Young Irelands Gowran welcomed our under 16 team on Good Friday for what turned out to be a great game of camogie. Gowran itself is a beautiful village and the pitch must be one of the most scenic in the country. It must also be one of the longest with clear daylight of about 15 yards between the two 65 yard lines. With plenty of width as well as length this was always likely to be an open flowing game of hurling, and so it proved to be.

But before we get to the game we must mention the ‘spread’ – the after match refreshments were simply outstanding. In beautiful sun-drenched countryside the tea and sambos were delicious – thanks to those who prepared it. Yummy.

The teams played with slightly contrasting styles – Boden shifted the ball well and repeatedly picked out players on the run or in space; Gowran played a strong running game (particularly from the half forward line). Frees were few and far between as the ball moved well and both sides seemed intent on playing a fast moving game.

Against a deceptively strong breeze Hollyn Kennedy settled a lively looking Boden side with two unanswered points. When Erica Tobin added a goal it looked like Boden might have it easier than expected. A point from play and another from a free put Gowran right back in it. Scores were traded fairly equally – Erica added a further two points to her tally while Georgina Carolan also rattled the net with a strong finish. Halftime score of 1-5 to 2-4 – a well-earned 2 point lead. While the forwards should be well pleased with the first half tally so too should the new-look full back line be delighted with their performance – Hannah Tevlin, Sadhbh Nic Mhathúna and Sinead Hussey were ultra competitive and highly effective. Ashling Gargan did very well at centre back and around the middle of the park, ably assisted by Muireann Delaney who won more than her share of ‘dirty ball’ around the middle third.

The second half saw an increased physical challenge – it was good, clean, tough, hurling with every ball contested. Boden dominated the opening ten minutes and stretched the lead. Katie Mc Donald pointed twice – from play and from a ‘65’. Katie loved the open spaces and used it highly effectively. Aisling Byrne added 1-1 in her usual classy style. Two Hollyn goals brought the goal total to 5. There followed a Gowran revival – their outstanding number 11 adding 2-1. Sara Anne Murphy and Saoirse Hassett stepped up to the plate with tigerish defending work and sensible ‘tramline clearances’. The balance swung back to Boden. Ciara Woodcock took control of her corner scored a lovely goal and played several classy balls straight across the square. One of these led to a great hand-passed / batted / kicked goal from Blathnaid Slater – no one was quite sure how she found the net – but she did ! (Just as well – she had been stuck in corner back in the first half and unlike McDonald’s she wasn’t lovin’ it !!!!! )

Final mention to Deirdre Murray ….. she played really well in goal and as we speak she has started letter writing – Dear Declan, My name is Deirdre, and I am NOT a goal keeper. Watch this space.

Thanks to the great travelling support who added hugely to a great day out. And finally to those who Ger Delaney ‘drownded’ with his water bottle antics – apologies.

A good win on the road – and importantly, new friends made.