The June Mini All Ireland continues to be a highlight in the Camogie Calendar. The 2016 version took place last Friday evening – June 17th with over 200 eager hurlers taking part. To accommodate increased numbers in the senior section of the competition the blitz was expanded to twelve teams played over six pitches in Cherryfield, with the Junior Section run over four pitches on PUM. The weather was ideal and the promised rain showers never materialised.
The under 16 and minor teams provided the referees who did a great job throughout – offering the younger players in particular constant encouragement. The under 14’s sent down the next generation of Brian Coady’s and they clearly have huge management potential as they helped out with team mentoring.
Dave Mellon did a remarkable Jamie Oliver impression with his new ‘Back to the Future’ Barbecue and kept the nation fed with top-class burgers – well done and huge thanks to Dave and his crew. Rumours that half the smoke alarms in Knocklyon were set off are completely false !! The ice-cream van also went down a treat. First Aid was looked after by Nicola Boutall, Samantha Maguire and Loreto Brady.
Congratulations to all who took part in this festival – games were played in a great spirit with plenty of good hurling. While the main aim of the evening is to provide an enjoyable set of games and to encourage skill development history should record that Carlow (managed by Sinéad Sweeney and Donal Griffin) beat Donegal in a cracking Junior Cup final by a point. The junior shield was won by Mayo, (managed by Sarah White, Carol Donaghy and Maura Solan), defeating Kildare in the final. The Senior Cup finished Waterford 5.2 (managed by Barbara Vaughan), Kerry 2.1 and the Senior Shield saw Limerick (maanaged by Jean Gargan) beating Dublin by 1.3 to 1.0.
Well done to the mentors from all age groups on their organisation, and thanks to the Camogie Committee for their support. Special thanks to senior players Sarah Nagle and Rachel Ruddy who presented medals to the Senior Cup winners, and a medal to each of the Junior Section participants. Roll on the 14th Annual Mini All Ireland in 2017 !