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Cracking Inch performance see them win by a mile

Cracking Inch performance see them win by a mile

By Fr Liam Kelleher


Inch Rovers 5-11 Donoughmore 3-7

There was a surreal feeling of expectancy, from the very off, at
Caherlag, on Sunday evening when the proud record of 11 in a row
of Champions Donoughmore, was placed on the line. From the opening
moments, when Inch tore into their opponents with abandon, mind
you, it was with, constructive, methodical and ultimately effective
football, the tension was palpable. Indeed by the 10th minute they
had set out this stall as they raced into a 4 point lead, which
could indeed have been 10, but for a point blank save by Tracy Rogers,
from player of the match Amy O’Shea and a least one glaring miss.

Claire Keohane, who excelled for Cork, in their
under 16, All-Ireland win, used her strength to good effect
and caused the Donougmore defence major headaches and fired
over the opening point, with the others coming from, Amy O’Shea,
Jill Horan and Anne Marie Walsh. Juliet Murphy steadied the
ship and got her club on the scoreboard in the 12th minute,
Amy O’Shea replied with a point from a free, off the ground,
on the 15th minute. Then came, what many expected, to be the
defining moment, of the half and of the game, when Aisling
Barrett broke through and sent a stinging shot goalwards,
it appeared to be well covered by Inch keeper Jessica Power,
but the ball viciously spun away from her and nestled in the
back of the net. In a fleeting moment, against the run of
play, much of Inch’s good work appeared to be undone. But
it was not, because they put the setback behind them, and
they even upped the ante, to reach the short whistle 1-7 to
1-4 on the credit side, the goal coming in the 25th minute
from Amy O’Shea, but it was still all to play for.

In many of their previous triumphs, Donoughmore dug themselves
out of tight corners and the majority in the big attendance,
expected them to do so again. Inch coped well at the back,
when the pressure that was put on them, by the much vaunted
Donoughmore attack. Angela Walsh was majestic and got huge
support, from Sandra Smiddy and Mairead Kennedy. Outside them
at centre back Ciara Walsh grew in stature as the game progressed,
but it was at midfield through the huge work rate of Annie
Walsh and Orla Cotter that most of the damage was done. Donoughmore
found it difficult to cope with their hard running tactics.
Anne Marie Walsh increased Inch’s lead a minute after the
break and the Donoughmore goal, had a charmed life when an
Amy O’Shea free hit the cross bar, bounded down near the goal
line and 2 efforts to scramble the ball over the line were
thwarted. Then Inch introduced Cork under 14 star Jessica
O’Shea and she made an immediate impact, with a class point,
after a mazy trademark run.

Jessica O’Shea inch is
confronted by Gemma O’Connor

The real killer blows were then struck, when first of all Amy O’Shea
sent the keeper the wrong way with a penalty and this was quickly
followed by another a pile driver from Claire Keohane, increasing
the gap to a secure looking 11 points with 15 minutes to go.

Inch then went into defence mode, with the obvious intent, of what
we have, we hold. They were caught by 2 quickfire goals, one a punched
cross to the net from Ruth Ann Buckley and a second from Juliet
Murphy who blasted the ball to the net past 8 defenders, she quickly
added a point and suddenly just 6 points separated the sides with
7 minutes to go, that subsequently turned out to be 15, with time
added for lengthy stoppages. Inch proved their real credentials,
by coming back for 2 further goals from Amy O’Shea and another disallowed
for an innocuous looking push, on the keeper with Anne Marie Walsh
and Claire Keohane adding points in between, to seal a famous win
and send them to their first Senior final, this coming Sunday.

Donoughmore’s long reign was over, having graced the fields of Cork
and Ireland with such pride and passion for 11 years they must now
recharge the batteries and come back to fight another day.

What of Inch? this performance will make them favourites for the
Co title and last years All-Ireland Intermediate Champions, oozing
with class and guided by, a dedicated Noel O’Connor, will be around
for a long time to come. One thing is certain, their final clash
with St Val’s, will mean a new name will be inscribed on the trophy
and it will be a game well worth travelling to see.

Referee Michael John O’Keefe refereed the Game sensibly, tolerating
no nonsense, he left the game flow and tooted on his whistle, sparingly,
in a job well done. No question re, the player of the match, Amy
O’Shea, inched past some more of her outstanding colleagues, but
her golden feet notching a total of 4-2 would have sufficed to tie
the game, swung it for.

Cork County Finalists Inch Rovers

Inch scorers Amy O’Shea 4-2 Claire Keohane 1-3. Anne Marie Walsh
0-3 Jill Horan 0-1 Jessica O’Shea 0-1. Annie Walsh 0-1 Donoughmore
Juliet Murphy 1-3 Ruth Ann Buckley 1-1 Aisling Barrett 1-0 Catriona
O’Connell 0-1.

Inch Rovers Jessica Power, Mairead Kennedy Angela Walsh capt. Snadra
Smiddy, Fiona Walsh, Ciara Walsh Jenny Duffy, Annie Walsh, Orla
Cotter, Elaine Walsh, Ann Marie Walsh, Ella Ryan, Jill Horan Amy
O’Shea, Claire Keohane. Sub used Jessica O’Shea.

Donoughmore Tracey Rodgers Emer Walsh, Linda Barrett, Sarah O’Connell,
Rosie O’Mahony, Rena Buckley Vera Sheehan, Juliet Murphy Gemma O’Connor,
Aisling Barrett , Ann Marie O’Shea, Aisling O’Connor, Catriona O’Connell,
Louise Murphy, Ruth Ann Buckley sub used Catriona Moran

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