Tesco Connacht Intermediate club final Caltra Cuans (Galway) 3-13 Drumcliffe/Rosses Point 2-8
Report: John Mulligan - Galway Bay FM
LAST YEAR Caltra Cuans took home All-Ireland Junior glory. This year, they are on the verge of yet another legendry journey following their impressive eight point win over Sligo side Drumcliffe/Rosses point on Sunday last. To say this was an impressive display would be only telling half the story. It was one that the whole team and subs had a part in and now an All-Ireland Quarter Final awaits in London in two weeks time. To give their opponents credit, the Sligo champions never stopped fighting and their two goals near the end were just reward for their endeavour. However, Caltra always had the upper hand and played with great skill and panache throughout. The opening period of play showed no real domination from either side. Drumcliffe/Rosses Point opened the scoring with a free from Siobhan O’Sullivan before Caltra responded with a good point from Therese Loughnane after fifteen minutes. There may have only been two scores but there were some great passages of play with both sides going for scores only to find the opposition’s back six in excellent form. It would be the 19th minute before the first blow would come and it came from Caltra. Orlaith Hannon scoring a great goal from the best part of twenty metres giving Lindsey McManus no chance. It lit the touch paper and from there Caltra Cuans never looked back. A point from Emma Naughton extended their lead before goal number two came. Ciara Kilroy’s long effort was misjudged by McManus who was unfortunate to see the ball fly by her and into the net. When Aine Mannion added a point moments later, it almost killed the game off as a contest. Further points from Mannion and Naughton had Caltra in a very comfortable position by half time as they led by ten points.
The second half was similar despite the strong breeze that now favoured Drumcliffe/Rosses Point. IT also saw the teams up their game considerably. The Sligo champions got off to the better start with points from Siobhan O’Sullivan and Claire Hoey before Hannon restored the status quo with a fine effort. Sinead McHale hit back with a point but as the game was moving into the final stages it was now becoming clear that there would be no great comeback. Two Mannion points had Caltra looking comfortable before the final nail was struck. Orla and Niamh Kilkenny entered the fray and as was the case in the semi final, they took the game by storm. A move that started with Orla went through Mannion into the hands of Niamh and she made sure with a great goal. More points from Naughton, Hannon and Megan Kelly put Caltra sixteen points clear with barely minutes to go but Drumcliffe/Rosses Point still fought on and two goals in the space of a minute from Andrea Dolan and O’Sullivan put a gloss on the scoreboard. It was left to Niamh Kilkenny to finish the scoring and send Caltra Cuans into an All-Ireland quarter final in London in a fortnight against Parnells of London.
Caltra Cuans: Lucy Greene: Nicole Conway, Caroisa McHugh, Helen Cullinane: Aoife Ni Cheallaigh, Sarah Noone, Aine Tully: Laura Naughton, Ciara Kilroy (1-0): Emma Naughton (0-2), Orlaith Hannon (1-2), Sinead Mannion,, Breda Hanlon (0-1), Theresa Loughnane, Aine Mannion (0-6). Subs Used: Megan Kelly (0-1) for Hanlon, Lorraine Lally for Conway, Orla Kilkenny for Loughnane, Niamh Kilkenny (1-1) for Mannion.
Drumcliffe/Rosses Point: Lindsey McManus: Orla McGowan, Grainne Loughlin, Aisling Ewing: Alison Spratt, Valerie O’Beirne, Andrea Horgan: Laura Fowley, Laura Goonan: Claire Hoey (0-1), Siobhan O’Sullivan (1-3), Karina Caraway: Nicole Fowley (0-2), Andrea Dolan (1-0), Sinead McHale (0-1). Subs Used: Louise Devins for Dolan, Jackie Caraway (0-1) for McHale, Linda Rooney for Hoey, Rose Hennigan for Spratt.
Referee: Gerry Carmody (Mayo).