Report: Dub Stars v Dublin Team 29.12.19

(30 Dec 2019)

Dublin Camogie Stars Versus Dublin Senior Selection

Date: 29 Dec 2019

Venue: Sports Ireland Campus, Abbotstown

Report by Joe Shannon Dublin Camogie Assistant PRO

Photo Credit: iLivephotos

FIRST HALF

A grey blanket lay over a mild weathered morning in the melting pot that is the Abbotstown Sports Ireland Campus. The Dublin Camogie tribe had gathered with the taste of Christmas still in the air. Talented players from the many Dublin clubs took to the field wearing either the All Star or Dublin Senior jersey. A chance for the younger players to test themselves against the mettle of the senior team and take part in a celebration of this great sport. They were joined by a melody of officials, coaches, referees, parents and players of all ages to enjoy the exhibition about to unfold.

The game started tentatively with one point in the first five minutes from Dub Stars,Caragh Dawson.  Both teams saw shots at each other’s defences go wide or land in the safe hands of their respective keepers.  Sinead Wylde evened things up with an assured point.  A flurry of play saw the Senior’s Roisin Baker hit the upright and Gaby Couch pounce to drive the sliotar into the net. The Dub Stars winced and drove upfield determined to strike back producing in quick succession a wide and a strike at the keeper who safely preserved the integrity of the goal.  The Senior’s were defending stoutly when the Dub Stars won a free for their efforts.  Beth Whyte sent the sliotar over the bar, a return for their earnest drive.

Aoife Walsh then retaliated with a soaring strike as she ran out of mid-field to gain another point. The Seniors entered into a period of play with a strong rhythm, their passion matching that of the Dub Stars but pipping them in terms of accuracy.  Points followed from Aoife Whelan after her team mate was strongly blocked on an attempted strike and from Sinead Wylde after winning difficult ball during a melee of play.  Gaby Couch was brought down thundering towards goal and a penalty ensued which was missed much to the relief of the Dub Stars who provided some piercing attacks of their own, one in the form of Jody Couch’s stinging strike at the Senior Keeper, Rosie Kenneally, and winning a free in the process.  Beth Whyte then added a point the free.

Unperturbed the Senior’s added two more points from Laura Twomey and Sinead Wylde, their experience keeping their attacks on a more precise course. In keeping with the Dub Stars keenness not to be outdone, Jody Couch surfaced again to send a free over the bar with one massive strike.  This was the final score of the first half which was personified by tenacity, skill, the unwavering saves by both keepers with their soaring distribution of the sliotar eating up the distance, the melee’s in both defences with one brave soul emerging in the maelstrom with the golden ticket held aloft, the metronomic back and forth, the ebb and flow mixed with that ‘never giving up’ spirit.

Dub Stars 0:04  Dublin Seniors 1:07

SECOND HALF

The solid crowd of spectators leaned in towards the pitch as the second half began.

The Dub Stars won first ball out of mid-field, their intent obvious.  Eager to score they kept the sliotar in the Senior’s half for the first few minutes but they were not rewarded with the score they deserved.  Roisin Baker struck first with an accurate point for the Seniors.  The Dub Star’s set about a series of plays where they would match the Senior’s point for point.  Beth Whyte added a point from a free.  Leah Butler retaliated with a mighty thump of the sliotar over the bar.  The see-saw waves of attacks continued with Dub Stars Niamh Gannon roaring up the right wing and sending the ball over the bar.  The play took on a form that saw many diagonal balls opening up vulnerable avenues only to see them tenaciously shut down by dogged defence and the sliotar subsequently released up-field.  Both teams displayed this ability. The keepers were continually tested and displayed an impressive steadiness. Both teams sent frees into the forward line only to be beaten back by stout opposition or forced wide.

Dub Star Caragh Dawson plucked an impressive sliotar from the air and continued its journey over the bar with a firm strike.  The Seniors Sinead Wylde, in a solo action, blocked down a strike, won ball off the ground and sent the sliotar over the bar, Impressive. The Dub Star engine room went into over drive and three successive points followed from: Siobhan Kehoe after a twisting run, Niamh Gannon rampaging on the right wing and clutching a soaring sliotar, Siobhan Kehoe again with the mesmerising sight of the sliotar bouncing off the hurl as she ran at defence. Leah Butler put a stop to the opposition scoring spree and added a point of her own and Beth Whyte rebounded for another point for the Dub Stars.  What a half!

Not to be outdone, the Seniors went into over drive for three successive points of their own: Kerrie Finnegan’s sublime pass to Sinead Wylde back to Sinead opening up defence for a point, Sinead Wylde with arguably the best score of the game with a catch, run and strike sequence of elegance which was unstoppable, Mairi Moynihan after her customary display of tenacity. The final whistle blows. I’ll say it again – What a half! Seven points apiece.  Happy players, satisfied coaches, proud families, inspired younger players.  An exhibition and celebration of the illustrious game of Camogie.

As an aside it was satisfying to see the ‘village effect’ on full display after the match. People of all ages chatting, hugging, smiling and exuding good humour and bonhomie.  Speaking to spectators, their tremulous voice echoed a mixture of the cold and their enjoyment of the game just ended.

Jenny Byrne, Chairperson of the Camogie Board, did the honours in the after match presentations stating that this game marks the beginning of the camogie year. Player of the Match went to Caragh Dawson.  The trophy was presented to Dublin Senior player, Sinead Wylde, who graciously accepted with some fine words ‘as gaeilge’.  Dub Star Aisling Carolan accepted the runner up medals.  Well done to all the players and we wish you every success in the campaigns ahead.  Thank you to everyone who was in attendance and were treated to some post-Christmas sport’s entertainment.  Happy New Year to you all.

FINAL SCORE

Dub Stars 0:11  Dublin Seniors 1:14

Dub Stars:

1. Noelle Murphy

2. Emily Browne

3. Emma O’Byrne

4. Elyse Murphy

5. Zoe Couch

6. Hannah Hegarty

7. Claire Rigney

8. Aisling Carolan

9. Caragh Dawson 0.02

10. Beth Whyte 0.04 (3F)

11. Jody Couch 0.01 (F)

12. Niamh Gannon 0.02

13. Aoife Deegan

14. Siobhan Kehoe 0.02

15. Aoife McKearney

Dub Stars Substitutions:

17. Ciara Buchanan for Aoife McKearney (HT)

16. Síle Níc Coitir for Noelle Murphy (HT)

Dublin Seniors:

1. Rosie Kenneally

2. Miriam Twomey

3. Orla Gray

4. Issy Davis

5. Megan Carroll

6. Emma Flanagan

7. Kerrie Finnegan 0.01

8. Sinead Wylde 0.05

9. Laura Twomey 0.02

10. Aoife Whelan 0.01

11. Roisin Baker 0.01

12. Aoife Walsh 0.01

13. Orlaith Durkin

14. Gaby Couch 1.00

15. Leah Butler 0.02

Dublin Seniors Substitutions:

16. Mairi Moynihan  for Kerrie Finnegan (HT) 0.01

7. Kerrie Finnegan for Aoife Whelan (35)

10. Aoife McKearney for Orlaith Durkin (50)

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