Match Report: Battle-weary Pearses are no match for Kavanagh inspired Davitts in final
FT: Davitts 6-12 Pearses 2-8
All-Ireland club camogie champions for the past 3 years, Pearses, were totally outclassed by a superior and more determined Davitts team in the Galway final at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe on Sunday last.
There was no denying the destination of county honours and Davitts had the warning bells ringing for the Ballymacward side as early as the sixth minute when they struck a brace of goals in less than sixty seconds. By the time Pearses had their first serious attack, Davitts had raced ahead into a 2-2 lead.
Pearses were a pale shadow on the side that had the taken five All Ireland titles in the past seven years. The years at the top were telling on a much less mobile, but ever dangerous Sharon Glynn, who for eight title victories in ten years had been the powerhouse of the team.
The loss of the industrious Carmel Hannon was also severely felt and the younger players on the Pearses team lacked the leadership provided in the past by these two players. A much subdued Sharon Glynn was still left to carry the team as the younger players faltered.
On the other hand, Davitts played like a team yearning for success. They needed little motivation against a team which had beaten them by just the minimum in the past three years and had then marched on to win All Ireland titles.
Coming out of Galway in 1999, Davitts had failed to take national honours, but on the evidence of their play on Sunday last, they will surely be strong contenders to take over the mantle of this great Pearses side.
Davitts had clearly decided that they were no longer to be the bridesmaids and Rita and Ann Broderick, Ailbhe and Caroline Kelly, Deirdre Murphy, and the highly effective Olivia Forde, Mary Kelly and the towering Lourda Kavanagh ed the charge on the battlefield.
Although Mary Kelly struck over Davitts first point on ninety seconds, the game quickly developed inot the Lourda Kavanagh show. Galway’s top scorer in this year’s championship, struck over a pointed free to the Pearses net after Olivia Forde was fouled.
Fifty seconds later Kavanagh had struck another killer blow when collecting the ball thirty five yards from goal broke through the defence and unleashed a rasping shot past a helpless Louise Curry in the Pearses goal.
The game was nine minutes old when Pearses made their first attack and a delightful move deserved a better finish. Veronica Sweeney became supplier for Rebecca Lally who in turn found Sharon Glynn thirty metres from the Davitts goal, and the Pearses stalwart delivered a piledriver that looked destined for the top corner of the net but drifted just outside the post and wide.
However, four minutes later Pearses Martina Carr found Glynn and this time she blasted to the net despite the best efforts of Michelle Tynan in the Davitts goal. Glynn added a free but Davitts were quickly back on track. Kavanagh landed a point from play before Deirdre Murphy, who had played for Clare in the All Ireland Junior final a week earlier, set up Olivia Forde for another Davitts goal. Mary Kelly then struck over a point before scoring Davitts fourth goal and Pearses were well and truly rocked. Lorraine Lally struck over a Pearses point but a Deirdre Murphy point had Davitts 4-5 to 1-2 in front at the break.
Deirdre Murphy scored another Davitts point before Sharon Glynn and Lourda Kavanagh traded a brace apiece. Pearses then produced their best spell of the game. Sharon Glynn and Aine Hillary struck over two points apiece that left Pearses trailing by three goals with the score Davitts 4-8 Pearses 1-8 and 12 minutes left to play.
A goal for Pearses at that stage and it was all to play for but instead tragedy struck the holders. After Lourda Kavanagh had pointed a free, a speculative Olivia Forde shot was dropped by Louise Curry and after Kavanagh added another free the game was over as a contest.
Sharon Glynn blasted the ball to the Davitts net from a twenty metre free but the sting had been taken out of Pearses and they failed to respond to Glynn’s efforts. Kavanagh ended a glorious day for the Tynagh side with another goal sandwiched between two more points.
Davitts: M Tynan, O Watson, R Broderick, L Fahy, P Pierce, A Broderick, L Flynn, A Kelly, O Forde, L Kavanagh, M Kelly. Subs: L Gohery for Watson, C Kelly for D Kelly, P Hayes for Flynn.
Pearses: L Curry, S Barrett, A Ward, T Burke, M Donnellan, T Laheen, M Carr, A Hillary, L Lally, V Sweeney, M Glynn, O Kilkenny, R Lally, S Glynn, S Ward,. Subs: C Hannon for Ward.
Referee: J Cooney.