"We Are Dublin" Dub Camogie Jnr 3 Final - Boden and Nh Brid in the Trenches...

(04 Oct 2020)

“We Are Dublin” Dublin Camogie Junior 3 Championship Final

Nh Brid Versus Ballyboden St Endas

Date: 04 Oct 2020

Venue: National Sports Campus, Abbotstown

FIRST HALF

A grey day in Abbotstown.  Wind and rain, those two constants of an Irish Autumn greet the players of Naomh Brid and Ballyboden.  In these COVID times spectators gather around screens to enjoy the live streaming of the game, a very welcome service.

Ballyboden took no time in attacking upfield and scoring a goal from play by Anne Hogan to set their stamp on the game. Brid’s Mia Murray in a strike that could have been a goal sees it parried for a point. 1:00 to 0:01, a symmetry of sorts.  Boden’s Sarah Crosbie adds a point for her team. The game is a gritty one, personified by repeated tackles and counter tackles in ruck after ruck.  With the score Ballyboden 1:1 to Nh Brid 0:1, Ballyboden now find themselves struggling to get out of their half. 

Ballyboden’s  Ciara and Nh Brid’s Sarah Nyhan battle it out in midfield wrestling on a fixed fulcrum to provide a leverage for their team.  Ballyboden find some space to propel the sliotar upfield and now Nh Brid struggle to escape their half.  In a Nh Brid foray upfield Mia Murray attempts a run and a struck hand pass into the goal mouth area which is then launched at the Ballyboden keeper, Sarah Reynold’s, to save.  The whistle blows for the water break, the teams stuck on the 1:0 to 0:1 scoreline much like the sliotar in play.

At the restart, Ballyboden burst into their opponent’s half and win two successive side lines as they prepare to dig in, and dig in they do.  The ball travels briefly to the Nh Brid half of the pitch on a rare occasion from a free out to Nh Brid.  It arrives back from a lobbed pass from Boden’s Ciara Dowling to Lily Wende-Doyle who strikes it further upfield.  The ball is picked up and a fine pass to Boden’s Sarah Crosbie who fires it over the bar.  1:1 to 0:1.  A slow progress. 

Ballyboden keep up the pressure winning a side line which is taken smoothly by Saoirse Fitzgerald.  Brid’s win a free out to the keeper who drives a thunderous shot up the field.  Brid’s Ellen Gribben wins the sliotar and storms up the pitch who lobs the ball into the goal area where the staunch defence of Boden push the ball to the side where they win reprieve and a sideline ball.  The sliotar doesn’t travel far and Brid’s press home their series of attacks into the Boden trenches where they are repulsed again and again.  Stoic, gritty, brave on both sides.

A dangerous ball is sent towards the Boden keeper, who parries with a big strike out.  The stubborn sliotar returns moments later travelling at speed and at ground level which the keeper again pokes away.  Nh Brid have vim in their assault and are loathe to let go.  Sarah Nyhan finds herself deep in Boden territory jabbing a loose sliotar and striking which the keeper again saves. Sarah is the engine for a number of forays in the next few minutes. Eventually the pressure pays off, a lobbed pass to Zoe Mayne who propels the ball into the net.  1:01 to 1:01.  Symmetry.  The half ends.

Who will emerge from the trenches to claim victory?

HALF TIME SCORE

Nh Brid 1:01 Ballyboden St Endas 1:01

SECOND HALF

The teams take their places for the restart.  Boden, determined to reclaim the lead, win ball.  In the next few minutes they win a sideline, a free and another sideline all interspersed with rucks and melees in the Brid half.  At one point Brid’s attempt to escape, winning a sideline followed by some nimble running only to give away a free to Boden.  Ciara Duffy loops a ball in which substitute Hannah Byrne picks up and fires into the opposition goal area, another melee, a great save by Brid’s Dara Loomes. 

This is an unforgiven onslaught, Boden are relentless, Nh Brid relieve the pressure from time to time with clearances that rebound within moments.  Ballyboden send a monster strike wide.  Brid’s keeper tries to clear the atmosphere of their half with the most determined of whacks on the sliotar.  It is refused entry at the halfway line, another Brid clearance is again refused.  A free to Boden sends the ball to Lucia O’Connor who strikes over for a point.  1:02 to 1:01.  Much more of this pressing and the dam could give way.  Boden sends ball after ball in, the Brid keeper needing to parry swiftly on one occasion.  An injury to Boden in front of the opposition goal and a free to Nh Brid give pause to play.  A point in it, the lever only inches in Boden’s favour.

It is in the next play that Brid’s Caoimhe O’Reilly takes off on a sprint and a fires a shot which meets the vigilant Mia Murray and a goal!  1:02 to 2:01.  The most precious of scores, the dam sealed.  The intensity visibly increases, if it had not already reached its zenith.  The work rate is phenomenal.  Boden’s Elizabeth Manning sends a ball into the box which is desperately cleared by Brid’s Dara Loomes.  A crossed ball to Roisin Jelley which she hits with venom and it smashes into the cross bar and careers over the bar.  An inch lower and it would have been a goal.  The score now 1:03 to 2:01.  A point once again in it.  The nerves of both teams tested.

The battle see-saws as before, spirited ruck, the disorderly action of the melee, short sprints, the rare loose ball.  Finally a free to Brid’s Mia Murray who unerringly hits the target, another precious point.  1:03 to 2:02.  A two point gap.  The water break signals a slight reprieve for both teams.

After the break, Brid’s press home the advantage setting up camp in the Boden half.  In the next few minutes, Brid’s pressure sees them loose three strikes all of which are sent wide but which signal their intent.  Boden also have their chances, after a corner ruck Boden win a free which is sent wide.  Boden substitute Lucia O’Connor steps into the fray with an assured strike to claim a point for her side.  1:04 to 2:02.  Again a point gap and a thriller of a game is unfolding. 

Brid’s respond with a number of forays.  Brid’s Hannah Byrne and Boden’s Shauna Walsh personify the frenzied movement and tackles on the field.  With five minutes left Boden win a reprieve and a free out.  It is short lived.  The Boden keeper after a heroic struggle keeps the net safe, a 45 is conceded which Mia Murray dispatches for a point.  1:04 to 2:03.  Another point soon follows for Brid’s Ellen Gribben and a goal separates the teams in these dying moments.

Boden launch a final offensive and after a free in for Boden, the sliotar enters dangerous ground for Brid’s and a penalty is awarded to Boden.  The script could not be better.  Roisin Kearney bravely steps up and strikes, the sliotar hits the ground mid-way to the goal in good technique but is parried and the whistle is blown immediately.  1:04 to 2:04. 

What a thrilling game.  Well done to both teams. The most stoic of performances, although one winner, both teams deserve applause. Congratulations to Nh Brid on their performance.  Coaches and management teams should be proud of their work with these two sets of courageous players.

FINAL SCORE

Dublin 

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