A Cultured Display...Dublin Inter 2 Final - Boden Vs Whitehall

(20 Sep 2020)

Dublin Intermediate 2 Camogie Championship Final

Ballyboden St. Endas Versus Whitehall Colmcille

Date: 20 Sept 2020

Venue: National Sports Campus, Abbotstown

FIRST HALF

A grey september day greeted the players from Ballyboden St. Enda’s and Whitehall Colmcille’s Intermediate teams as they took to the field at the pristine facilities in Abbotstown. It is fitting that Ireland’s annual Culture Night was celebrated on Friday night when culture, creativity and the arts are celebrated.  The two teams gathered also celebrate an important part of our culture which is Camogie and like all aspects of culture, it contributes significantly to their identity and ours.

The four midfielders dutifully take their jostling places on the centre spot as the referee, Paul Flanagan, throws the sliotar in.  As a portent of the game to come, the sliotar embeds itself in a ruck, travelling a short distance as groups of players grapple for it.  Whitehall win the first free. The ball falls short of the goal area and Shauna Harte snaps up a rare loose ball and fires it over for the first point of the game. Play ensues in the middle half of the pitch with sliotar again travelling short distances amongst groups of players.  A Ballyboden free is fiercely contested in front of the goal area and a series of struck passes from one Whitehall payer to another takes it upfield where it eventually loses momentum and returns on the end of a Ballyboden hurl to the trenches of the midfield.  Rucks, hooks and shoulders abound with no clear dominance. 

Ballyboden’s Olivia Maher takes possession at one point and sprints upfield where the attack falters. Ballyboden’s pressure earns a free which Hollyn Kennedy sails over the bar with a whipping wind snapping at its heels. All level.  Whitehall now launch a series of forays into the Ballyboden half which are repulsed each time by a staunch defensive display. As the scales tip minutely, Ballyboden win another free which is slapped wide.  The teams exchange side line balls in a most diplomatic fashion until ballyboden earn another free which the sliotar stubbornly resists as it vees wide of the posts. 

Ballyboden pressure pays off again when they are awarded two 65’s in succession, one of which the keeper defends well and the second sailing wide.  Just before the waterbreak, Ballyboden’s Erica Tobin breaks free in all senses from a large ruck and gives expression to her striking ability with a fine angled point.  Two points to one for Ballyboden.

Whitehall quickly see one of their looping strikes drop into the hands of the keeper Orlaigh O’Shea who sends it upfield.  The teams battle to dampen each other’s attacks.  Sidelines, frees, strikes are resisted with grim determination.  Ciara Lambert breaks the stalemate, running free from a crowded ruck and unleashing the ball over the bar, a point to Ballyboden.  The two teams trade attack after attack by launching grudgingly resisted forays into each other’s half only to be halted in stubborn tackles.  Like so many of the players today Eile O’Ceallaigh made a nuisance of herself pressing forward against the Ballyboden finally earning a free which Aoife Wade fired over the bar.

Three points to two, a match of resistance, no quarter given and two tough teams.

HALF TIME SCORE

Ballyboden St. Endas 0:3 Whitehall Colmcille 0:2

SECOND HALF

All to play for, the teams take to the field for the second half amidst the ‘mazy motion’ of a wind which both teams must endure.  Ciara Barnes wins the throw-in for Ballyboden and sends the sliotar upfield. After a series of plays Whitehall win a free and sideline in succession.  Both teams string two to three passes before being halted.  The play finds a fluency after a fine reaching catch by Whitehall’s Ava Berry who sends the sliotar upfield.  Whitehall win a sideline which Ailbhe Noonan sends into free space onto which Sophie McCarthy sprints and scoops the ball and smoothly passes to Aoife Wade.  Aoife turns and sends a pass of just the right trajectory to beat the fullback and land in the hand of Eile O’Ceallaigh who fires past the keeper into the net. Whitehall take the lead.

Ballyboden bite down on the intensity of play as Whitehall, looking to extend the gap press on.  Ballyboden win a free out after a keen intercept of one sharp Whitehall attack.  Ballyboden now step up the intensity winning one free which is sent wide but a sign that they must wrestle the lead from their opponents.  A couple of Ballyboden sidelines in the Whitehall half are stymied as the pressure builds.  The dam finally busts and Hollyn Kennedy is the recipient of a valuable pass which she sends over the bar.  Despite some valiant defending by Whitehall’s Orla Ryan, Ballyboden keep the pressure tuned up.  After an indirect free is parried by Whitehall, Ciara Barnes pounces and sends the sliotar, by a fine margin, skimming over the bar. All even.  Whitehall respond with a deep Eile O’Ceallaigh winning ball in the Ballyboden half and sending it up to Shauna Harte who fires the sliotar from an arcing run only to see it go wide.  Whitehall continue to press with Aoife Wade’s free parried by a packed defence. 

Ballyboden sensing the danger send Olivia Meagher on a searing run into Whitehall territory, resulting in some fluent passing between Julie Vaughan and Hollyn Kennedy who scores another point.  Three points unanswered.  Another run from defence by Olivia Meager ends with a Ciara Lambert pass to Hollyn Kennedy who does not disappoint.  Another point to Ballyboden. Whitehall showed grit in this passage of play as they fought to hold the Ballyboden assault, Aoife Byrne emerging from one of the many melee’s to release the sliotar upfield.  Whitehall, in the pressure cooker of the final quarter, broke the bonds of their opponents attacks and launched upfield with their forwards snapping and frustrating the defence, winning a free which Aoife Wade whipped over the bar.  A much needed point.  1:03 to Ballyboden’s 0:7.  One point in it. 

Ballyboden again stepped up and won a free which their sharp-shooter, Hollyn Kennedy, dispatched for a point.  Whitehall were impressive in the next few minutes as Boden threw everything at them but they couldn’t prevent the door being prised open with a free awarded to their opponents in front of the posts with Hollyn Kennedy again delivering a point.  This was the final score of the match.  Ballyboden winners by three points.  So little in it in terms of scores and a daunting display of courage, determination and stubborn defences on both sides. 

Congratulations to Ballyboden, deserving winners and a stoic display by Whitehall.  Both teams delivered a cultural experience as impressive as the many events which were heralded on Ireland’s Culture Night.

FINAL SCORE

Ballyboden St. Endas 0:09 Whitehall Colmcille 1:03

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