Junior Camogie Championship Semi-Final Youghal 3-6 v Bishopstown 0-14 Report by Mike O'Brien
Final v Aghada Mon 31st Oct at 1pm in Castle Road
Our Junior Camogie team travelled to Ballinacurra last Saturday morning to play a highly fancied Bishopstown team at the penultimate stage of the Junior-B Championship. This game had been originally pencilled in for the previous Sunday but was called off 15 minutes before the scheduled start time due to dangerous weather conditions. When these two teams played the league final earlier in the summer, Bishopstown were the comfortable victors. However, Youghal were determined to reverse this result and did so in dramatic fashion.
Youghal played into a strong breeze in the first half and had to work hard for any rewards. Bishopstown raced into a 3-point lead. However, Amy O'Connell settled the nerves with a well taken free. Bishopstown appeared to have physically stronger players but when they tried to exert that physicality, Youghal weren't in the mood to be bullied. The entire first half was played with ferocious pace and intensity, but by half time, Bishopstown had notched up 0-8, many of which came from what appeared to be soft frees. In contrast, Youghal had 0-3 on the board with well-earned points from Leak Broderick and Chloe O'Connell adding to the earlier tally. Indeed, this 5-point deficit could have been much bigger if it weren't for the heroics of Youghal's custodian, Kate McCarthy.
On the resumption, Youghal introduced Hannah O'Keeffe who made an immediate impact with a well taken point. However, Bishopstown hit a 10-minute purple patch where they hit 4 points, with Youghal's solitary score being another pointed free from Amy O'Connell. At that point, Bishopstown had an 8-point advantage and a neutral might have expected them to finish out the game comfortably, but Youghal's defence, who had been playing well up to that point, found another level and restricted Bishopstown to only 2 more points for the remainder of the game. The strength of Youghal's squad became a huge factor which was highlighted by the contribution made by Eabha Walsh and Raina Landers when they were introduced early in the second half. Youghal showed great resilience and bravery by pushing players forward to salvage the game. This bravery was rewarded when Youghal's hard-working forwards earned a free 40 yards out. Up stepped Amy O'Connell with a sweet strike that found its way to the net. Youghal continued to exercise the strong bench and introduced Aoibhe Daly and Edel O'Connell and the feeling was that the game was beginning to turn in Youghal's favour. Youghal's forwards continued to press the Bishopstown defenders back and won another free. Another delivery from Amy O'Connell yielded another goal and Youghal's momentum was starting to further build. However, there was still a 2-point deficit and it was Bishopstown's turn to be stubborn in defence. Yet another free was earned from the hard work of the forwards and Amy O'Connell gave yet another clinical delivery. However, Bishopstown managed to scoop it away but it only offered a temporary reprieve: good timing, positioning and a well-executed ground strike from Aoibhe Daly rattled the net. This gave the lead to Youghal for the first time in the game. Hannah O'Keeffe worked hard from the Bishopstown puckout and followed up with her second point of the game to give Youghal a cushion of 2 points. At this point Bishopstown threw caution to the wind and tried to salvage something from the game. But the Youghal defence remained in miserly form and limited Bishopstown to only one more point from a free. There was elation from the Youghal camp as the final whistle blew and preparations have already started for the final in Castle Road on Bank Holiday Monday where Aghada will present as formidable opponents. Credit to Bishopstown on their performance in the game and the progress they made in 2022, but it was Youghal's day.
Team: Kate McCarthy, Chloe Landers, Louise Dempsey, Shauna O'Connell, Ruby Kennedy, Jenny Doyle(C), Lesley Cashman, Alex Cashman, Avril Cashman, Chloe O'Connell, Amy O'Connell, Leah Broderick, Ciara Crowley, Rion Walsh, Jess Swayne.
Subs: Hannah O'Keeffe for Louise Dempsey, Eabha Walsh for Chloe O'Connell, Raina Landers for Jess Swayne, Aoibhe Daly for Leah Broderick, Edel O'Connell for Lesley Cashman Scorers for Youghal:
Amy O'Connell 2-03, Aoibhe Daly 1-0, Hannah O'Keeffe 0-2, Leah Broderick 0-1, Chloe O'Connell 0-1