The large attendance in Sallins last Sunday might have thought that Carbury were well on their way at the interval when they led 0 – 10 to 0 – 3 but how wrong that assumption proved as Kilcock battled their way back into the game and in the end Carbury were hanging on as Kilcock won a series of frees. Three points down entering injury time Kilcock tried to work a gaol from a few free but then Emma Rochford and Katie Devine took points and right at the death Orla Cagney got in to the 20 meter line but she hesitated and the chance was gone as Carbury intercepted the pass and Team Captain Andrea Brereton cleared the ball to safety.
Carbury had dominated from the start winning the throw in through Claire Sullivan and her ball to Catherine O’Malley was quickly transferred to Karen Cummins who lobbed over the bar with less than 20 seconds on the clock. Kilcock did respond quickly with Emma Rochford setting up Grace White for the leveller but by the end of the first quarter Carbury had added 5 points and looked to be at their ease. Karen Cummins got the second point when Catherine O’Malley picked her out with a free and Karen added one from play before Catherine fielded high, turned swiftly and floated one over. Karen then added her second free and her second from play with Catherine supplying the pass. Emma Rochford got her first from a free after 16 minutes to raise Kilcock spirits. A great run through the middle from Andrea Brereton, now at midfield, paved the way for Karen Cummins to point just before Grace White played a great pass to Orla Cagney to kick Kilcock’s third point. Catherine O’Malley was proving a thorn in the Kilcock defence and she pointed off a perfect Karen Cummins pass. This pair don’t even have to look to find each other. Another lung busting run from the Captain, Andrea Brereton, this one up the right wing saw her deliver a cross field pass to Catherine who popped it over and Catherine then spotted Claire Sullivan on the run and gave her the pass to put Carbury 7 points clear after 24 minutes. Kilcock tightened their defence and held out until the break without conceding any further scores.
At the break Kilcock stiffened their full back line with the introduction of Rachel Fagan and Emma Robinson pointed off a Grace White pass 3 minutes into the second half. They had to wait until the 10th minute for their next score, a pointed free from Emma Rochford after Grace White was fouled. Carbury got the nest score, when Andrea Brereton won a throw-up, Catherine O’Malley sent Sandra O’Neill away for an excellent score but Grace White again drew a free with her hard running and Emma Rochford took the chance. Just on 50 minutes Karen Cummins pointed under pressure from another Andrea Brereton pass and Carbury seemed to have sealed the deal as they then held Kilcock scoreless fro almost 10 minutes and the game was heading for added time when Kilcock sub Louise Keane pointed from the tightest of angles in the left corner. She repeated the feat within a minute and now Kilcock went looking for the equalising goal. Caoimhe Fagan-Hynes came charging up from the back but Hannagh Gilligan was equal to her shot and 3 frees Emma Rochford lobbed into the Carbury goalmouth with the last effort just clearing the cross bar and then Katie Devine got free to kick the point that left only the minimum between the sides. It was deep in injury time and Carbury raised the siege and they went for a goal. Emer Kelly saved and made 50 yards before sending her side into attack and Grace White laid off to Orla Cagney who might have shot but tried a pass which went astray and Carbury heard the sweet sound of John McLoughlin’s final whistle.
This was a mighty struggle between two very committed evenly matched teams. Hannagh Gilligan was sound in the Carbury goals while Martina O’Rourke, Serena Dowdall and Karen Kelly excelled in defence. Claire Sullivan excelled at midfield with some great running and covering as well as fielding a lot of ball while Sandra O’Neill did better when switched to half forward and Andrea Brereton did Trojan work all over the field and will be a massive lost next year as she deapterd for Australia on Monday morning. Amanda Reilly worked hard at wing forward but the main attacking force for Carbury were the duo of Catherine O’Malley and Karen Cummins whose understanding was telepathic but Carbury missed the hard grafting Mandy Mc Loughlin who played midfield all year only to be sidelined by an injury picked up in the semi final win over Na Fianna.
For Kilcock whose prestige will have been raised by their courageous display goalkeeper Emer Kelly was impressive while Bernie Durkan lorded it at full back and later at centre hald with excellent help from Caoimhe Fagan-Hynes, Rachel Fagan in the second hald and at centre back, the Captain, Shona Cagney. Sheena Byrne and Orla Cagney fought a hard battle for midfield with Orla ever willing to attack especially when the sister went forward with her. Grace White was the star in the attack as Emma Rochford was forced deep tp win ball but she always used it to good effect and kicked the frees accurately while Emma Robinson and late sub Louise Keane also impressed.