Littlewoods Ireland Camogie National League Division Four Final
Cavan 3-16 Roscommon 0-7
The revival in the fortunes of the Roscommon junior camogie side came to an abrupt halt at Pearse Park in Longford last Sunday when they were totally outclassed by a very impressive Cavan team in the Division Four final.
After four good performances to get to the decider, Cavan proved a bridge too far for Frank Browne’s team and the match was a reminder of just how much work Roscommon will have to do to be able to compete at a higher level. Cavan beat Roscommon by 13 points in the championship last year. If anything, they have improved since that day in Athleague and they pulled away in what was a one-sided second half.
Roscommon missed a couple of good chances in the first half when the game was competitive but their return of just three points from play in the whole game was an indication of just how well beaten they were.
After a good start from Cavan, points from Kelley Hopkins and a Leah Rowe free narrowed the gap to one (0-3 to 0-2) by the 18th minute but once Niamh Keeneghan drove a great shot to the net in the 20th minute Roscommon were in trouble. Nicola Crean had a goal chance in the 25th minute but it was well saved by Laura Bambrick and at half-time Cavan led by 1-5 to 0-4.
It was all one-way traffic after the break as Cavan took over completely. A string of well-taken points and further goals from Niamh Keeneghan and Shanice Fitzsimons compounded Roscommon’s misery.
Niamh Farrell was Roscommon’s best player on the day and there were flashes of quality from Rachel Fitzmaurice and sub Shauna Fallon but it was a very disappointing day out for the Rossies and much work needs to be done ahead of the championship next month.
After the game, a despondent Roscommon manager Frank Browne was very realistic about the performance.
“I thought that at half-time we were there or thereabouts but in fairness to Cavan they are a good side but we have no excuses, we were beaten fairly and squarely.
“All we can do now is go back to the drawing board. We did a lot of really good things during the league campaign, and we will go away and lick our wounds and come back harder again. We know how high the bar is set after today and it was a chastening experience. But as sports people we will get up and go again and these girls will do that too.
“I’m not making excuses, but this group has only been together for two months and we have a lot of learning and building to do. We haven’t had time to do any kind of tactical work at all and we were out there today as 15 individual hurlers. But we will go away and put that right.
“We are better than this but we have to look forward. Losing is one thing but losing and not learning is the biggest mistake we could make and we learned a lot here today,” he said.
Roscommon: Michaela Fallon; Chloe Whyte-Lennon, Niamh Farrell, Eimear McNulty; Rachel Dolan, Joanne Beattie, Alisha Lenehan; Niamh Watson, Rachel Fitzmaurice (0-1); Áine O’Meara, Niamh Coyle, Rebecca Brennan (0-1); Kelley Hopkins (0-2, 1 free), Nicola Crean, Leah Rowe (0-2, frees). Subs: Shauna Fallon (0-1, free) for Lenehan (h/t). Sinead O’Brien for Crean (39), Shona Hanly for O’Meara (56).
Cavan: Laura Bambrick; Caoimhe Clarke, Aideen Coyle, Lauren Ellis; Rosie Crowe-McKeever, Erin Galligan, Aoishe O’Reilly; Ciara Finnegan (0-2), Josephine Maguire (0-1); Clodagh Keeneghan (0-6, 5 frees ’45), Shanice Fitzsimons (1-2), Sinead McKenna (0-1); Niamh Keeneghan (2-3), Orla Smith, Niamh Reilly. Subs: Elaine Brady for Smith and Lorna Cahill for Ellis (45), Tina Reilly for O’Reilly (50), Emer Fitzpatrick (0-1) for N Reilly (56), Carmel Fay for Clarke (59).
Referee: Aaron Hogg (Clare)