Portlaoise are the 2021 Junior Camogie champions after a sublime individual display from Susie Delaney helped them over a gallant Camross second team.
There was only one team in it in the first quarter, as Portlaoise dominated proceedings. Tara Byrne, who lined out at wing-forward, landed the first point of the match for Portlaoise.
The impressive Susie Delaney scored Portlaoise's second point from play, and Delaney knocked over two more frees to push Portlaoise’s lead out to four points in the opening ten minutes of the contest.
Portlaoise looked like they were going to be dealt a big blow though after thirteen minutes, as Susie Delaney was forced off injured for them. Portlaoise remained in control for the few minutes left in the quarter, as Amy Byrne took over the free-taking duties from Delaney and calmly slotted over two.
Portlaoise had one goal opportunity in that opening quarter. In the seventeenth minute of the match, Portlaoise’s Caoimhe Delaney shot at the Camross goal but Cara Phelan in goals proved equal to the effort. Portlaoise led 0-6 to 0-0 after twenty-one minutes of action.
Portlaoise had another half-goal chance upon the resumption of play, as Tara Byrne fired a low shot off the ground. Courtney Lally in the Camross made another save though, as she flicked the sliotar with her hurl wide of the posts.
That save seemed to spur Camross on, as they hit 1-1 in the space of a minute to get themselves into the swing of things. Laura Drennan converted a placed ball, before Tara Lowry found the back of the net for the Camross women.
Susie Delaney returned to the field after a ten-minute spell on the sideline through injury, and immediately settled Portlaoise down with a point from a free. Laura Drennan responded for Camross with a point from a placed ball, but another Delaney free for Portlaoise left them three ahead at half-time in O’Moore Park.
Delaney and Drennan traded frees points from placed balls again after the interval, as Delaney knocked over her sixth free while Laura Drennan landed a 45’ between the posts.
Delaney scored her first point from play for Portlaoise after that sequence, as she turned and split the posts nicely. Camross scored 1-1 unanswered after that, just like they did in the first half, to leave the sides level.
Louise Bergin spotted the run inside of Aine Cuddy and sent it into her. Cuddy had all the room in O’Moore Park to slide it past Cara Phelan in the Portlaoise net.
Portlaoise were awarded a penalty after that, as full-forward Rebecca Reddin was brought down in the square. However, Delaney’s penalty was straight down Courtney Lally’s throat, and she cleared it away.
Delaney did somewhat make up for her error by converting two frees before the third quarter ended, as Portlaoise led 0-12 to 2-4.
Portlaoise dominated Camross in the final quarter though, as a brilliant individual goal from player of the match, Susie Delaney, sealed the deal for her team.
Scorers: Amy Byrne 0-2 (0-1 free), Susie Delaney 1-11 (0-9 frees), Tara Byrne 0-1, Shauna Dooley 0-1
Team: Cara Phelan; Ashling McAuley, Sarah Fleming, Helen Murphy; Aileen O'Neill, Ciara Byrne, Aoibhe O'Brien; Grainne O'Reilly, Regina Ogbulafer; Tara Byrne, Niamh Crowley, Ciara Crowley; Amy Byrne, Rebecca Reddin, Susie Delaney. Subs: Aoibheann Dunne for Delaney (13 mins, inj), Susie Delaney for Dunne (25 mins), Shauna Dooley for O'Neill (43 mins), Aiobheann Dalton for Murphy (43 mins)
Scorers: Niamh Crowley 1-1, Tara Lowry 1-0, Laura Drennan 0-4 (0-3 frees, 0-1 45')
Team: Courtney Lally; Kate McCartney, Shaune Cuddy, Luisne Delaney; Caoimhe Ryan, Niamh Collier, Donnagh Mortimer; Maeve Collier, Leanne Dowling; Laura Drennan, Aine Cuddy, Michelle Holmes; Cora Cuddy, Louise Bergin, Tara Lowry. Subs: Chloe O'Riordan for M Collier (37 mins), Sarah Cuddy for Holmes (58 mins), Rebecca Treacy for Lowry (61 mins)
REFEREE: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney-Errill)
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