Clanmaurice (0-0)
Athleague (0-0)
AIB Club Championship Semi Final
Venue: Ballinderreen, Galway

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Plucky Clanmaurice Reach All Ireland Club Final

Clanmaurice 3-4 Athleague 1-7

Report by Diarmuid Kearney

Ballinderreen GAA, Co Galway

Their is an old saying that lightning never strikes twice, in August the Kerry Junior Camogie  side lost the Premier Junior Semi Final and now Clanmaurice were following in the footsteps of the Junior County team, hoping to win their All Ireland Semi Final, most of that team lined out this time in the green and black of Clanmaurice and not the normal green and gold, a spirited and hard earned fightback in the dying minutes by the plucky Munster Champions earned them a spot in this years All Ireland Junior Club Camogie Championship Final after a well deserved three point win over Athleague in Ballinderreen Co Galway.

Sixty minutes separated the sides from glory as the playing conditions ensured for tough physical game. Clanmaurice hit the front foot early on as Patrice Diggin managed to free herself from her marker and sent the ball into the net the raise the green flag within the first minute of play.

Two back to back frees from Kelley Hopkins and Fiona Connell Jones respectively had Athleague trailing by just a point midway through the half. Athleague could have raised the green flag just moments later but the shot was well saved by Clanmaurice keeper Alanna Maunsell.

Clanmaurice kept looking for opportunities to add to the scoreboard to increase their one point advantage, Jackie Horgan looked to create an opportunity for the side as she powered through the Athleague defence but was eventually brought down illegally. Patrice Diggin calmly stepped up and sent the free straight over the bar.

Laura Fleming and Patrice Diggin each exchanged frees late on, as a low scoring half drew to an end with Clanmaurice leading by two points at the break 1-2 to 0-3 the half time score.

As the second half began, Clanmaurice still had their heads up as Patrice Diggin pointed just moments after the restart extending the lead to three. Diggin was not done for the day however as she stood over a free just outside the 21 metre line two minutes later, what happened next was a thing of sheer beauty as the free was struck so sweetly it managed to dip down and fly directly into the top corner of the goal, absolutely inch perfect by Diggin!

Another exchange of scores from Fiona Connell-Jones and Olivia Dineen maintained the Clanmaurice lead at six points as the Munster Champions were looking to close out the game. Just as Athleague looked out of the contest they raised the green flag just seconds later, Rachel Fitzmaurice breaking through the Clanmaurice defence and struck the ball perfectly high into the top corner past Alanna Maunsell.

Athleague dominated the remainder of the game as Fiona Connell-Jones and Niamh Farrell both pointed from frees before Annette McGeeney levelled the game in the 59th minute which cued a rapturous cheer of support from the Roscommon Club faithful that made the way down as their side had come back from the death to try and book their place in the final.

The referee added on five minutes of additional time as the game now beame unbearable to watch from either side as everyone was on the edge of their seats, neither side deserved to lose the game late on but it was Clanmaurice who would ultimately prevail, a fantastic run by Aoife Behan ended with a shot being saved and a chaotic goalmouth scramble ensued, eventually a Kerry player managed to knock the sliotar into the back of the net raising the green flag, the main question surrounding the goal was who actually scored it?, Jessica Fitzell was later awarded the goal as she turned out to be the Clanmaurice hero of the day. Shortly after the goal the referee blew the full time whistle as Clanmaurice held on to secure a hard fought three point win.



Clanmaurice: P. Diggin (2-3)(2F), J. Fitzell (1-0), O. Dineen (0-1)

Athleague: F. Connell Jones (0-3)(3F), R. Fitzmaurice (1-0), A. McGeeney (0-1), N. Farrell, Kelley Hopkins, L. Fleming (0-1 each)(1F each)


Clanmaurice: A. Maunsell, T. Moran, N. Leen, M. Costello, E. Ryall, S. Murphy, O. Young, P. Diggin, O. Dineen, A. Behan, L. Collins, S. Horgan, J. Fitzell, J. Horgan, A.M. Leen

Athleague: P. Daly, E. Brennan, N. Farrell, C. Whyte Lennon, N. Conway, K. Hopkins, M. Tiernan, L. Fleming, E. Ní Chumhaill, L. Walsh, A. McGeeney, R. Fitzmaurice, H. Galvin, F. Connell Jones, R. Brennan.