Report: Dublin v Galway Div 1 NL 02.02.20

(02 Feb 2020)

‘A FINE BALANCE…’

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Division 1 Group 2

Dublin Vs Galway

Date: 02 Feb 2020

Venue: TU Blanchardstown

Referee: Liz Dempsey - Kilkenny

 

 

 

FIRST HALF

The opening game of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 has arrived. Dublin versus Galway. Galway are the All Ireland Senior Camogie Champions having beaten Kilkenny last year. A challenging opening fixture. As an aside, the match starting at 2:00pm on the 02/02/2020 lends a certain synchronicity to the event. The minutes before the match see a two tone sky teasingly promising a warm sunny afternoon or a cold grey one. At regular intervals a plane bisects the clear blue and the grey heavy quilt that hangs above our heads. Which is it to be?

Spectators are arriving in quiet discourse as they saunter to the pitch side. Soft Galway accents mingle with those from Dublin. Different generations arrive, all in good and expectant mood. One mother brings her daughter to her first camogie game which she has just started to play, the daughter that is, the excitement and expectation clear and bright on her face.

John Treacy and Willie Braine of Cuala, now the Dublin Senior Camogie managers take the mantle and oversee final preparations. Does it need a little more of one ingredient over another. It will soon be served up and all will become clear. His players are alert, keen and nervous as are those of Galway. The pitch is tight, the new rules untested and the word that drifts across the field is control. Who can apply it with the greatest dominance under these conditions. Hannah Hegarty (Naomh Jude) and Emma Flanagan, captain and vice-captain, will provide a formidable leadership and backbone for this campaign and the match today.

Galway take their positions first, an eagerness to continue last year’s form. The throw-in, eventually won by Sinead Wylde (Cuala) who made her senior debut last year, a portent of Dublin’s intent to control this game, keep it tight and deny Galway space and time. The ensuing attack is cleared by Galway’s Siobhan Gardiner. The early play is a series of skirmishes with a hint of flourish in the passing from Laura Twomey (Naomh Mearnog) to Caragh Dawson (Naomh Jude) and from Aoife Walsh (Naomh Jude) to Sinead Wylde forcing Galway into a foul which Sinead sends over the bar for the first point of the game.

Galway launched forays into Dublin’s half, typically using the scurrying prowess of Galway’s Aoife Donohue but each one is repulsed. Eventually, Galway secures a free which Carrie Dolan sails wide. The teams continue to test each other, Sinead Wylde popping up in the heat of play, once on Dublin’s end line to block a Galway surging run.

Galway’s Carrie Dolan scores a fine point from an accurate pass to even the scores. Galway’s Teeny Corcoran then launches a towering puck over the bar. Aoife Donohue’s meandering run secures a free for Galway which is sent wide, the wind rising and making its presence felt. Dublin put together some fine passing both in defence and attack, on one occasion the sliotar traversing the length of the Dublin end line to be released up-field and in attack Caragh Dawson skimming a finely cut shot to Martha O’Donoghue (Ballyboden St. Enda’s). After a further series of melee’s, which favoured the most tenacious of players, Dublin strike a wide from a most acute angle. Chances are slim in this game as are the angles.

Caragh Dawson stepped up again and showed her warrior spirit with some fierce tackling on the sideline which results in a throw-in that the two midfield number 8’s contest. Galway shade it and win a free. Their keeper steps up and strikes a mighty shot which sails, and sail is the word, as the wind could be clearly imagined buffeting the sliotar as it arced over the bar. Galway quickly add another point from Beccie Hennelly in open play.

There was an ever so slight increase in the speed and accuracy of Galway’s passing at this time that was just noticeable and an ever so slight decrease in Dublin’s, like two sides of an old weighing scale passing each other slowly and minutely, one up and one down. Games can falter on a fine point as this. Four points to Dublin’s one point, one up, one down.

Dublin reacted. Aoife Walsh, Sinead Wylde and Aisling Carolan battling with an intensity, sensing that further weight was needed to rebalance the game. This they did. Miriam Twomey (Naomh Mearnog), back in the team after 18 months of injury joined in, eschewing caution, with a blistering run up-field the sliotar balanced precariously on her hurl whilst negotiating a flurry of Galway blocks, strikes and interceptions. Although stopped at the twenty metre line, a free was won. Sinead Wylde stepped up and added another point for Dublin.

Galway pressed forward, again applying their weight firmly to the scales, testing the Dublin defence. At one point being pinned down by the Dublin backs in the corner, ,from which Galway managed to prise themselves, passing the sliotar continually left across the pitch until a shot presented itself, but such was the stoic Dublin defence it was sent wide. Galway sent two more attempts wide, one from a free and another from a sustained attack, the sliotar passing through the hands of four Galway players before going wide. Dublin had their chances too in this period and another wide was recorded.

The defences continued to be tight, Galway’s Emma Herbert a consistent clearer of the ball from the Galway half. On the Dublin side, Lucan Sarsfield’s Emma Flanagan was a consistent thorn in Galway’s side, at one point producing a solid block on a sure Galway strike. A yellow card was produced when Galway tried to step up the pressure on Dublin and set about a marauding run towards goal and Zoe Couch (St. Oliver Plunketts ER) put her body on the line in a brave defensive effort.

The half ended with a further point apiece. A series of passes from Kerrie Finnegan (Faughs/Celtic) to Caragh Dawson (Naomh Jude) into the hands of Sinead Wylde who did not miss the point. In the dying moments Galway added to their tally with a fine strike from the acutest of angles.

Controlled. Contained. Disciplined. A sense of a game turning and then rectifying it. Could Dublin hold the All Ireland Champions.

Half Time Score
Dublin 0:3 Galway 0:5

SECOND HALF

Chances presented for both teams at the start of the second half. Galway sent a puck wide while Dublin’s Martha O’Donoghue popped one over the bar. The Dublin defence continued to impress with Emma Flanagan, Zoe Couch and Emma Byrne frustrating Galway’s attacks.

Not all forays into Dublin’s half could be repulsed and Galway’s Carrie Dolan and Niamh Kilkenny added a point apiece. Dublin followed with two points of their own from Sinead Wylde and Kerrie Finnegan. One point between the teams, a fine balance.

After some heavy tackling, Galway were awarded a free which the Galway Keeper, Sarah Healy stepped up to dispatch for another precious point. Galway substitute Catherine Finnerty then found herself running at goal but shot wide and the sliotar, now idling towards the endline, was released back up-field by the redoubtable Emma Flanagan. Galway pressed further, shot a wide and then from a free scored another point tipping the scale ever so slightly again.

Dublin’s keeper and ex-Tipperary player, Rosie Kenneally sent a thunderous shot up-field to Caragh Dawson and the resultant play saw a free awarded which Sinead Wylde successfully converted for another point. This was to be Dublin’s final score but not their final play.

The rain came at this point and again so did Galway. They were forced into two wides from play and one wide from a free in the ensuing minutes, the Dublin defence once again formidable. Eventually Galway’s Beccie Hennelly from a free earned their tenth and final point. The final minutes saw more of the Dublin stoic play, the keeper Rosie Kenneally sending powerful pucks into play, Niamh Gannon (Naomh Jude) producing some strong tackling. Towards the end of the half, Galway missed a further two frees one landing in the safe hands of the Dublin keeper. The final whistle blew and the score stood at 0:07 to 0:10.

Neither team quite took flight and instead set about to control and stymie each other’s play. A game of chess, moves and counter moves. A game for defensive and midfield tenacity, harrying and clearing lines, on a small board. The game was played and Dublin were not found wanting.

Modern sport is a full squad game. The Vincent’s players have not yet returned to the squad after their All Ireland Club Semi-Final match. Dublin are also missing some of their experienced campaigners in Ali Twomey, Alex Griffin and All-Star Aishling Maher who are on their recovery-to-fitness journeys. A solid start and more to come. Good luck to the squad and the coaching team.

Dublin Substitutions:

Aoife Whelan (23) On: Aoife Walsh (10) Off
Orlaith Durcan (21) On: Leah Butler (13) Off

Galway Substitutions:

Dervla Higgins (19) On: Carrie Dolan (13) Off
Ciara Murphy (21) On: Anne Marie Starr (9) Off

FINAL SCORE
Dublin 0:7 Galway 0:10

Dublin Managers - John Treacy, Willie Braine
FLO - Lorraine Greene
Physio – Dee Quinn
Stats – Tadhg Doran
GK Coach – Kathryn Kantounia

DUBLIN TEAM

1.Rosie Kenneally - Nh Mearnog 
2.Miriam Twomey- Nh Mearnog 
3.Emma Flanagan- Lucan Sarsfields (VC) 
4.Emma O Byrne-Good Counsel 
5. Niamh Gannon- Nh Jude 
6.Hannah Hegarty- Nh Jude (C) 
7. Zoe Couch- SOPER 
8. Laura Twomey-Nh Mearnog 
9. Sinead Wylde- Cuala 
10.Aoife Walsh- Nh Jude 
11. Roisin Baker- Na FIanna 
12.Caragh Dawson-Nh Jude 
13.Leah Butler- Nh Jude 
14. Kerrie Finnegan-Faughs/Celtic 
15.Aisling Carolan-SOPER 
16. Noelle Murphy- Faughs/Celtic 
17. Orla Gray -Na Fianna 
18.Emily Browne-Nh Jude 
19. Megan Carroll-Skerries Harps 
20. Martha O’Donoghue-Ballyboden St Endas 
21. Orlaith Durkin -Skerries Harps 
22. Siofra Walsh-Kilmacud Crokes 
23. Aoife Whelan – Castleknock 
24. Julia Buckley – Kilmacud Crokes 
25. Gaby Couch – SOPER 
26. Jody Couch - SOPER 
27.Laura Quinn- Lucan Sarsfields 
28. Alix Buckley - Skerries Harps


By: Dublin Camogie Assistant PRO – Joe Shannon

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