Minor Division 1 Championship Final
Ballyboden St Endas 2-6 St Vincents 0-8
A great finish to a long season for these girls! At the end of September the players decided that they wanted to play in the Minor Championship, and promised full commitment. Topping the group we advanced to the final and awaited our opponents to be decided. The downside was that we didn’t have a competitive fixture for a month prior to the final, whereas St Vincents had 2 tough games in the past fortnight.
The final was played with great intensity by both sides, with very little to choose between them in the early stages. An early Vincents point was cancelled out by a free from Jodie White. Laura Nagle scored a terrific long range point to get our nose in front. Then came the pivotal moment in the first half when Claire Kirwan won possession, laid off to Laura Nagle who in turn found Emer O’ Leary. Emer drew the defender and laid off to Jodie who finished to the net, a great team goal.
A fine Claire Kirwan point, added to another free by Jodie gave Boden a half time lead of 1-4 to 0-4. St Vincents had finished the half well, but every player in the Boden backline more than held their own and protected the goal well.
The second half was nip and tuck, with both sides competing ferociously for every ball in all areas of the pitch. This Boden group has always had a terrific ethic when it comes to work rate, and today they brought it to a new level. Special mention here to Aoife Durkan who had missed the semi final win over Faughs, as she came into her own throughout the second period turning over possession on a number of occasions.
The pivotal moment of the game arrived with 10 minutes to go, when St Vincents had narrowed the lead to just 1 point. A great strike by a Vincents forward looked destined for the top corner, but somehow goalkeeper Ali managed to react and get her hurl to turn it away from goal. Within a few minutes Boden attacked, and when the ball broke in the square Laura Nagle was in the perfect place to finish to the net. A free from Jodie gave us a 4 point cushion, and although Vincents tried hard, we didn’t look like conceding a goal.
The final whistle went and the celebrations began. This win was made possible with top class performances throughout the team. Ali was calmness personified in goal, with the full back line of Sarah Lamber, Eve O’ Donoghue and Cora Ryan were phenomenal throughout. Hannah’s Hyland & Leddy were aggressive throughout and always on top, while Orla Tevlin had her best game for the Club. Laura Nagle has been a leader of this team from a young age, and once again produced the goods when it mattered and was partnered by Olivia Meagher who has an engine that would do Lewis Hamilton proud, without the reliability problem he had this year!
Half forward line of Aoife Durkin, Emer O’ Leary & Claire Kirwan got through an enormous amount of work all over the pitch, and the full forward line of Erica Tobin, Jodie White and Ciara O’ Neill were on top to ensure the hard work further out the field didn’t get wasted. Aisling Gargan & Eimear Butler both made fine contributions when they came on during the 2nd half.
Unfortunately Aine O’ Brien, Aisling Byrne, Saoirse Fitzgerald and Jess Daly didn’t get a run in the final, but they have all made significant contributions throughout the campaign. Special mention also to the very unfortunate Hollyn Kennedy who picked up an injury in Wednesday evening in Sancta Maria which required 15 stitches and kept her out of the game. This was a championship won by the full panel of 22 players, who have formed a great bond during the last few months.
14 of the panel are underage for Minor again next year, and remarkably 7 of them will be playing under 16 next year, so this bodes well for the future.
These girls have now completed the clean sweep at juvenile level, following up a Feile title with the U16 division 1 Championship and now they have brought the Division 1 Minor Championship title to Ballyboden for the first time in our history.
The Minor A Championship trophy is named after Orla Quill, a young Cuala player who tragically passed away last year. Orla’s father Fintan spoke very well, before presenting the Cup to the Boden captain Ciara O’ Neill. It was a fitting end to a tough week for the O’ Neill family after the passing of Ciara’s grandmother Tess.
The girls have been superbly looked after since they left the Academy many years ago by Catherine Nagle, Edel Tevlin & Denise O’ Neill. Declan O’ Brien was the man in charge, assisted by Gerry White. Huge thanks also to Richie Sweetnam for all of his time throughout the last few months. A great addition to the management team for this championship win was Sile Nic Coitir. Sile was an enormously positive influence on the girls, and if they can go on to have a career as successful as Sile then Boden Camogie will be in safe hands for many years to come.
Many thanks to James Murray and the Camogie section in general, and to the large number of Boden supporters in attendance in Abbotstown.
Team: Ali Ramsden, Sarah Lambert, Cora Ryan, Eve O’ Donoghue, Hannah Leddy, Hannah Hyland, Orla Tevlin, Laura Nagle, Olivia Meagher, Aoife Durkin, Emer O’ Leary, Claire Kirwan, Ciara O’ Neill, Jodie White, Erica Tobin, Aisling Gargan, Eimear Butler, Aine O’ Brien, Aisling Byrne, Saoirse Fitzgerald, Hollyn Kennedy, Jess Daly