Monday, 30 March 2015

Second half comeback not enough for Convent


St Declan’s Kilmacthomas (Waterford) 1-8

Convent of Mercy Roscommon 0-8

A super second half comeback was not enough as a spirited and determined Convent of Mercy Roscommon side just failed in their bid to win an All Ireland title in this thrilling final played at Newcastle, Co. Dublin on Saturday afternoon last.

A draw would have been a much fairer result as the Roscommon girls came looking for an equalising goal in the final ten minutes of play which included five minutes of injury time and they were denied by desperate last ditch defending by St Declan’s. In the end it was heartbreak for the Roscommon side who battled back into the game after being down by five points at half time. 

Deirdre Regan grabbed the first score of the game with a pointed free after three minutes but then St Declan’s most accomplished player, Niamh Rockett levelled the scores with a well struck free. A point from the stick of Zoe O’Donoghue put the Waterford girls ahead in the 7th minute, but then Ciara Kelly levelled the scores again when she was on target with a ’45.

Ciara Owens put Roscommon ahead in the 17th minute, but that lead was short lived as Angela Flynn levelled the game again with a point from play. It was clear that there was little between the teams and the exchanges were evenly fought. Then in the 19th minute Ciara Kelly struck another ‘45 over the bar to edge Roscommon into the lead again.

The Waterford girls upped the tempo in the next few minutes and Niamh Rockett was on target with three points, all from frees, and then Angela Flynn rattled over a nice point to leave her side three points ahead. But Deirdre Regan answered that point with a close in free as the game approached half time.

The crucial score of the game arrived on the call of the half time whistle when Sinead Cummins scored a very well taken goal to leave the Waterford girls ahead at half time by 1-7 to 0-5. 

The Roscommon girls played much better in the second half. After a number of missed chances, Cathy Dervan pointed in the 13th minute to reduce the gap before Zoe O’Donoghue re-established the five-point gap with a point with ten minutes to go.

Edel Treacy reduced the gap to four with five minutes of normal time to go and then with a minute left on the clock of normal time Ciara Kelly narrowed the gap to three with a 45 metre free. The Roscommon girls were now totally on top as they searched for the goal that would give them a share of the spoils.

There were five minutes of injury time and the Roscommon side had at least three good chances to get that goal, but somehow the St Declan’s defence was able to clear each time and eventually time ran out and they survived rather luckily to lift the title.

However the Roscommon girls can hold their heads high this week after a superb performance that saw them come so close to that elusive All-Ireland title. Best for the Convent on the day were Ciara Kelly, Cathy Dervan, Maeve Brennan, Aisling Byrne, Edel Treacy and Aisling Rogerson.

Convent of Mercy Roscommon: H Ennis; C Brennan, A Rogerson, A M Lambert; M Brennan, A Byrne, O Gately; E Treacy (0-1), C Kelly (0-3); D Regan (0-2), S Keenan, C Dervan (0-1); l Dowd, C Owens, C Gunning. Sub: C Ryan for Keenan

St Declan’s: R Kavanagh; N Behan, K Fitzsimons, B Keating; A Behan, C Whyte, L Burns; N Rockett (0-4), S Casey; C Murphy, C Nolan, S Cummins (1-0); E Whyte, Z O’Donoghue (0-2), A Flynn (0-2). Sub: C Ryan for Keenan. Referee: D Ryan (Dublin).