BY NIALL SHERRY
Rebels up next for our senior ladies
Very Camogie League Division 1A
Parnell Park, Dublin
At the third time of asking, our senior camogs got their first victory of this season’s Very Camogie League Division 1A campaign with a deserved 6-point win over Dublin in Parnell Park last Saturday.
It was a much needed 3-points for Brian Dowling’s panel following the defeats to Clare and Galway on previous weekends, but with some six minutes remaining, there was only one score between the sides, but the Stripey Women dug –in and registered the final three scores of the game to claim a vital away win. It was three of the ‘old brigade’ that ensured Gerry McQuaid’s home side didn’t take any points from the encounter. Densie Gaule, Katie Power and the returning Kellyann Doyle struck over the scores to ensure maximum points returned to Noreside.
The home side struck the first score of the game, thanks to a nice point from play in the opening minute from Aisling Maher. Indeed, Maher would go to strike all four scores for the Capital side in the opening half and the St Vincents club woman was in great form throughout the contest.
Kilkenny responded with two scores in quick succession from Windgap’s Denise Gaule, both from the placed ball. Aisling Maher and Gaule exchanged frees before a new name got in on the day’s scoring act, and that would be O’Loughlin Gaels Laura Murphy from her midfield berth.
Brian Dowling’s side then took control of proceedings at Parnell Park and began to stretch the lead on their hosts. The third score on the bounce for the visitors came from Piltown’s Katie Power in the 13th minute. Three minutes later, the ever-reliable Gaule fired over another nice effort from the placed ball, before Laura Murphy added her second point of the day a minute later to leave Brian Dowling’s side 7-3 ahead and dictating the contest in most areas of the pitch.
Every Dublin indiscretion was duly punished by Densie Gaule, and the talented multiple All-Star added to her tally shortly after, popping over another free. Aisling Maher pulled one back for the home side, but the mightily impressive Laura Murphy notched her third point of the day and her sides final point of the opening half in the 27th minute before Dublin full-forward Maher got her and the host’s fourth point of the game before the short whistle to leave the score board reading, Dublin 0-4, Kilkenny 0-9, a deserved five-point interval lead for the Noresiders.
When the action restarted after the interval, it was Kilkenny that raised the first flag of the second half, through Katie Power’s nice point from play. Again, it was St Vincent’s Aisling Maher that opening the home sides account in the second half, with another point from a free. The return to the black & amber of Kellyann Doyle was greeted with warm applause, the Piltown woman replacing Tiffanie Fitzgerald in the half-back line. The next score would be a Kilkenny one with Dicksboro’s Asha McHardy firing over a fine point from play. Dublin’s Maher then spit the posts with another free to leave the visitors lead back to 5 points. Brian Dowling then made another change, with The Village’s Sophie O’Dwyer replaced Mullinavat’s Julieann Malone to freshen up the attacking unit, as the manager probably believed that the lead was secure.
Gerry McQuaid’s charges hit the next two scores, the first, a lovely point from Aisling O’Neill, before their dead ball specialist Maher popped over another free to make it a 3-point game, midway through the second half. Windgap’s Denise Gaule struck over another fine free to keep the Cats 2 scores ahead.
All-Ireland winning captain Aoife Prendergast then took to the field in place of her Dicksboro club mate Jenny Clifford and made an instant impact, pointing with her first effort of the game after Dublin full-back Eve O’Brien was yellow-carded. The Aisling’s then got in on the scoring act again, with O’Neill and Maher reducing the Kilkenny lead to 3 points with about 10 minutes of normal time remaining.
Like all good teams do, those in black and amber responded, and the next score came from sub, Sophie O’Dwyer, a lovely point from the James Stephens player. Again, the home side hit back, guess who? Yes, Aisling Maher with another free. Brian Dowling’s team went straight down the other end of Parnell Park and took a classy point, this time the returning Kellyann Doyle firing over.
You could sense the importance of Doyle’s point and Kilkenny’s experience showed as Katie Power got another score to push the visitors’ lead out to 5 points. As the Cats ran down the clock, Thomastown’s Sarah Barcoe replaced Windgap’s Michaela Kenneally for the final moments of the game. There was still time for one more score from the Stripey Women, and that honour fell to Denise Gaule who completed the scoring with another trademark placed ball. Wexford whistler Justin Heffernan sounded the long whistle and Brian Dowling’s charges got a much-needed league victory in the Capital, on a scoreline of Dublin 0-11, Kilkenny 0-17.
>> SHERRY SAYS…
3rd time lucky for our senior camogs as they travelled back from Parnell Park with maximum points in the Very Camogie League Division 1A. Worthy 6-point winners in the end and a much-needed confidence boost.
Denise Gaule, for the umpteenth time in her career, had a brilliant display of free taking, ensuring the Cats emerged victorious, but was in good company as Piltown’s Katie Power put in a good shift also, notching a couple of lovely scores.
Perhaps going under the radar, a little, was another solid performance from Laura Murphy. The O’Loughlin’s player hit 0-3 in an impressive opening period as the Cats built up a 5 –point lead at the break.
A controlled second half saw Brian Dowling’s side claim the victory and leave Gerry McQuaid’s side winless and rooted to the bottom of Division 1A.
Next up for the senior team is a tricky home tie against Matthew Twomey’s unbeaten Cork side on St Patrick’s weekend.
Well done to our intermediate camogs who produced a cracking display to take the points in their division 2B clash away to Tipperary. A green flag double from Danielle Quigley and one from Claire Doheny saw Seamus Kelly’s side run out impressive 8-point winners in the Ragg.
That’s two from two for this improving side who will travel to Wexford in the next round, eager to keep the winning run going.
Congratulations to our Minor team who claimed the Leinster Minor A Cup Final with a well-deserved 9-point win over Dublin at the National GAA Centre, Abbotstown.