CARNACON POINT THEIR WAY TO ANOTHER TITLE

Carnacon 0-19

Kilkerrin/Clonberne 0-11

 

 

CARNACON made it eight Connaught senior titles in a row when they defeated Galway champions Kilkerrin/Clonberne in the final played in Ballinlough on Saturday.

Although facing their toughest challenge so far this year, Carnacon kept very much in touch when playing into a strong wind in the opening half before seeing off their opponents with a little ease in the second 30 minutes.

In a game where there were very few goal chances the Galway side had no answer to Cora Staunton when it came to scoring points. The Carnacon ace pointed both from frees and play from all angles and distances and ended the day by scoring an incredible 16 points.

But this Carnacon latest victory was really achieved by a great all round team performance. From one to 15 they were superb all afternoon and they needed to be as they were up against a very good young Galway side.

Michelle Higgins never put a foot wrong between the posts while she received great support from her full back line of Aoife Loftus, Noelle Tierney and Sharon McGing. Team captain Michelle Corbett led by example at wing back as did the other two half backs Caroline Mcging and Erina Flannery.

Michelle McGing and Martha Carter worked extremely hard in the middle of the field as did the half forward line of Doireann Hughes, Fiona McHale and Niamh Moylette. Along with Staunton in the full forward Aoife Brennan did a lot of work throughout and in the left corner Michelle Corbett had one of her finest games in years for the team.

Claire Egan came on for the second half and used all her great experience to drive the team on.

Now Carnacon will face the Leinster champions in the All-Ireland semi-final. They will have advantage and stand a great chance of reaching another All-Ireland decider. The game is down for decision on the weekend of November16/17.

The Galway side had the advantage of the wind in the opening half and really put it up to the Mayo champions. They took the lead in the opening minute with a point from Louise Ward. But Carnacon replied in magnificent fashion and by the seventh minute they had taken a two-point lead after Cora Staunton landed three points, two from frees and a brilliant effort from play.

But the Galway side who had come to Ballinlough confident of causing a major shock showed why they were highly regarded by hitting back with three unanswered points of their own from Olivia Divilly, Anne Marie Miskell and Annette Clarke to lead by two at the end of the first quarter.

However, Carnacon upped the ante in the second quarter where the backs gave theKilkerrin/Clonberne dangerous forwards few good scoring chances while they picked off some delightful scores at the other end of the field. Indeed, Carnacon landed five unanswered points, four from Staunton, two frees, and one from Fiona McHale. The Galway side only scored once during this second quarter, a pointed free by Divilly, which left them trailing by one, 0-7 to 0-6, at the interval.

For the second half the Carnacon management introduced Claire Egan who had been out with a hand injury for the past six weeks. The Mayo star had a big influence as Carnacon quickly took full control of the game.

With the wind behind them they drove forward and soon put plenty of daylight between themselves and Kilkerrin/Clonberne. In the third quarter they outscored their opponents by five points to one. Cora Staunton got all five points, three frees and two from play with the Galway sides point coming from Annette Clarke.

In the final quarter Carnacon closed the game with a succession of points. Staunton put them six clear before Martha Carter carried the ball a full 50 yards before planting the ball between the posts.

Kilkerrin/Clonberne just about kept in touch with points from Claire Dunleavy and Louise Ward. However, there was going to be no denying Carnacon and Staunton added five more points in between a delightful effort from wing back Erina Flannery.

The Galway side did put a more respectable look on the final scoreboard with late points from Olivia Divilly and Clarke.

So, it is now onwards and upwards for Carnacon. They have just under three weeks to prepare for the All-Ireland semi-final. But as we have seen in previous years they just improve with every game. Judging on last Saturday’s performance they seem to be hitting top form and will go into the semi-final with plenty of confidence.

After losing last years All-Ireland final they promised to come back stronger in 2013 and all accounts they are doing just that.

 

Scorers for Carnacon: C. Staunton 0-16, M. Carter, F. McHale, E. Flannery 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kilkerrin/Clonberne: A. Clarke 0-4, O. Divilly 0-3, L. Ward 0-2, C. Dunleavy, A.M. Miskill 0-1 each.

Carnacon: M. Higgins, A. Loftus, N. Tierney, S. McGing, Marie Corbett, C. McGing, E. Flannery, M. McGing, M. Carter, D. Hughes, F. McHale, N. Moylett, A. Brennan, C. Staunton, Michelle Corbett.

Sub used: C. Egan.

Kilkerrin/Clonberne: L. Murphy, A. Heverin, S. Gormally, A. Mahoney, A. Walsh, N. Ward, C. Boyle, A. Clarke, L. Gannon, O. Divilly, S. Ward, L. Ward, C. Dunleavy, A.M. Miskill, K. Flanagan.

Subs used: L. Walsh, A.M. Boyle, D. Bracken.

Referee: J. Niland (Sligo).

 

By Aiden Henry

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