Late goal ends Athleague adventure






AIB All-Ireland Camogie Junior Semi-Final: Clanmaurice 3-4 Athleague 1-7


A goal from Jessica Fitzell deep in injury-time broke Athleague hearts in this thrilling All-Ireland semi-final played at Ballinderreen last Saturday.

  Athleague never threw in the towel but the Kerry champions were never behind in the game from the time their best player, Patrice Diggin, hand-passed to the Athleague net in the opening minute.

  Diggin was fantastic throughout. Indeed, her breathtaking goal-line clearance with the sides level in the closing stages was one of the game’s pivotal moments.

  Athleague had settled thanks to points from Kelley Hopkins (a free) and a neat score from Leanne Fleming.

  Diggin then hit two points from frees, either side of a score from Fiona Connell Jones, and it was 1-2 to 0-3 at the interval.

  Diggin fired her first from play two minutes after the resumption before adding her second goal, a 30-metre free which dipped viciously late to hit the top corner of the net.

  Athleague never gave up and after Connell-Jones and Dineen swapped points, Rachel Fitzmaurice raised a green flag and suddenly it was game on.

  Athleague kept coming with points from Connell-Jones, Niamh Farrell and Annette McGeeney. The momentum shifted late on however when Aoife Behan made a vital interception approaching the end of normal time.

  Into injury-time it went and Fitzell cleverly converted with her back to goal following a goalmouth scramble to end Athleague’s All-Ireland dream.

Clanmaurice: A Maunsell, T Moran, N Leen, M Costello, E Ryall, S Murphy, O Young, P Diggin (2-3), O Dineen (0-1), A Behan, L Collins, S Horgan, J Fitzell (1-0), J Horgan, A Leen. Sub: A O’Connor for Horgan.

Athleague: P Daly, E Brennan, N Farrell (0-1), C Whyte-Lennon, N Conway, K Hopkins (0-1), M Tiernan, L Fleming (0-1), E Ní Chumhaill, L Walsh, A McGeeney (0-1), R Fizmaurice (1-0), H Gavin, F Connell-Jones (0-3), R Brennan.

Referee: A Doheny (Laois).