All-Ireland heartbreak for Knockananna

A goal from Naomh Treasa’s Cora McNulty 13 minutes into the second half of the 2020 AIB All-Ireland junior B club camogie final against Wicklow champions Knockananna was the key score that helped secure glory for the Tyrone outfit by 1-4 to 0-6 on cold day in Kinnegad.

McNulty’s strike was made possible by a searing run from Roísín McErlean, who collected the player of the match award much to the delight of the large crowd that made the journey from Dungannon for this dogfight of a battle, and it was the score that changed the face of the game.

Knockananna will wonder how this one got away from them. Defensively they were very sound, that McNulty goal aside, with super performances from Áine Byrne at full-back, Emily Hadden at centre-back and Jessie Byrne, who was tasked with curtailing the dangerous McErlean and did so relatively effectively.

The problem for the Wicklow champions was the tenacity of the Naomh Treasa players at rucks and around Knockananna players when in possession. The Dungannon side had huge games from Grainne Rafferty, Beth Jones, Áine McNulty and Caitlin McNulty and the Wicklow side just didn’t find any flow in attack.

It was never going to be a high-scoring game given the ferocity of both defences and Naomh Treasa proved very successful in slowing everything down and frustrating Knockananna, never allowing them time and space to hurl to their potential.

McErlean opened the scoring from a free after four, but Rachel Byrne replied and then added another to give Wicklow a 0-2 to 0-1 lead at the first water break. Sarah Byrne extended that lead after the restart, but Naomh Treasa struck back through McErlean and a pointed free from Cara Little to level matters. Eimer Mutton swung over a beauty to give Knockananna a one-point lead at the break.

Things were looking good for the Wicklow club, celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, when Laura Hogan rifled over a stunner but a McErlean free and McNulty’s goal transformed the game.

Knockananna started chasing the game but were found guilty of overcarrying and harvested a number of wides as the minutes ticked dangerously close to the end. The lively Byrne brought it back to a one-point game but the day belonged to Naomh Treasa.

Pics Wicklownews, Tom Maher Inpho Photography

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