All-Ireland bid foiled despite Castlegar's successful season

Castlegar’s dreams of adding a second All-Ireland Intermediate title to their role of honour 10 years on from their first ended on Saturday when they lost to James Stephens from Kilkenny in the semi-final played in UL's Macguires pitch.

Castlegar will look back on missed chances, but they can be proud how they battled throughout the game, eventually losing by 1-10 to 0-8.

It has been a hugely successful year Castlegar despite losing this final. Unbeaten in the championship up until this point, they have league, championship and Connacht titles to their name for the 2022 season as they look forward to playing Senior B camogie in Galway in the 2023.

Emma Murphy from Castlegar and Emma Manogue from James Stephens exchanged early scores in the opening three minutes as both sides’ defences stood strong, making it hard for the forwards to score.

Sophie O’Dwyer added two points for James Stephens in the seventh and eighth minutes to open up a two-point lead for the village. Castlegar had a goal chance on the 13th minute, but Roisin Crowe was denied by a super save by James Stephens' keeper Lucy McGrath.

Crowe tried to get onto the end of the rebound, but when Caoimhe Callanan caught the ball, it looked like Castlegar were going to get the goal they deserved. But Callanan was also denied by McGrath who pulled off her second save.

Chloe Broderick managed to send over a point for Castlegar to gain some momentum, but O’Dwyer added three unanswered points to leave four between the sides. Broderick, however, ensured Castlegar had the final say of the half when she scored her second point to leave it James Stephens 0-6 Castlegar 0-2.

James Stephens were quickly on target after the restart, but Castlegar showed their fight and determination. The Broderick twins, Elisha and Chloe, and Callanan, all added points to Castlegar’s tally to leave the minimum between the sides with 14 minutes of normal time remaining.

James Stephens' captain Niamh Deely ended Castlegar’s scoring spree when she slotted a point in the 48th minute, and within the Kilkenny oufit scored the most crucial score.

Minogue and Niamh Butler teamed up to set up Michelle Teehan and the All Ireland senior medal winner and All Star nominee for Kilkenny made no mistake when striking the ball into the back of the Castlegar net.

Castlegar did not panic with the Broderick sisters adding two points, but O’Dwyer added the insurance score for James Stephens in injury time through a free and Deely added another point for the winners who head now to Croke Park for the final.


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