*Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

ST JOSEPH’S DOORA/BAREFIELD’s bid for All-Ireland glory ended after they were defeated by Roscommon outfit Athleague in the Junior camogie semi-final on Sunday.

Athleague 2-6
St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield 0-9
Venue: Moneygall

The Parish’s dream of All Ireland glory has been extinguished after a war of attrition saw them suffer a three point defeat.

The recently crowned Munster champions only conceded two scores in the second half but both unfortunately were green flags, the first coming courtesy of a superb Rachel Fitzmaurice rocket into the bottom corner after thirty four minutes. The second and crucial strike had more than a touch of fortune to it when substitute Annette McDermott attempted a point with her very first touch upon her introduction.

Unfortunately for the Munster Final hero Karen McMahon with the sliotar seemingly drifting wide she tried to control it but the ball deflected off her hurley and cruelly into the net.

Louise Woods opened the scoring with a well taken point inside the opening minute but back to back frees converted by Kelley Hopkins put the Connacht champions into the ascendancy.

Indiscipline was proving a problem and referee Mike Ryan certainly didn’t endear himself to the Doora/Barefield faithful with the free count being twelve to four in the opening period. At the end of the opening quarter the sides were deadlocked at three points apiece but another converted Hopkins free gave Athleague a lead they would never relinquish.

On the twentieth minute, the Roscommon club got their first score from play with Rebecca Brennan firing over. This was quickly followed by a fine Laura Fleming point and the Parish were looking tired from their previous weeks heroics. Showing character aplenty though they landed a couple of crucial points courtesy of Siofra Ní Chonaill and Sophie Torpey to head to the dressing rooms only trailing by a solitary point on a 0-6 to 0-5 scoreline.

The second half began with the Fitzmaurice major and once more John O’Connor’s charges battled back with two Siobhan Flynn frees. We then had that freak goal but once more the Parish refused to lie down and hit the next two points. They pushed hard for a green flag that would have forced extra time but the clock ran out on them as strangely there was only two minutes additional time played.

Sport can be cruel and always has highs and lows. Today was a low but 2023 was certainly an overall high for the Clare club who return to the Senior ranks and claimed a first ever provincial crown.

Scorers for St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield; Siobhan Flynn 0-5 (3f), Louise Woods, Síofra Ní Chonaill, Chloe Towey, Sophie Torpey 0-1 each

Scorers for Athleague: Kelley Hopkins 0-3 (3f), Rachel Fitzmaurice, Annette McDermott 1-0 each, Rebecca Brennan, Laura Fleming, Tara Naughton (f) 0-1 each

St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield
1: Karen McMahon

2: Hannah Doyle
3: Sinead O’Connor
4: Shauna Moloney

5: Meadhbh O’Connor
6: Aisling McMahon
7: Aisling Hannan

8: Aisling Reidy
9: Chloe Towey

10: Kate Harrington
11: Síofra Ní Chonaill
17: Caoimhe Hoey

13: Sophie Torpey
20: Siobhan Flynn
15: Louise Woods

Subs
19: Éabha O’Driscoll for K Harrington (HT)
21: Ciara Duggan for C Hoey (38)
27: Eimear Clune for S Torpey (51)

ATHLEAGUE
1: Paula Daly

18: Eala Ní Chumhnaill
3: Elaine Daly
4: Chloe Whyte Lennon

5: Éabha Dowd
6: Meabh Tiernan
7: Aideen O’Brien

8: Laura Fleming
9: Kelley Hopkins

10: Niamh Conway
11: Rachel Fitzmaurice
12: Ciara Dowd

13: Rebecca Brennan
14: Tara Naughton
15: Tara O’Brien

Subs:
17: Annette McDermott for C Dowd (46),

Referee: Mike Ryan (Tipperary)

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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