Senior 1 Camogie Championship Semi Final - St Judes Versus Lucan Sarsfields

(30 Aug 2020)

Senior 1 Camogie Championship Semi Final​

St Judes Versus Lucan Sarsfields

Date: 30 Aug 2020

Venue: St Judes, Tymon Park

FIRST HALF

It was a very pleasant day that greeted the Lucan players as they made their way to Tymon Park, with a tide of sun glinting traffic flowing north along the M50 as they headed south. 

With cars parked and players warmed up, both teams take their starting positions framed by the newly edited playing field of St Jude’s which sits on a low and symmetrical plain.  Ali Twomey wins the throw in for Lucan.  She follows with a move up the left hand side, the sliotar moving to Kate White who passes to Laura Quinn who scores a fine point.  Jude’s retaliate in the next few minutes with a series of attacks and send the sliotar wide on one occasion.  They quickly find their mark after a pass from Niamh Gannon to Aoife Molly who evens the scores.  Judes follow this with another wide as they probe Lucan’s defence.

Lucan now counter with some direct passing from Emma Flanagan to Laura Quinn who sprints up the right flank, the sliotar moving to Kate White who wins a free.  Aoife McKearney sails the sliotar over the bar for a point.  The play is intense with skirmish after skirmish in midfield, Lucan’s Ali Twomey and Emma Flanagan battling to dominate their opposite opponents Emma Barron and Niamh Gannon.  With fierce support from Chloe O’Connor and Kate White upfront Ali lobs the sliotar over the bar.  St. Jude’s Caragh Dawson grabs a valuable point from the left flank. 

At 3 points to 2 for Lucan, St Jude’s launch a number of diagonal crosses upfield which in the main are dealt with by a staunch Lucan defence.  One strike by another of the Gannon sisters, Aisling, escapes the defence but veers wide.  Aoife McKearney takes possession of the sliotar and sets off on an unstoppable run, a balancing act of speed and nerve and loops a majestic shot over the bar.  At this point Lucan are applying good pressure and win a side-line and a free in quick succession.  Kate White follows with a strike at goal which is parried, the sliotar making its way to Lucan’s Ali Twomey who snatches another point.  Just prior to the water break Judes take advantage of a loose sliotar on the ground which is sent careering into the net to even the score and balance the hard Lucan gains.

After the water break Judes continued their climb up the score board with Aisling Gannon taking a pass from her sister Niamh and sending a diagonal ball over the bar and Ellie Young adding another from a free.  The Judes pressure witnesses a fine save from Lucan keeper Amy Gorman and another by Aoife Byrne.  Out of a number of forays, Aisling Gannon bursts forward and blasts the sliotar into the back of the Lucan net.

The next few minutes saw both teams dig deep with a point from a free to Lucan, a wide from a free to Judes followed by a yellow card as the intensity escalates.  Both teams continue to battle it out.  Another free for Judes sees another point added to their tally.  Into the melee the two teams journey, boots crunch and hurls sweep the fine surface of the pitch.  Said hurls are conveyed from one encounter to the next, greedy in their quest for dominance.  A free is awarded to Lucan for a much needed break in play and Lucan’s Aoife McKearney steps up and propels a monster strike towards the posts for a point.  The half time whistle is blown and the teams retreat to their corners, 4 points between them, goals a cold differentiator.

HALF TIME SCORE

St Judes 2:05  Lucan Sarsfields 0:07

SECOND HALF

Lucan’s Ali Twomey again wins the throw in, quickly earning a free which she dispenses to Laura Quinn who in turn fires a volley into the hands of Jude’s keeper.  The early Lucan pressure then sees Jessie McLelland find the back of the Jude’s net but after a short consultation between referee and umpires a square ball is signalled.  Lucan apply more pressure with fine passing from Ali to Aoife McKearney, winning a free which she successfully converts to a point.  Three points between the teams.  The tyranny of goals comes into play once again with Niamh Gannon thundering towards goal and whips an unstoppable sliotar into the Lucan net.  Undaunted, Lucan come back at Judes with fine play from Ellen Dunphy and Kate White who sends a pass to Jessie McLelland and a point ensues.

Sinead O’Toole is substituted for Lucan’s Emma O’Flynn.  The teams press each other, Niamh Gannon striking a ground ball which the Lucan keeper safely parries, Lucan winning a free which again Aoife McKearney floats magnificently over the bar as players and sideline spectators crane their necks to confirm.  The back and forth sees a Lucan free land tantalisingly in the proximity of the Jude’s goal, a strike by Jude’s Aisling Gannon blocked by the gritty defending of Sinead O’Toole.  Jude’s, wanting to extend the gap between the teams added two more points to their tally, a free from Ellie Young and a fine point from Aoife Walsh on a pacey run. A second yellow card was awarded, this time to Lucan, signifying the intense rivalry on the field.  The Lucan keeper, Amy Gorman dealt with the ensuing free denying Jude’s a score. Spurred on, Laura Quinn on a run towards the dead zone of the Jude’s end line lashed a ball from the most acute of angles and bisected the posts for a stunning point.  The whistle signalled the final water break.  Judes 3:07 to Lucan’s 0:11.  Spectators converse, players congregate, coaches encourage and advise.  Five points the difference, 11 scores to 10 scores, goals a potent difference.

Phoebe Shannon is substituted for Lucan’s Laura Sharkey as the game continues after the break.  Niamh Gannon promptly scores a fine point. Some decisive play by Lucan sees a yellow issued to Judes and a free for Lucan which Aoife McKearney sends into the box.  The sliotar is released upfield to be intercepted by Lucan’s Ali Twomey who wins a free.  Aoife converts for a valuable point.  The next passages of play sees the Jude’s keeper send a towering ball upfield which Laura Quinn catches in a balletic fashion with a leap and fully stretched hand.  Laura again pops up a moment later with a shot which veers wide.

On the Judes front, three devastating points followed, Aisling Gannon continuing her marauding runs snatched another point, Ellie Young again firing over from a free and finally an Aisling Gannon run towards goal followed by a bisecting pass back into the pocket for the waiting Ellie Young to send over the bar.  Time was ebbing and Lucan continued to battle, of note the Lucan keepers brave run at and blockdown of Jude’s Helen O’Malley.  Ellie Young adds a further point from a free.  Lucan battle on, players caught in melee’s like staggered splinters in a shattered hurl, frozen in a moment… the sliotar emerging and taking flight once more.  Phoebe Shannon emerges from one such melee sending an arcing ball towards goal in the dying minutes. Lucan and Judes then trade a wide each, the final blows of two adversaries, before the whistle is blown. 

A hard contest, both teams spent, unerring strikes, stout defending, brave displays, three lethal goals.  Good luck to Jude’s in the final and commiserations to Lucan whose shielded faces of determination signal a team who will learn from this encounter.

FINAL SCORE

St Judes 3:12  Lucan Sarsfields 0:12

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