Liam Mellows 1-17
By Sarah Gaughran
Liam Mellows claimed their first ever Connacht Camogie title on Saturday in the Connacht GAA Air Dome when they overcame Oran of Roscommon in the Pat Barrett final. A strong second half by the city side helped in getting them over the line in a tightly contested contest between the two sides.
Ciara Dolan opened the scoring for Liam Mellows in the second minute. Andrea Fallon hit the net for Oran in the eighth minute to give them the lead in the game. Frees from Roisin Hughes and Niamh McPeake brought the sides level by the 13th minute. Gráinne Whyte and McPeake swapped scores before Fallon put Oran back in the lead with a well taken score from play. But a point from Hughes and a McPeake point, put Liam Mellows ahead by the slimmest of margin by the 19th minute. Orla Connolly responded with two frees for Oran while McPeake added another free in injury time to leave the sides level at half time.
A strong second half showing by the Liam Mellows was key to their victory. A free through McPeake and points from Danielle Grealish and Dolan, put Liam Mellows into a three point lead into the second half. Fallon added another free to her tally but a point from Chloe Folan and a McPeake free extended Liam Mellows' lead even further.
Connolly got her opening score from play on the midway point of the half but 1-2 from Liam Mellows in the space of four minutes made it look like it was going to be their day. A goal through Folan on the 45th minute and points from Aoife Elwood and a free from McPeake extended their lead to eight with 11 minutes of normal time remaining.
Oran didn’t give up, however. Two Hazel Kelly points and a point from Fallon reduced the deficit to five. Liam Mellows hit back with two McPeake frees and a point from Laoise McDonnell. Shauna McDermott did sneak a penalty in injury time for Oran but it wasn’t enough as Liam Mellows ran out 1-17 to 2-9 on the day.
Liam Mellows will be able to put all the disappointment of the last few years behind them as they can now add the Pat Barrett trophy to their role of honour for 2023. For Oran, they put in a gallant effort and they have been unlucky to lose out in a final for the second time in two weeks, but Mellows' ability to take their points was key to the victory.