6 Kildare 1-8
Westmeath’s minor camogie side secured a drastic extra-time victory over Kildare, in the the Electric Ireland Camogie All-Ireland Minor B Championship at Hawkfield last Saturday.
Having gone behind in the second minute to a Holly Dowdall point, Kildare were unable to overcome a determined Westmeath side as they suffered a one point loss, despite having fought valiantly to get back in control of the tie.
A second minute opening goal from Holly Dowdall looked to send Westmeath into an early advantage as Kildare struggled to breach the Westmeath defence. Having the majority of the possession, Kildare looked to break down the full back line only to find Courtney Carroll on hand to push the sliotar out for a forty five.
With eleven minutes on the clock, a free from Caoimhe Ní Bhuircéal opened the Kildare account. A second from Emily Mahon forty five seconds later had the deficit to one before Carroll found Caoimhe McGee from the puck out. The latter quickly launched the ball into Dowdall and she chipped over to keep Kildare at arms length.
A further free from Mahon again looked to keep the home side within one before Westmeath again pointed to put daylight between the sides. From this, worse was to come for Kildare as Clodagh Corry’s puck-out found Sian Weir Hall, and making no mistake, she dispatched the ball to the net, leaving Westmeath five ahead.
Determined to keep their presence in the tie, Kildare again looked to rally and with Hannah Finnerty finding her range six minutes from the break, they looked to return to scoring ways.
With the ball firmly in the town end of the Hawkfield venue, Kildare looked to build once more and a quick chip over the top to Orla Flynn left the Kilcock full forward clear on goal.
Spotting Carroll off her line, Flynn struck low and hard. With the gap just enough, the sliotar flashed past the Westmeath goalie and into the side of the net to leave Kildare one adrift at the break, but most importantly in the ascendancy.
On the return again, it was Dowdall who looked to get the better of the opening tussle with a point to ease the tension on Westmeath, before Kildare hit back with a brace of points into the Milltown end to level matters for the first time since the tie commenced.
An exchange of points from Anya Boyle and Kate Murphy at opposite ends ensured that this deadlock would remain, until a Boyle free thirteen minutes from time once more edged Westmeath into the narrowest of advantages.
With time ticking towards the regulation sixty minutes, both sides made valiant efforts to push on, but with Abbie Reihill having entered the Westmeath fray at the break, she was determined to prove an addition to her side. And having gathered possession on the twenty yard line, she took on the challenge of Anna Crowe: having been fouled by Crowe, Reihill battled on to flick over with the advantage and leave two between the sides with six minutes remaining.
A Mahon free moments later again had a single point between the sides, but it ended all square and Westmeath found that bit more to win after extra-time for the second weekend in-a-row.
Scorers: Kildare: Emily Mahon 0-5 (4f, 1 45’); Orla Flynn 1-0; Caoimhe Ní Bhuircéal 0-1 (1f); Hannah Finnerty 0-1; Kate Murphy 0-1. Westmeath: Holly Dowdall 1-2; Sian Weir Hall 1-0; Anya Boyle 0-3 (3f); Abbie Reihill 0-1.
Kildare: Clodagh Corry; Megan Riordan, Saoirse Coffey, Anna Crowe; Sadhbh Buckley, Caoimhe O’Sullivan, Sarah Whelan; Sarah McDonagh, Meadh Maguire; Rosie Hennessy, Hannah Finnerty, Caoimhe Ní Bhuircéal; Emily Mahon, Órla Flynn, Aoife Murnane. Subs: Roisin Behan for Whelan (30); Kate Murphy for Murnane (30); Eimear Touhy for Hennessy (40); Almha O’Rourke for Finnerty (40).
Westmeath: Courtney Carroll; Tara Geraghty, Sarah Downes, Rebecca O’Neill; Caoimhe McGee, Caoimhe McCormack, Orlaith Winters; Áine Newman, Clare Gaffey; Sian Weir Hall, Rachelle L’Estrange, Alanna Coogan; Anya Boyle, Holly Dowdall, Emma Hynes. Subs: Abbie Reihill for Hynes (30); Kate Whyte for L’Estrange (30).