Dublin Minors Triumph in Tempestuous Conditions...

(16 Feb 2020)


TESCO – All Ireland Minor A Camogie Championship

Dublin Vs Cork

Date: 15 Feb 2020

Venue: Bray Emmets GAA Club

Referee: Owen Elliott - Antrim


The Dublin Minor A team, under the stewardship of Manager John O’Connell of Lucan Sarsfields, start their Championship campaign against the reigning champions Cork.  For Cork it is the quest for three in a row and Dublin stand in their way.  So not a match for the faint-hearted. To add to the adversity that must be overcome, rattling gusts and spitting rain from the heart of Storm Dennis greets spectators and players as they arrived in Bray.  Until the final minutes before the match spectators nest in their cars or the more canny ones shelter in the cosy coffee shops nearby. 

As the two teams take to the field, family members, friends, officials and the odd sea gull dutifully gather at pitch side to support their girls and their county.  With the wind rising and menacing clouds stacking overhead, the players seemed scattered about the pitch as the whistle blew to start the game. 

Dublin and Cork take the measure of each other in the opening minutes.  A wide apiece as they press for a vulnerability. it is Dublin’s Aisling O’Neill who takes the first cut as she surges forward to claim a point. Cork’s Ali Smith sends a shot at Dublin’s keeper Ciara Jones who gathers it comfortably. Another wide follows for Dublin as the sliotar carries low and fast across the Cork goal. 

The tackling gathers momentum as Aisling O’Neill and Cork’s Meabhdh Murphy fiercely contest the sliotar on the sidelines.  On one foray Cork send a long ball up-field and Ellen Dunphy makes a fine catch, all the more impressive in these conditions, and passes it to the safety of Ali Dunne.  It’s fair to say that Dublin are looking sprightly in this patch with the weather calming just an iota. Niamh Comerford adds another point from a free. But Cork spring an attack that sees zip line passing from Daire O’Brien to Isobella Sheehan to Olivia McAllen who fires at goal but straight into the Dublin keeper who parries confidently.

Dublin make good progress up the right wing with effective tackling and passing, the sliotar reaching the foil that is Aisling O’Neill who sends it over the bar. Cork retaliate with speed and purpose and set about a storming run from Ciara Irwin who strikes low and hard but the stalwarts that are the Dublin keeper and Ali Dunne parry and battle in the box to deflect the sliotar.  But Cork come in waves and Rebecca Sheehan takes advantage of the goal mouth scramble to put the sliotar in the net for a goal. All even.

The two teams continue to wrestle, no clear victor emerging.  But games can turn on small things.  Consistent fouling on Elyse Jamieson Murphy of Na Fianna earns Dublin a free and with the rain building again Niamh Comerford sails the sliotar over the bar.  

Cork add another point to even the scores again. Dublin press further with strong blocking by Ellen Dunphy and sure distribution by Roisin Ni Chathasaigh.  Cork absorb the pressure, pass efficiently and clear their lines.  This creates a platform for Cork and Claudie Keane takes the initiative during a kerfuffle in the Dublin box to strike a keen shot which rebounds off the upright back into play. Phew. Sensing the need to grab this game and dampen the threat of Dublin, spirited instructions emerge from the Cork sideline.  Cork are aggressive in their tackles on the Dublin forwards.  They push up-field, soaring one high ball into the maelstrom of wind as it arcs into the Dublin box only to be safely cleared by Ali Dunne who along with Aisling O’Neill has had an impressive first half. Dublin put their nose in front again from a 45 delivered by Niamh Comerford.

In the final minutes of the half the struggle, like the wind, is unsure which way it is blowing. Both teams stoke the furnaces, digging deeper.  Skirmishes abound at either end.  The intensity demonstrated by the concentrated run of Cork’s Clodagh Finn, head down and surging up the pitch with sliotar balanced on the hurl, she accidently careers into Ali Dunne such was the level of focus. Interceptions, passes, blocks, hurl ins – Dublin defend with gusto.  A Cork shot is forced wide and they score a point from a free. All even again. And in the blink of an eye the Dublin gears find their groove adding two more points to their tally, a free from the steady aim of Niamh Comerford and one from play by Katie McDonald who strikes assuredly and smoothly. 

Could this be the turning point, the pivot on which the game turns?

Half Time Score

Dublin 0:7  Cork 1:2


As spectators huddle, the two teams jog from the changing rooms to the field.  Birds swoop and soar in elegant flight above the players buffeted by the stormy winds. 

Cork apply pressure from the start and take the first point from a free by Daire O’Brien. They continue to attack, Dublin defending their lead desperately, resulting in a 45 for Cork and an injury to a Dublin player.  During the ensuing stoppage and substitution, it was noticeable how the cold and wet conditions were impacting the teams as they jumped about to maintain some level of warmth. When play resumed Cork added a point to their tally.  All even. A Dublin puck out is plucked from the air by Meadhbh Hicks who strikes at goal and is saved.

Niamh Comerford scores another point from a free, the Dublin sideline on hand to dry off the hurl as much as possible. Aisling O’Neill pops up again and adds another point soon after, shooting from an acute angle. There follows intense play back and forth with grit and determination on display. Cork scores a valuable point after a free sent the sliotar towards goal.

A fluency could now be detected in the Dublin play.  A Lucy Quinn strike sent tantalisingly wide after a melee in the goal mouth.  Aisling O’Neill sending a low and fierce shot at the Cork goal which was just parried.  Ellen Dunphy running at speed towards the Cork goal and adjusting her gait at the right time to soar the sliotar over the bar.  If belief was a physical thing it would have been visible in the play of Dublin.  Aisling O’Neill taking her turn to run at the Cork defence forcing a desperate pull on her arm to halt her meandering sprint. Niamh Comerford duly following up with a point from the free. 

Cork sensing the game slipping saw a desperate run by Claudie Keane who tried to storm past too many Dublin players and was halted.  Ten minutes to go and the Dublin defence are repulsing the Cork assaults, a great block down by Kathie McDonald, transporting the sliotar upfield when they can via Roisin Ni Chathasaigh.  It is stoic defence, the Cork kitchen sink now on its way following wave after wave of unsuccessful forays into the Dublin half. Blustery and heavy rain cloaking their stand against a fierce opposition. The number of fouls on Dublin increasing allowing them to push the play forward.  On the awarding of one free to Dublin, Niamh Comerford was briefly unavailable with a slight injury  and Katie McDonald stepped forward.  She sent the sliotar into the goal area which is taken by Niamh, back on her feet, who scores a goal.

In the dying minutes of the game, Cork produce a surge clawing back two points from play. But Dublin were not finished.  A fine pass from Katie McDonald to Aisling O’Neill who then scored the point kept Dublin’s lead.  Cork, not to be outdone, claimed two more points one from play and one a free.  But it was not enough.  Dublin had kept the small but vital lead when it mattered.

The struggle was over and Dublin have triumphed.  A gritty and determined display on the most inclement of days against the reigning champions says a lot about the character of this team.  Well done to all the players, some very fine individual performances, and to John O’Connell and the coaching team.  A job well done.


Dublin 1:12 Cork 1:9

Dublin Substitutions:

Christine Shanahan (22) On: Rachel Seery (4) Off

Caitlin Coffey (21) On: Emily Byrne (11) Off

Anna Sullivan (19) On: Meadhbh Hicks (9) Off

Aoife Deegan (20) On: Lucy Quinn (15) Off

Cork Substitutions:

Tara McCarthy (25) On: Rebecca Sheehan (15) Off

Jenny Doyle (22) On: Grace Ryan (4) Off

Katylynn Dinneen (24) On: Ciara Golden (10) Off



John O’Connell - Dublin Manager / Selector

Donal Ryan - Coach / Selector

Helen Cosgrave - Coach / Selector

Antonio Sejean - S&C / Fitness Coach

Sandra Tarr - Female Liaison Officer & Logistics/Admin

Laura McCague - Physio

Dee Quinn – Physio



1 Ciara Jones  Kilmacud Crokes

2 Ali Dunne  Lucan Sarsfields

3 Kerry Milne  N.Fionnbarra

4 Rachel Seery  Faughs Celtic

5 Cara Feeney  Castleknock

6 Elyse Jamieson Murphy  Na Fianna

7 Ciara Clohessy  N. Jude

8 Ellen Dunphy  Lucan Sarsfields

9 Meadhbh Hicks  CBC

10 Katie Mc Donald  BallyBoden SE

11 Emily Byrne  Na Fianna

12 Niamh Comerford  Kilmacud Crokes

13 Aisling O'Neill  Castleknock

14 Róisín Ní Chathasaigh  Kilmacud Crokes

15 Lucy Quinn  Castleknock

16 Sophie Brennan  N. Mearnóg

17 Amy Quinn  N. Brid

18 Anna Farrell  Na Fianna

19 Anna Sullivan  N. Uinsionn

20 Aoife Deegan  N. Peregrine

21 Caitlin Coffey  Na Fianna

22 Christine Shanahan  N. Olaf

23 Éirin Kennedy  Good Counsel

24 Ellie Kane  N. Mearnóg

25 Mollie Turner  Castleknock

26 Rachel Dolan  Ballinteer SJ

27 Laura Sharkey  Lucan Sarsfields

28 Aisling Gannon  N. Judes

29 Claire Gannon  N. Judes

30 Hannah Reynolds  Kilmacud Crokes

31 Issy Davis  Kilmacud Crokes


By: Dublin Camogie Assistant PRO – Joe Shannon            

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