St Lachtain's domination continues


Camogie Club final/ St Lachtain's 1-5 O'Donovan Rossa 1-3: The playing conditions may have been far from heavenly but O'Moore Park, Portlaoise, was paradise for St Lachtain's as the Freshford side won their third All-Ireland club senior camogie title in a row after a very hard fought final yesterday.

A goal from the player of the match, Marie O'Connor, just before half-time was the crucial score, even though Orla McColl replied in kind almost immediately, and, trailing by only a point at the break, having played into a strong wind, the Kilkenny team always looked the likeliest winners.

They managed to keep O'Donovan Rossa, their Antrim rivals, scoreless in the second half and points from All Star Imelda Kennedy, Irish underage hockey international Sinead Connery and Anne Dalton sealed a famous two-point success.

Lachtain's full back Gillian Maher will claim much of the credit for that as the daughter of Kilkenny legend Pa Dillon marshalled Rossa's captain Jane Adams brilliantly.

Exchanges were hard and with the rain being driven down by a strong wind and underfoot conditions becoming less and less conducive to free-flowing play, it always going to be an attritional affair with scores at a premium.

It took 15 minutes for the first score to be registered, courtesy of the winners' Eileen Fitzpatrick.

Adams hit back with two pointed frees and an assist for Orla McColl, but O'Connor's riposte was swift with a point, followed by that goal when she made no mistake, having sneaked in behind the Rossa's defence.

McColl finished to the net after a goalmouth scramble just before the half-time whistle to give Jim Nelson's side a 1-3 to 1-2 interval advantage.

Adams began to drift out the field to try and secure a foothold for the Ulster champions around the middle but hard as she and Gráinne Connolly tried, they could not raise a flag of any description. As the light faded dangerously, however, scores did not arrive much easier for the winners, as the players threw themselves at every challenge.

Arrive they did, however, for the side managed by John Lyng (father of Kilkenny hurler Derek) and when Dalton converted from a 42-metre free with three minutes of normal time remaining, one sensed that O'Donovan Rossa's quest for a first ever All-Ireland would continue.

ST LACHTAIN'S: L Comerford; S Cash, J Maher, F Dowling; M McCarthy, M Costelloe, A Connery; E Costelloe, A Fitzpatrick; D Delaney, S Connery (0-1), I Kennedy (0-1, free); A Dalton (0-1, free), M O'Connor (1-1), E Fitzpatrick (0-1). Subs: M Dalton for Delaney (60 mins).

O'DONOVAN ROSSA: T McGowan; P Greene, H Healy, S McGourty; C Gault, M Stewart, A McColl; C Doherty, S Daykin; M Rainey, G Connolly, F Kennedy; M McGourty, J Adams (0-2, free), O McColl (1-1). Subs: S O'Neill for O McColl (half-time); B Bell for A McColl (60 mins).

Referee: C Egan (Cork).

• Laois Harps claimed the All-Ireland club junior title with a 1-7 to 0-5 victory over Keady in Portlaoise. Louise Mahony scored five points for Harps and Elaine Mahony secured the title with a second-half goal.