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Scariff/Ogonnelloe reign supreme to claim first senior title

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*Ciara Doyle. Photograph: Veronica McMahon

Scariff/Ogonnelloe have won the Clare Senior Camogie Championship for the first time beating Newmarket-on-Fergus on Saturday afternoon.

Scariff/Ogonnelloe 1-12
Newmarket-on-Fergus 2-03
Venue: Clarecastle

In what was their first senior championship final, Scariff/Ogonnelloe showed no nerves and were dominant from start to finish to deservedly see captain Mairead Scanlan raise the McMahon Cup. Not alone were they sharper on the breaking ball, there was a greater will to win plus vitally important was the manner in which they lined out as they came out on top in over ninety percent of the key battlegrounds.

From the off, the East Clare outfit showed intent. A goal chance fell to the lively Aoife Power whose shot went to the right of Aileen Kilmartin’s net. Power made no mistake with her next effort to get the game’s opening point. Zoe McInerney responded four minutes later in what was Newmarket’s first shot on goal.

Four points in succession put the League finalists back in the driving seat only for a converted Laura McMahon penalty to bring the Blues to within a point.

Scariff/Ogonnelloe responded superbly again with an unanswered 1-05. Marian Rodgers raised the green flag. A free could have been awarded to the ex Clare senior but advantage was awarded and Rodgers ran along the end line before firing low and hard past Kilmartin.

Needing to claw back the eight point deficit, Newmarket started the second half well. Critically though despite getting on top for the first ten minutes, it only materialised into one point. Points from Power and Scanlan kept Jim Minouge’s side in front but the Blues struck for goal again with Niki Kaiser teeing up Zoe McInerney.

Niki Kaiser under pressure. Photograph: Veronica McMahon

Newmarket continued to run at their opposing defence but Scariff/Ogonnelloe withheld any pressure they were put under. Such was the gap between the teams that the leaders opted to go for a point from the penalty spot on fifty six minutes. The Blues attempted to pursue further scores but a missed touch or an opposing interception would scupper such plans. Although they only added two points in the second half it was enough for the East Clare side to claim the top prize in Clare camogie.

For the fourth year in a row, Newmarket-on-Fergus have come up short on county final day. After coming through a gruelling extra time semi-final win over Truagh/Clonlara, the six day turnaround was evident as they struggled to keep up with their opponents. Twice in the first half, they conceded scores straight from their own puckouts which drained further life while they were completely overwhelmed in sections of the middle third. A return of 2-03 in sixty minutes, 1-01 of which was from play is far below the standards they have set in Clare over the past decade. Aislinn Keogh, Aimee McInerney, Roisin McMahon, Carol O’Leary and Niki Kaiser had their moments for Cathal Kilmartin’s charges.

To make their breakthrough even more satisfying, Scariff/Ogonnelloe have done it the hard way. Their semi-final win over Inagh/Kilnamona was a huge result for them atoning for their League final loss while this victory was their third over Newmarket-on-Fergus in 2019. They were superior all over the field and are capable of going on to rule the roost at senior level for years to come. In every line, they had danger women to the fore, simply they outfought, outhurled and out-thought their counterparts. Aoife Power, Amy Barrett, Susan Vaughan, Ciara Doyle and Marian Rodgers were most impressive for the champions.

Scorers Scariff/Ogonnelloe: M Scanlan (0-05 2f 1’Pen), A Power (0-04), M Rodgers (1-00), D Sheedy (0-01), A Corbett (0-01 1f), J Daly (0-01).

Scorers Newmarket-on-Fergus: Z McInerney (1-01), L McMahon (1-00 1’Pen), A O’Brien (0-02 2f).

Scariff/Ogonnelloe: Aisling Corbett; Holly McGee, Susan Daly, Alison McGee; Susan Vaughan, Ciara Doyle, Aisling Corry; Lynda Daly, Amy Barrett; Jennifer Daly, Mairéad Scanlan, Rachel Minouge; Danielle Sheedy, Aoife Power, Marian Rodgers.

Subs: Alva Rodgers for Sheedy (47), Laura Brody for M Rodgers (63).

Newmarket-on-Fergus: Aileen Kilmartin; Katie O’Flanagan, Aoife Griffin, Aislinn Keogh; Aimee McInerney, Roisin McMahon, Laura McMahon; Áine O’Brien, Lorraine Bible; Zoe McInerney, Michelle McMahon, Jenny Kelly; Anne Marie Hayes, Carol O’Leary, Niki Kaiser.

Subs: Ellen Casey for M McMahon (42), Rachel Kelleher for Hayes (58)

Referee: Áine Nic Cormaic (Wolfe Tones)

Scariff/Ogonnelloe. Photograph: Veronica McMahon

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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