When history was made in Oylegate when we made our debut in the Intermediate Championship, as it was the first time ever for the Club’s second team to compete at this level. Our last involvement in this grade was with our first team in 1979, and down through the years after reaching Senior status we always competed in either the Junior A or Junior B grade as well.
However, these players have left those ranks behind thanks to their outstanding exploits over the past two years in winning back-to-back county titles. So while defeat was their lot in this encounter by 2-12 to 1-5, they should be proud of the amazing strides made and take the positives from an encouraging performance.
Indeed, the score stood at 1-9 to 1-5 with eleven minutes left, and daylight only appeared between the teams after we conceded a second goal and our rivals went on to add another three points without reply. Therese Sheil had the distinction of getting our first score when she goaled from a scramble in the seventh minute and we remained very competitive throughout the opening half. Roisin Tobin pointed a free which she earned herself with a driving run to draw us level in the 23rd minute (1-1 to 0-4) before Oylegate/Glenbrien pounced for a quick fire 1-1. There was an impressive ending to the half though as Therese Sheil pointed following an inch-perfect handpass from Michelle Murphy who had moved to wing-forward before a foul on Ciara Corrigan was punished by the accurate Roisin Tobin.
We trailed by 1-5 to 1-3 at the break and did struggle a little in the third quarter as Oylegate/Glenbrien added four points without reply. However, the consistent, solid play of the likes of Nikki Scallan, team captain Catherine Doyle, vice-captain Aine Barron, Niamh Walsh, Michelle Murphy and sub Dervla Potter hauled us back into contention. Roisin Tobin added two more points from a free and from play after another Michelle Murphy handpass before our brave challenge fell away as the opposition hit 1-3 on the trot in the last ten minutes. Team as follows; Mary Cullen, Niamh Doyle, Nikki Scallan, Sinead Kelly, Lisa Quill, Catherine Doyle (capt), Aine Barron, Niamh Walsh, Ceara O’Brien, Chloe Thomas, Roisin Tobin (0-4, 3 frees), Ciara Corrigan, Therese Sheil (1-1), Michelle Murphy, Caroline Curran. Subs Dervla Potter for Thomas, also Katie Lacey, Chloe Mahon, Catherine Roche, and Linzi Lanigan (injured).