Camogie a Winner as Dublin and Wexford U16's Play Out a Thriller…

(22 Jul 2019)


By acting Dublin Camogie Assistant PRO Joseph Shannon

Camogie U16 All Ireland Championship - Dublin versus Wexford

O’Regan GAA Club, Craanford, Gorey, Co. Wexford , Sunday 21st July 2019

The third instalment in the Camogie U16 Championship dawned on a grey, blustery day in O’Regan’s GAA club.  The rolling hills surrounding the grounds belied the tightness of the pitch which was itself an augury of the intense competition that would be witnessed today.  In front of an expectant crowd and in the midst of a swirling breeze the two teams took to the field.  There was everything to play for and both teams wanted a place in the semi-finals.

It was a tentative start for both teams and Wexford settled first with two points from two frees.  A fine pass from Aisling Gannon to Annabelle Timothy was met with a chop and a free awarded to Dublin.  Ellie Young sent the ball between the posts for Dublin’s first score.  Scores today would be well earned with an unpredictable wind providing added challenge to all strikes of the sliotar.  After a scramble at the Dublin goal, Wexford earned a free which they duly dispatched for a point. Both teams sent shots wide as the wind and the game grew in intensity.  As the game progressed, Wexford sent another searing shot over the bar from the right wing for their next point.

A midfield battle was in play and Wexford earned themselves a free which was launched high and travelled some distance before bouncing erratically in front of goal ending up in the net, a goal for Wexford.

The urgency of the game was rising and Wexford made another run at goal and the resulting strike was sent wide by Keeper, Eabha Mooney.  Aisling Gannon added another point for Dublin.  The game now see-sawed up and down the pitch with intense tackling from defence to midfield to attack.  Dublin were wrestling their opponents, squeezing the game for every advantage.  They were rewarded with a fine free and a point from Ellie Young. The tussle continued and there were injuries, a great catch from Lilly Rooney, a scramble at the Wexford goal, a wide from Dublin.  The building pressure allowed Aisling Gannon to storm out of midfield scoring a valuable point.  Tough defending from Lauren Dawson resulted in a free for Dublin.  Róisín Ní Chathasaigh went on to add another point for Dublin.

Wexford, not content to stay quiet for long, struck back with a point blank shot for another goal.  The contests were fierce signified by yellow cards being produced on both sides.  Ellie Young shortened the gap with a point from a free.  Another long run and a shot from Aisling Gannon was saved by the Wexford keeper.  Wexford ended the half with another point.

HALF TIME SCORE:  Dublin 0-7  Wexford 2-05

Dublin started the first half with Róisín Ní Chathasaigh winning ball.  Dublin tightened their grip in these opening minutes and a couple of strikes went wide.  Phoebe Shannon up front showed great tenacity in winning ball against a strong Wexford defence, running at goal and striking the ball with her hand only to see it roll tantalisingly along the goal line.  There were many other fine displays in this opening salvo from Dublin, Annabelle Timothy showing determination in tracking a Wexford player half the pitch and dispossessing her with a deft hook.  A yellow card followed for Wexford after which Ellie Kane scored a valuable point.

Wexford came back at Dublin with another goal, driving a momentous effort on Dublin’s part.  Dublin were rewarded with two more points from set pieces from Ellie Young.  A mighty sprint from Ellie Kane forced Wexford into a foul and Ellie provided another point from the resultant free.  That last Wexford goal effectively cancelled out.  The momentum of the game did not falter and a swell of supporting roars bellowed from the crowd.  Wexford added the next point to their tally. Sinead Daly countered with a strike on target after a sharp pass from Róisín Ní Chathasaigh.

Sinead Daly found the target again for another point and this was followed by two points for Claire Gannon after she tore through the midfield.  There followed a crescendo of hooks, blocks, passing and sprinting fuelled by a unified host of supporters who could see the finish line. Millie Reid tenaciously tackling her opponent. A wide from Dublin followed a rebound off the post from Wexford with Róisín Ní Chathasaigh then picking up a spare sliotar in the mid-field and driving between the posts.

Ellie Kane pulled a sliotar from a melee of players in a slight of hand that baffled all around her and she sprinted away only to be checked in a fierce tackle.  A yellow card and a free followed for Dublin. This was a titanic struggle with the best of Dublin and Wexford sensing a win.  Only one point in it! Sinead Daly, after some intense play, struck the cross bar with a thumping strike. Sinead then superbly took a high ball out of the air from Róisín Ní Chathasaigh and was injured in the process.  Two more wides followed from the immense Dublin pressure.

Alas time ran out when the wind was at the Dubs back, their hackles up and the scent of victory in their nostrils.  They had run out of road after what was, particularly for the neutral, a competitive duel that was intense, entertaining, a showcase for all the skills of this ancient game – strength, guile, speed, unerring accuracy, stamina and belief. Hats off to both teams and congratulations to Wexford, we wish you well in the semi-finals.

For the Dublin girls, this is their final game of the championship and when the air of disappointment has passed we hope they see how proud we are of them.  The life skills they are learning will be invaluable.  Discipline, camaraderie and friendship, stoicism (we must remember the girls on the side-line who wait for their chance – this is a challenge like all others in sport).  A mighty squad.  To Jonny and the coaching team, a big thank you for guiding the girls through their training and development. Thanks also to all the parents and families who share the experience of the team. See you all in the club championships.

FINAL SCORE: Dublin 0-15  Wexford  3-7

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