Two-goal Allen the hero as Sars secure first Munster crown 

The Cork champions showed their mettle to repond to an early Siobhan McGrath goal
Two-goal Allen the hero as Sars secure first Munster crown 

MAKE MINE A DOUBLE: Sarsfields' Lucy Allen racing clear. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Munster Senior Camogie final

Sarsfields (Cork) 2-11 Drom-Inch (Tipperary) 2-7

Cork’s Sarsfields are Munster camogie senior champions after a deserved four-point victory over Drom-Inch in a hard-fought game on Sunday afternoon. 

Appearing in their first-ever Munster final, Sarsfields nullified the Drom attack for the most part, with their defence excellent throughout and some fine individual performances from Ellen Murphy and player of the match Lucy Allen.

Their manager Tadgh Óg Lynch was particularly delighted with his team’s bright start and their reaction to Drom's early fortuitous goal from Siobhan McGrath, an effort from 45 metres out which dropped into the net. “We knew coming up here we were going to be in a battle. We needed to play well, we did, we needed to start well, we did. The goal brought them back into it, but we responded really well."

The first half was a back-and-forth affair with both sides having periods of dominance. The Tipperary champions strung together three points in a row to take a four-point lead, but Sars replied with a goal of their own from Lucy Allen. 

A key moment came in the 24th minute with the scores level at 1-4 apiece - the impressive Clare Mullins picked out Allen with a crossfield ball, who smashed to the net for her second goal. 

"We are absolutely thrilled," said the goalscorers, "it was always just thinking of the battle and how tough it would be coming up here, to play the reigning champions.

 “We went two goals up at one stage, but you can never get complacent in this type of game, we knew they would come back. They are five in a row Tipp champions and that’s what they did, but we held strong."

The goal triggered a strong period for the Cork side as they outscored their opponents by four points to one for the rest of the half to go in six points in the ascendency at the break, 2-8 to 1-5.

Drom came out strong and were back in the game within three minutes through a goal from Miriam Campion, who batted in after a solo run. Again, Lynch was content with his side's response. "We knew they would come out all guns blazing like all champions do, and we kind of wanted to be proactive, and meet the challenge head on which we tried to do. 

“The goal we got before half-time was crucial as it gave us a cushion, and it also put pressure on them to come out and attack us.” 

Sarsfields didn’t panic and hit the next two scores, through Kate Fennessy and Hollie Herlihy, to extent the gap to five. Drom had a great goal chance not long after through Deirdre Dunne, but she couldn’t get enough power in her shot which was well saved by Sarsfields keeper Molly Lynch. 

But the gap was back to three thanks to two scores from Eimear McGrath, but that was as close as Drom could get. Orlaith Mullins stretched it to four again with nine minutes remaining, with what proved the last score of the game. 

Drom pushed for a way back, but their shooting let them down as they hit several wides in the last ten minutes, albeit under severe pressure from an excellent Sarsfields defence.

SARSFIELDS: Molly Lynch, Laura Dunlea, Ellen Murphy, Olivia McAllen, Niamh O’Callaghnan, Cliona Lynch, Lucy Kelly, Ava Fitzgerald, Evie Twomey, Orlaith Mullins (0-2), Lucy Allen (2-0), Hollie Herlihy (0-2), Clare Mullins (0-2), Kate Fennessy (0-5 3f), Katlyn Sheehan.

Subs: Rachel Roche for Sheehan (59 mins).

DROM-INCH: Kristina Kenneally, Maria Connolly, Christina Brennan, Eimear Cahill, Niamh Long, Mairead Eviston, Anne Eviston, Caroline Shanahan, Aoife McGrath (0-1), Siobhan McGrath (1-0), Mary Burke, Niamh Treacy, Katie O’Dwyer (0-1), Eimear McGrath (0-4 4f), Miriam Campion (1-1) 

Subs: Joanne Ryan for Shanahan (h/t), Michelle Woodlock for S McGrath (40 mins), Deirdre Dunne for O’Dwyer (44 mins), Maureen Ryan for Cahill (49 mins), Aine Ryan for Burke (52 mins blood) Mary Burke for A Ryan (55 mins blood reversal).

Referee: Aaron Hogg (Clare).

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