Agonising defeat for Laois in Leinster Camogie Final

Agonising defeat for Laois in Leinster Camogie Final

Laois come up short in heartbreaking fashion

Laois 0-15 Wexford 0-16
Leinster Intermediate Camogie Championship Final

Laois People Reporter

Laois came up agonisingly short this afternoon in the Leinster Intermediate Camogie
Championship Final, losing out by a single point to new champions, Wexford.
The game was all square deep inside injury time, but a score in the 63rd minute from Nora
Higgins proved to be the winning of the game. Higgins was undoubtedly the difference on
the day; the Wexford captain fully deserved her ‘Player of the Match’ award, scoring 0-12, including
seven frees.

A slow start once again cost Laois, who found themselves five points adrift after 20 minutes.
They have been a second-half team all season and that proved to be the case once again,
but the metronomic Higgins dragged Wexford over the line.

Laois managers, Pat Collier and Robert Jones kept faith with the fifteen that started last
week’s incredible victory over Dublin in the semi-final. It was very atmospheric in O’Connor Park, Tullamore with bagpipers and drummers leading
the players in a pre-game parade.

Both sides got off to a nervous start, with Wexford landing the only score of the opening ten
minutes. Aimee Collier finally got Laois going with a pair of quick frees, but her side were
lacklustre in defence and were duly punished by Higgins. The Wexford forward landed five
unanswered frees in a dominant ten-minute spell.

Collier finally stopped the rot with a fantastic point from distance followed by Eimear
Hassett opening her account with a great turn and shot to close the gap to two points. Orla
Redmond replied with her second score of the day, but it was Laois who finished the half
the stronger.

Hassett grabbed her second score before a Collier free made it a one-point game. The
Camross forward had two chances to level the game in stoppage time, but sent both frees
wide. 0-7 to 0-6 at half time.

Higgins opened the scoring after the break, but Laois replied with three scores in as many
minutes from Hassett, Aiva Coss and Grainne Delaney. Coss came on off the bench and
made a massive difference for Laois in the middle of the field.

Collier’s first score of the second half then moved Laois two points in front as things began
to click in attack. The sides traded scores back and forth after that but Wexford hit a purple
patch midway through the half, landing three scores in a row to edge back in front.

The game was being played at a frantic pace, with Collier and Higgins trading frees. Grainne
Delaney levelled the game with less than five minutes remaining before Collier and Higgins
once again swapped scores.

There was five minutes of injury time to be played and in the 63rd minute, the incredible
Nora Higgins picked off the winning score to the absolute devastation of the Laois players,
management and supporters.

Laois have no time to feel sorry for themselves as their All-Ireland campaign gets
underway next weekend against Cavan.

SCORERS – Laois:  Aimee Collier 0-9 (all frees), Eimear Hassett 0-3, Grainne Delaney 0-2, Aiva
Coss 0-1. Wexford: Nora Higgins 0-12 (seven frees), Orla Redmond 0-3, Emma Codd 0-1.
LAOIS: Aedin Lowry (Camross); Sarah Creagh (St Brigid’s), Leah Daly (Camross), Fiona Scully
(Camross); Aoife Finlay (St Brigid’s), Clodagh Tynan (St Brigid’s), Aoife Hyland (O’Moore’s);
Jade Bergin (The Harps), Líadan C-Fennell (O’Moore’s) (c); Alice Walsh (The Harps), Aimee
Collier (Camross), Rachael Deegan (The Harps); Grainne Delaney (Camross), Eimear Hassett
(St Brigid’s), Susie Delaney (Portlaoise). Subs: Aiva Coss (St Brigid’s) for Deegan (24), Lucy
Conroy (O’Moore’s) for C-Fennell (38), Lucy O’Connor (The Harps) for S. Delaney (45), Jessie
Quinlan (St Brigid’s) for Creagh (49).
WEXFORD: Lizzie Dempsey; Clodagh Jackman, Marie Clare Morrissey, Kellyanne Dempsey;
Lorna Fortune, Amy Cahill, Grace Roche; Clodagh Fitzhenry, Muireann Fitzpatrick; Lisa
Firman, Nora Higgins, Caoimhe Byrne; Emma Codd, Sarah Doyle, Orla Redmond. Subs: Leah
Furlong for Roche (36), Ciara Butler for Firman (46), Lettie Whelan and Sadhbh Buttle for
Byrne and Fitzhenry (both 51), Emer Hunt for Doyle (61)

REFEREE: Gavin Donnegan (Dublin)