Leinster Final: U16A Report

(05 May 2019)

Dublin and Kilkenny U16 Camogie Teams gathered at the grounds of Wexford's GAA Centre of Excellence for the Leinster Camogie Championship Final.  

The pitch was perfect and the weather alternated between a cloudy chill and intermittent sun bursts.

Kilkenny settled into the game early securing the first point in the second minute.  The game  flowed back and forth with fierce tackling on both sides.  The teams then exchanged salvo's, Aisling O'Neill scoring a point after a fine pass from Aisling Gannon.  Kilkenny followed with a point from play and Emma Diamond sent the sliotar over the bar.  In this period the defending was intense with Caitriona McMahon forcing a wide from Kilkenny. 

Ellie Young was next on the score board with a point.  Dublin's defence stepped up with super displays by Claire Gannon and the keeper Laura Grendon who stopped a sure goal forcing it over for a Kilkenny point.

The team's continued to probe with another point apiece, Aisling O'Neill claiming another point.  Kilkenny then scored a point from a fine run. The next few minutes saw everything there is to see in a game, a point blank save from the Dublin keeper, last ditch defending until the dam broke and Kilkenny fired in one goal (hand-passed) and two points. Before the halftime whistle Aislin O'Neill claimed a point for Dublin.

The score at halftime Kilkenny 1-7 to Dublin's 5

The teams began the second half and after a brief arm wrestle Kilkenny struck with two swift points turning up the pressure on Dublin.  Phoebe Shannon made a pass to Emma Diamond who took her chance with a point. Aisling O'Neill followed with a great catch, meandering run and a shot over the bar. Just as Dublin were getting into a settled groove Kilkenny struck with a goal. 

Dublin substitutes Roisin Ni Chathasaigh and Ellie O'Connor now entered the fray and were to make their mark. Kilkenny scored another goal and a point before Dublin  settled.  There followed some exciting play from Dublin with Aisling O'Neill, Phoebe Shannon, Emma Diamond and Aisling Gannon exchanging passes resulting in a point from Phoebe. 

Kilkenny followed with a point and Ellie Young with a point from a free. Kilkenny put the sliotar in the back of the net again piling on the pressure.  

Dublin did not succumb and fought back with Lauren Dawson forcing a shot wide. Roisin Ni Chathasaigh at corner forward was also pressuring Kilkenny with effective, catches, passes and tackles. Ellie Young took advantage and scored a free.  When Kilkenny came forward they were repulsed, with a fierce block by Lily Rooney.  Niamh Crowley made many superb blocks also. 

A forward momentum was generating and after a sporadic scrabble of hurls Phoebe Shannon emerged from a huddle of players and kicked a pass to Aisling O'Neill who secured a point.  Aisling Gannon then took a fine catch and scored a goal for Dublin.  The teams exchanged two points a piece in the closing minutes, Ellie Young and Aisling Gannon claiming a point each.  It was a strong closing of the game for Dublin but not enough to bridge the gap.

The final score was Kilkenny  4- 15 and Dublin 1- 13.  Kilkenny were worthy winners and congratulations to them.

At the aftermatch speeches, which require a certain resilience for the vanquished, the Dublin players with arms locked showed a solidarity and strength that was a credit to themselves and the Dublin coaches and management  It was reflected in the speech that the game was played with a lovely spirit and it was.

Report by Dublin U.16 Official PRO Joseph Shannon

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