Boden secure its first Intermediate Camogie crown in 19 years after a titanic battle

 “Good things come to those who wait “– 16th century proverb attributed to Fane.

Yes, hard to believe but up until last Sunday the last Intermediate Camogie title won by the club stretched all the way back to 2001.

From the start of this season, this talented bunch set out ending that hiatus and achieved it in spectacular fashion after a pulsating affair in Abbottstown.

The final played in dry, chilly conditions was billed as the clash of the titans as both teams had justifiably finished 1-2 in the Group stages of the Inter 2 competition, Ballyboden holding a slight edge going into the final after defeating Whitehall during the latter part of the group stages.

But, as the game started, it became clear that Whitehall had not come to play second fiddle to our young team and set down a marker with a score in the first minute. The tackling was fierce yet fair and in an extremely competitive and tight first half our girls found their range with three unanswered points from Hollyn Kennedy, Erica Tobin – the score of the game – and a fine effort from Ciara Lambert , only to see that lead pegged back by a late first half reply from Whitehall. The match was very much in the balance at half time.

Half time: Ballyboden St Enda’s 0-03 Whitehall Colmcille 0-02     

The first 15 minutes of the second half will be long remembered by our girls, the mentors and the 3,500 viewers who watched the game streamed live on Facebook with the audience including supporters and some ex- players tuning in from the UK and Belgium.

Most finals can hinge on one crucial moment, not this one! Every score was going to be vital in this tight encounter and Whitehall struck very early in the second half with a very well finished goal to strike a dagger into the heart of our team who had up until that point only conceded two goals in the whole campaign and had never been behind at any stage in any of their previous matches. Two points behind and the momentum was with Whitehall. Our backs were up against the wall.

What happened after that was quite remarkable as our defensive line  Orlagh O’Shea, Yvonne Gargan, Clodagh Delaney, Sadhbh Nic Mhathuna, Anna O’Shea, Robyn Flynn and Erin Christie repelled everything and anything that this well drilled Whitehall team, which was filled with quality throughout their forward line, threw at them. For the remaining 25 minutes incredibly, we conceded just one score and that from a free. The stoic endeavours of our backline was the backbone for our pending comeback.

As Whitehall began to look to hold onto their lead the determination and energy of the Barnes sisters at midfield, Aoife and Ciara, and the ever-increasing influence of Olivia Meagher – who deservedly won Player of the Match – began to play dividends. The team set about bravely to eat away at the Whitehall lead with the battling qualities of Ciara Barnes leading to a half chance for Hollyn Kennedy – who had now moved into the full forward line after an inspired switch by coach, George O’Shea. Hollyn duly converted the opportunity, and this was shortly followed by a fine score from Barnes herself. Our tails were up , back on level terms and with the water break approaching the team produced the finest period of camogie of the final just when it was needed most as precise and clever passing across the width of the field instigated by Olivia Meagher ,with Chloe Murphy and Julie Vaughan heavily involved, yielded two more chances for Hollyn to slot two further terrific points, we were up by two .This final was on a knife edge, the last 15 minutes would decide the destiny of the Inter 2 crown . Would the 19-year wait be ended, or would the trophy reside on the Northside?

And once again, to Whitehall’s credit they were not finished, and fought back valiantly to score just after the water break, five minutes left, and one point between the teams. Our girls set about their response and duly did our great club proud as they simply refused to lay down, they would not be defeated.

With untold bravery they secured a 45 after a good effort by Erica Tobin and won a close in free with Julie Vaughan being fouled as hurls flew everywhere, both chances expertly converted by Hollyn. And yet, with only seconds to go Whitehall launched one final attack but we were not to be defeated and as our backs stood strong, the referee blew the final whistle. The Inter 2 Camogie Championship was finally back in the hands of Ballyboden St Enda’s and the win represented the first ladies senior, intermediate or junior title in Camogie for the club since 2015.

Full Time: Ballyboden St Enda’s 0-09 Whitehall Colmcille’s 1-03

In a very special moment for the team, Ciara Lambert (captain) asked both Rachel Walsh and Lucy O’Shea – both of whom have contributed enormously to our success – to accept the trophy. Ciara, in her speech, fittingly dedicating the win to them and they gratefully raised the trophy on behalf of the team, both on crutches and visibly still in some discomfort from their very recent injury and illness, respectively.

The final word on this great final must be about the winners.

Ladies. You have done yourselves, your families and your club proud and now deserve your place on the Ballyboden Club Championship Roll of Honour!!!!

P.S. The team would like to recognize the kind sponsorship of the team tops provided by Ely Beauty Clinic , Nutgrove Ave , Danny’s tremendous commentary on Facebook, the encouragement for the team from the subs bench and the support received from friends and family including that of our chairman, Dan O’Sullivan , who lived every moment of the final with the team and mentors.

Front Row: Ciara Lambert (Capt), Orlagh O’Shea, Aine O’Brien, Kiara Cunningham, Erin Christie, Lucy O’Shea, Hollyn Kennedy, Julie Vaughan, Yvonne Gargan, Rachel Walsh.

Back Row: Anna O’Shea, Chloe Murphy, Blathnaid Slater, Sadhbh Nic Mhathuna, Sinead Hussey, Erica Tobin, Robyn Flynn, Ciara Barnes, Eimear Butler, Aoife Barnes, Olivia Meagher, Clodagh Delaney, Hollie Bolger, Sarah Lambert

Mentors: George O’Shea, Mary Hyland, Liam Murphy, Mark Barnes

Note: Team Photo from earlier in the competition

#bodengaapics by Miriam Doyle20 Sept 2020Abbotstown National Games development Center

Posted by BodenGAA on Sunday, 20 September 2020