#MILFORD, CORK……………………………………………………………………………….…….1-7

BURGESS-DUHARRA, TIPPERARY……………………………………………………………0-6

The high kings of Munster may be reputed to have resided at Cashel but there is no doubt this week where the Queens of Munster camogie live, it is Milford in North Cork.

Fresh from a stunning victory over St. Catherine’s to claim their first ever Cork Senior Camogue title, the ground breaking girls from Milford added ano-ther first on Saturda,y the Munster Senior Club Camogie title, following victory over Tipperary champions, Burgess-Duharra at Lattin.

The snow-capped Galtees provided the backdrop for the coronation of the Cork champions on a bitterly cold, dank day in west Tipperary. No doubt the honours rest where they belong and for long periods, especially in the first half, Milford out-played their opponents, but some good work was undone by poor shooting that resulted in seven wides in the first half. The winners’ play was charac-terised by some neat approach work that very often floundered in the final third and did not yield the scoring dividend that it deserved.

Manager Frank Flannery and his selectors Leila Long, James McGrath and Sean McAuliffe have assembled a squad of very talented exponents of the code that play with style, flair and panache all underpinned by a great teamwork ethic. November with heavy underfoot conditions may not be the best time to expose these qualities but on Saturday, Milford had plenty to see off the challenge of the Tipperary girls and in many ways the scoreboard did not adequately reflect the Cork girls’ greater dominance in play.

Four times All-Star Anna Geary was majestic at centre half back and rightly claimed the Player of the Match accolade. Not far behind her was team captain Elaine O’Riordan at full back who held Burgess Duharra ace Eimear McDonnell scoreless; this duo linch- pinned a defence that over the hour conceded just six points and only two from open play. Deirdre O’Reilly and Aisling Thompson were dominant in the middle exchanges especially in the first half while up front the attacking sextet of the Watson trio, the vastly experienced Regina Curtin together with Maria Walsh and Marie O’Neill all pos-ed threat at every oppor-tunity. It is to the credit of the Burgess-Duharra defence that they limited Milford’s potent attack, team captain Trish O’Hal-loran, Jenny O’Halloran and Aisling Cremin led a stubborn resistance in the Premier County girls’ rearguard. Caoimhe Maher thundered into the game in the second half at midfield while up front, it was the full forward line that posed the greatest threat with Eimear McDonnell and the Kennedys, Tara and Amy.

The Tipperary champions started brightly with full forward Eimear McDonnell forcing a smart save from Rebecca Finn as early as the 2nd minute before Amy Kennedy put them ahead. Milford quickly recovered and took control of proceedings and were rewarded on five minutes when Marie Watson blocked down a Burgess-Duharra defender’s inten-ded clearance and chased the rebound and hammered to the net. Neat points by Marie O’Neill and Regina Curtin had the Cork cham-pions in the ascendency 1-2 to 0-1 after 10 minutes. Despite dominating, Milford shot a few very bad wides before extending the lead with an Emer Watson white flag on 20 minutes. Two pointed frees from Tara Kennedy hauled the Tipperary girls back into the contest as half time approached by Emer Watson’s second point from a placed ball helped her side into a 1-4 to 0-3 lead at the interval.

The Tipperary champions shaded it in the third quarter and produced the only two scores of the period, a Tara Kennedy free on 36 minutes and the team’s second and last from play in the hour by Caoimhe Maher on 43 minutes to leave just two points between the sides 1-4 to 0-5 as the game entered the last quarter. Two pointed frees in as many minutes from Emer Watson pushed Milford back into a four point lead early in the final quarter and the cushion was extended to five on 52 minutes when Marie O’Neill was the provider and set up Marie Watson for a very good point. After that Burgess-Duharra threw caution to the winds and ensured all the allowed substitutes were used as they piled forward, but they were unable to find a way through a well organised and disciplined Milford defence. All they had to show for a period of late sustained pressure was Tara Kennedy’s fourth point from a free that in the end was nothing more than of academic interest.

After the game Eamonn Browne, Chairman of the Munster Camogie Council presented the trophy to Milford’s winning captain Elaine O’Riordan and the Player of the Match Award to Anna Geary.

Scorers: Milford: Emer Watson 0-4, 4f, Marie Watson 1-1, Marie O’Neill and Regina Curtin 0-1 each.

Burgess-Duharra: Tara Kenny 0-4, 4f, Amy Kennedy and Caoimhe Maher 0-1 each.

Milford: Rebecca Finn; Katie Galvin, Elaine O’Riordan (capt.), Lisa Healy; Orlaith O’Mahony, Anna Geary, Sarah Sexton; Deirdre O’Reilly, Aishling Thompson; Marie Walsh, Emer Watson, Aine Watson; Marie O’Neill, Regina Curtin and Maria Watson. Subs: Louise O’Flynn for A. Watson (40) and Sinead O’Flynn for M. Walsh (50).

Burgess-Duharra: Nessa O’Driscoll; Elaine King, Aisling Cremin, Eimear Dwan; Deirdre McDonnell, Trish O’Halloran (capt.), Jenny O’Halloran; Cao-imhe Maher, Aine Mul-cahy; Ruth Barry, Sheena Howard, Sarah Hayes; Tara Kennedy, Eimear McDonnell and Amy Kennedy. Subs: Gemma Grace for E. Dwan (16), Amanda Egan for S. Hayes (42), Ciara McKeogh for S. Howard (53), Maeve Moloney for R. Barry (56) and Niamh O’Donoghue for A. Kennedy (60).

Referee: Fintan McNamara, Clare.