There was a host of International medal success for Irish sportswomen this past month, not to mention National Medals for Cork and Limerick.
Limerick won their first ever Munster Senior Camogie title on Saturday in Charleville defeating Cork 1-13 to 0-14 in an enthralling clash of the highest quality. Limerick got off to the best possible start with a goal from Caoimhe Lyons inside the opening minute.
Cork responded with points from Gemma O’Connor and then had a period of dominance culminating in six points without reply. The final whistle blew to great celebration from an enthusiastic Limerick support. It was a dramatic and historic win and just reward for the work that has been put into Limerick Camogie over the past few years.
Squad Goals Returns
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Cork were crowned Ladies National Football League Division 1 champions for the fifth successive year. The Rebelettes made it nine League titles in ten seasons with a nervy one-point victory over Donegal at Parnell Park on May 7th. With an average age of just 21, it was an impressive performance despite the absence of Rena Buckley, Briege Corkery, Deirdre O’Reilly and the injured Brid Stack. Ultimately, the attacking class of All-Star Orla Finn proved the difference, scoring 1-4 herself in the first half before adding six second half points.
The Irish duo of Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe and Liberty Insurance Ambassador, Natalya Coyle won gold in the mixed relay event at the modern pentathlon World Cup IV event in Poland on May 29th. "We started off the day well and then we had a really good fence, and we didn't have a great ride, so it was lucky we were in a good position. It was a really good day," Coyle said afterwards.
For the second time in three seasons, Ireland’s Leona Maguire has been named the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) National Player of the Year.
Over 10 events in 2016-17, Maguire registered eight top-five placements, three victories and 21 rounds of even or under par. The award comes just hours after the Cavan woman — already the world’s number one amateur golfer — finished an agonising second for Duke University at the NCAA Championship at Rich Harvest Farms.
Garda CC’s Eve McCrystal was again unstoppable in the Cycling Ireland Women’s National Road Series on Sunday, May 7th, as she sprinted to a third successive victory.
The Dundalk rider has now won all three rounds of the 2017 elite league, her latest coming at the Deenside Cup in Kilkenny. “I found myself boxed in with 300m to go and had a bit of work to get out of that so I was relieved to win”. The win means McCrystal’s lead has extended to 30 points over second-placed Katharine Smyth, who finished fourth on Sunday.
Skibbereen and Rowing Ireland athlete, Denise Walsh, had an impressive European Rowing Championships. In the A Final on May 28th, she produced yet another stellar performance to take the European Silver medal, just 1.76 seconds behind Sweden’s Emma Fredh. She now adds to her silver obtained at World Cup I in Belgrade earlier this year.
The first Canoe Sprint World Cup of the season took place in Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal over the weekend. Dublin athlete, Jenny Egan kept paddlers from Spain and Britain at bay to take top spot in the women's K1 5,000 metres, a sweet success as she looks to drive towards the Tokyo Games in 2020.
Sunday May 28th, saw the Coillte Emerald Enduro take to Carrick Mountain, Wicklow, for the 4th round of the Enduro World Series. The global mountain bike race saw over 350 of the world’s elite riders hit the hills for 1550m of climbing, 50km of pedalling and over 6 hours of biking across tough and technical trails.
Making it a hat-trick in the Women’s U21 category, Cork’s Leah Maunsell took home the top prize, showcasing her precision, skill and speed amongst the world’s top riders to the thousands of spectators who lined the tracks for the competition.
Spanish side, AEM Leida’s decision a decade ago to concentrate on coaching girls and enter them in a boys league has paid off with a league championship title. Beating 13 boys teams in the process, the girls showed that “soccer isn’t just for boys” and that “If you’re technically better, you can compensate for being perhaps physically weaker”. This according to the captain and the top scorer of the team, Andrea Gómez. AEM officials said they were planning to use this season’s success to start a crowdfunding campaign that the club hopes will raise about $10,000 for its coaching programme.