‘Our best performance of the year!’

Electrifying Roscommon claim camogie All-Ireland

Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor B Camogie Final: Roscommon 1-14 Laois 1-5

Ruth Gannon and Aideen O’Brien from Roscommon attempt to get the ball from Laois’ Lucy Conroy during last Sunday’s All-Ireland Minor B Camogie Final at St. Brendan’s Park, Birr, Co. Offaly. Pic: ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Joint manager Colm Kelly hailed Roscommon’s display in last Sunday’s Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor B Camogie Final as their “best performance of the year” after the ladies won the national silverware in style.

Roscommon’s minor camogie team won a thoroughly deserved All-Ireland title after a superb display in front of a big crowd at St Brendan’s Park in Birr last Sunday.

Colm Kelly and Sean O’Brien’s team were on the front foot from the early stages and never looked like they would be beaten. Their defence was magnificent, the fact that Laois only got their first score from play in the 55th minute being evidence of that.

Kelly told People Sport: “It was a mighty display from the girls today. Laois hardly scored from play at all and that was down to our team display. It was our best performance all year”.

Up front, Roscommon were really sharp from play and frees, taking their scores well. There were stars in primrose and blue all over the field, with Siofra Hession simply sensational. The Roscommon Gaels player won an ocean of possession, brought her teammates into the game, and was deadly accurate from both frees and general play. The ‘Player of the Match’ award was an easy one to decide on given her brilliance on the day.

While the early exchanges were close, a more clinical Roscommon led by three points to no score after 15 minutes, with scores from Siofra Hession and Ava Mulry (frees) and Hannah Murray. Laois were struggling – particularly up front – however some excellent long-range free-taking from Eimear Hassett kept them in the contest.

The crucial goal that Roscommon deserved came in the 27th minute. Hazel Kelly did the spadework with a brilliant solo run before releasing Ava Mulry at just the right time, the corner-forward blasting the ball into the roof of the net. That score helped Roscommon into a 1-4 to 0-4 lead at the break.

It was in the third quarter that Roscommon really turned the screw. Siofra Hession was unmarkable, scoring seven second-half points from a variety of different angles as Roscommon extended their lead to 1-12 to 0-4.

That first score from play for Laois (in the 55th minute) came when Aoife Daly got in for a consolation goal, Roscommon by then coasting to victory.

Roscommon captain Mairead Lohan lifts the All-Ireland Minor B Camogie Championship trophy after her team’s victory over Laois last Sunday in St. Brendan’s Park, Birr, Co. Offaly. Pic: ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

It was a superb day for Roscommon camogie. Shauna McDermott, Mairead Lohan, Kaitlin Egan, Hazel Kelly, Ava Mulry and the irrepressible Hession all stood out in this final.

Joint managers Colm Kelly and Sean O’Brien were understandably thrilled following the final whistle, O’Brien agreeing with his colleague’s assessment that Roscommon had, with impressive timing, produced a big performance on the big stage.

“We had our homework done. We were ready for this day. We prepared diligently for it. We knew what Laois would bring here today and the girls were ready for it and they peaked today. In the third quarter we got the scores on the board that we needed”.

Kelly concluded: “It’s great for Roscommon camogie… these girls have brought it on to another level”.