St Enda’s from Derrymacash had an exciting one point victory, 1-11 to 1-10, over Crossmaglen Rangers in the final of the Junior County Championship.
With the benfit of the breeze the Cash side were quickly out of the blocks and after 15 minutes led 1-5 to 0-1.
Things looked very bright for them with midfielders Niamh McGeown and Aoife Kane dominating and the entire forward division of Brenda Shanks, Aoibheann McCarthy, Maria Donnelly, Shannon McPartland, Andrea McAlinden and Laura McCrory working very hard.
What attacks Crossmaglen did set up were effectively dealt with by the defence of Eimear Lavery, Niamh McVeigh, Sarah Livingston, Mairéad Morris, Niamh McCarthy, Aimee McCrory and goalkeeper Margaret Moriarty.
St.Enda’s were attacking a lot but not making nearly enough in-roads on the scoreboard and as the half wore on Crossmaglen started to notch up the scores leaving the Derrymacash side with a slender lead of three points at half-time, 1-8 to 1-5.
The scorers were Aimee McCrory, with a goal, Niamh McGeown, four points, Andrea McAlinden, three points, and Aoibheann McCarthy, one point.
Crossmaglen hit back in the second hald as the ‘Cash girls lost their shape and formation in various parts of the field, possibly due to nerves, and were not performing with confidence or conviction.
Nevertheless they showed great resolve and Andrea McAlinden added another two points while Crossmaglen tagged on five to leave the sides level with time running out.
The St.Enda’s girls had to play as if their lives depended on winning this game and they didn’t disappoint. It was fitting that captain Niamh McGeown added the final score of the day, a point. For the remainder of the game Crossmaglen attacked relentlessly but were kept at bay by the ‘Cash defence although it wasn’t only the defenders in the St.Enda’s half of the pitch but also the midfielders and a few of the forwards.
There were great scenes of jubilation (and relief!) when referee Julie O’Neill from the St.Brigid’s club in Armagh City blew the final whistle leaving St.Enda’s victorious on a scoreline of 1-11 to 1-10.
Credit must go to both teams for such an exciting and skilful game played in a very sporting manner. Armagh camogie president Mrs. Marian McStay, from the Clan-na-Gael club in Lurgan, presented the trophy to a happy and relieved captain Niamh McGeown. The girls now go on to play in the Ulster club championship on Sunday, October 6.
As well as the 15 starters on Sunday Erin McArdle was introduced in the second half. The other players not used on the day were Brogan McKerr, Lauren McAlinden, Emma McStay, Aoibheann Geddis, Ciara Fusco and Siobhan McDonnell.
Thanks are due to manager Seán Duffy and all those on the sideline - Aidan Mallon, who came on board a few weeks ago, Catherine Henderson and Damian Fusco.