Minor A Camogie 2018

Minor championship is run off over a 6/8-week period at the end of the season and is a great competition to finish the season. This year 8 teams contested the Minor A championship, divided into 2 groups of four. Our first game was at home on PUM on 4 November against St Judes, this was a hotly contested physical battle that the girls controlled from start to finish with almost all of their scores coming from play, finishing with a 3-17 to 1-5. Next up was Na Fianna away on 11 November. This was a tougher ask as Na Fianna imposed their presence on our girls and went into the break ahead by 2 points. That being said the girls got the dream start to the second half with a goal from our captain this year, Aisling Gargan. There was no going back after that and while scores were exchanged between the sides, we managed to knock in a further two gaols and came away with a victory, 3 -4 to 1-7. The final game in the group was away to Castleknock on 25 November. True to form the girls launched into the game early and took control right to the end. Again the exhibition of score taking from play is something the team can be very proud of but the ability to get the scores comes from the strong defence the girls have aspired to. We finished the game with a 3-13 to 0-9 score line and that set us up for a semi final place against our neighbours Ballinteer St Johns. We had home advantage on PUM and this was a heated battle in the first half, both sides swapping scores and each side getting a gaol in the dying minutes of the first half, level at 2-4 apiece at half time. The second half briefly started in the same heat of battle and then the girls took control and again with some great scores from play finished out winners on a score line of 3-12 to 2-6.

Our final was set for Sunday 09 December against favourites Kilmacud Crokes who were dominant in all their games so far. That being said the Boden ladies were up for the task and the game began at a ferocious pace, both sides excelling in defence. It took all on 7 minutes before Aisling Byrne opened the scoring with a point from play, followed by another point from full forward Hollyn Kennedy. Kilmacud responded with a point of their own from play and everyone knew that this was going to be a heavily contested game. Hollyn Kennedy knocked over another point in the 11 minute and followed up with a quick reaction that netted the ball. Katie McDonald converted one of the few frees awarded to Boden in the 17th minute and extended the lead to 1-4 to 0-2. Chloe Murphy at corner forward was on the warpath and buried another sliotar to the back of the net. Katie McDonald converted a 45 in the 20th minute and after that we took the foot of the pedal and let Kilmacud back into the game where they knocked up 1-3 unanswered before the break. Half time score 2-5 to 1-5.

The girls talked amongst themselves at half time and when asked to up their game in the second half you knew what you were going to get, another high tempo physical battle. Aisling Byrne was first on the scoreboard again with a well-taken point, followed up with a point from centre forward and captain Aisling Gargan. Kilmacud knocked over a point from a free. Chloe Murphy used her speed and skill to catch a high ball, turn the defender and there was only going to be one outcome, bang, sliotar in the back of the net. Kilmacud then got a succession of frees and all were well executed by their talented free taker. The gap narrowed and the girls had to find that extra gear despite being out on their feet at this stage. A well worked ball from defence found its way to Aisling Byrne and with her sights on goal the shot was never in doubt, keeper could do little about it. To put the icing on the cake Katie McDonald who won and deserved woman of the match award, took the final 45 of the game and a high dropping ball ended up in the back of the net.

As usual Ally Ramsden was the last line of defence and she was dependable as ever, making a few very important saves to stem some serious attacks by Crokes. The strength and depth of the team was show by the stern defending of the six backs, Saoirse Fitzgerald, Robyn Flynn, Sadhbh Nic Mhathuna, Hanna Leddy, Aoife Durkin (the rock) at Centre back and Anna O’Shea who suffered hamstring throughout their game. The mid field pairing of Lucy O’Shea and Olivia Meagher worked tirelessly in defence and moving forward. The half forward line of Katie McDonald, Aisling Gargan and Aisling Byrne controlled the Kilmacud half back line and delivered quality ball to the inside forwards. The full forward line of Erica Tobin a, Hollyn Kennedy and Chloe Murphy were a nightmare for any full back line with their movement and skill. Blathnaid Slater and Stephanie Hamm were called up from the bench and made an immediate impact. It must be noted that Kilmacud were held scoreless from play in the second half and that was due to the excellent defending and hard work by the entire panel. It was a fantastic achievement for the girls, all of whom are Minor again next year with the exception of Aisling and Aoife. Thanks to Miriam Christie and Liam Cunningham for the fantastic action photographs.

Finally, we would like to thank the sponsors “WeAreDublin” and the County Board for arranging the championship and Finals Day in particular. The superb setting in Abbotstown did full justice to a championship that, as Fintan Quill mentioned in presenting the Orla Quill trophy to Aisling, is going from strength to strength year by year.

Panel: Aisling Byrne, Aisling Gargan (captain), Ally Ramsden, Anna O’Shea, Aoife Durkin (vice captain), Blathnaid Slater, Chloe Murphy, Clodagh Delaney, Erica Tobin, Erin Christie, Hannah Leddy, Hollyn Kennedy, Julie Vaughan, Katie McDonald, Kiara Cunningham, Lucy O’Shea, Lucy O’Connor, Muireann Delaney, Olivia Meagher, Robyn Flynn, Sadhbh Nic Mhathuna, Saoirse Fitzgerald, Sarah Anne Murphy, Sinead Hussey and Stephanie Hamm.