Quirke hat-trick stuns Armagh

September 12, 2016

Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Final – Carlow 4-10 Armagh 2-7

Title favourites Armagh were left stunned by a hat-trick of goals from the lethal Ciara Quirke at Croke Park as Carlow won the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Final. A year after winning the Junior A title and playing so well in Division Two of the league, Carlow will be playing Intermediate next year.

If three goal heroine Quirke was a major thorn in the Armagh side, 16-year-old substitute Rachel Sawyer brought on near the end of the opening half was another major player in the second half as she contributed 1-2 to her team’s tally.

A low scoring first half was brought to life by Quirke’s opening goal on 13 minutes but 2 minutes later Collette McSorley rattled the Barrowsiders net as Armagh rallied to take a slender 1-5 to 1-4 interval lead

The game was delicately poised at half time, with favourites Armagh leading by 1-5 to 1-4 after Quirke’s 13th minute goal had been answered two minutes later by a similar score from Colette McSorley.

Once Quirke applied the finishing touch for another goal almost immediately after the resumption Carlow never looked back.  Sawyer showed great tenacity to fend off the robust attention of 3 Armagh defenders to put over a terrific point. The Naomh Brid teenager then saw her 45th minute shot for point end up in the net after Armagh goalie Bronagh Mone attempted to kill the sliotar on her hurley but to her horror, dropped it behind the line and Carlow had opened up a five-point lead.

Armagh rallied once more with a goal of immense quality from Ciara Donnelly who displayed tremendous timing and accuracy to direct the dropping end line ball into the far corner of the net. Instead of capitalising on this superb score Armagh amazingly failed to trouble the scoreboard for the last quarter of the match.

Carlow had points from Sawyer, Quirke and Eleanor Treacy to immediately negate the impact of Donnelly’s wondrous goal and kill off any lift it could have given the Orchard girls.

In the 56th minute Quirke capped off her match winning performance as she gathered possession, swivelled and launched a rocket to the roof of the Armagh net to put the issue beyond doubt and pull off a well-deserved if surprise win for the underdogs Carlow.

After the game Carlow joint captains Teresa Meaney and Marian Doyle were presented with the Kay Mills Cup by Camogie Association President Catherine Neary

ARMAGH: B Mone, H McGeown, N Conway, C McKinley, N Markey, G Kelly, E Hayes, B Murray, L McGoldrick, R Merry (0-1), M McArdle, C Donnelly (1-6), C McSorley (1-0), C Hill, L Donnelly Subs: C Casey for Conway (45), S Woods for McGeown (48), S Molloy for Markey (54), A McAlinden for L Donnelly (59)

CARLOW: N Doyle, G Nolan, N Quirke, A Ryan, T Wilson, K Nolan, B Nolan, C Mullins, T Meaney, Marian Doyle, E Brennan, E Treacy (0-6), A Ruschitzko, M Nolan, C Quirke (3-2). Subs: R Sawyer (1-2) for Ruschitzko (29), A Dowling for M Nolan (55), N Canavan for B Nolan (59), A Murphy for A Ryan (60), Mairéad Doyle for G Nolan (60+1)

REF: A Larkin (Cork)