After a hiatus of six months, the eagerly anticipated postponed 2020 All Britain Senior Camogie Championship final between Tara Camogie (London) and Fullen Gaels (Manchester) will finally take place this Saturday 15th May at 11.30am at Pairc na h’Eireann, Birmingham.
Whilst no one could have predicted the sudden stop to GAA in November 2020, both teams will no doubt be raring to go on Saturday after a long break from camogie.
Tara, under the helm of manager Paddy Mullaly will be aided by Tara player/selectors Emer Kelly and Helen Murphy. Much credit must be given to Helen Murphy who stepped up to the mark as Tara manager in 2020, aided by Emer Kelly. With Paddy on board this year, the Tara girls have enjoyed some great training sessions since the return to play on March 29th.
The London girls will be led out on the day by captain Tessa Crowley as they aim to retain their title as All Britain Senior champions and aim for an historic 12th senior championship title in a row. Tessa, hailing from Valley Rovers in Cork, has been an instrumental player since joining Tara in 2018. There is an added special family connection as she will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of her aunt Elaine Burke who was part of the Tara panel who won the senior title in 2012. Tessa will be ably assisted by vice-captain Laura Connolly from Loughgiel Shamrocks, Antrim who has been a driving force on the Tara team since joining in 2019.
Within the Tara team there are some impressive stats with Helen Murphy (Kilkenny) aiming for her 11th senior title, Joni Traynor (Antrim) aiming for a 10th title, Lucy Hawkes (Cork) and Fiona Morrissey (Limerick) aiming for their 8th titles and Clare Ryan (Galway) aiming for her 6th title. Within these impressive stats are also a number of players hoping to win their first Senior Britain title with Tara, and the addition of players Meadhbh Buckley (Cork), Aoife Carroll (Kilkenny) and Nessa Dolan (Galway) has strengthened the Tara squad over the last year. It is this mix of new players and experience that Tara will be looking to utilise on Saturday. A special thanks must go to Tir Chonaill Gaels Greenford for the use of their facilities in the build up to the final, and to sponsors Cara Personnel, Woodland, Comsec, Tir Chonaill Gaels and Getjar for their continued support.
Tara recorded good wins on their road to the final beating Croydon by 3-12 to 1-2 and John Mitchels by 6-8 to 1-4. Although they did not meet Fullen Gaels in senior championship in 2020, matches between the two have been toughly fought battles in the last few years, with not much separating the two teams in recent encounters. When the two sides met in the 2019 senior final, it was an intense and tough match with Tara just edging out the victory on the day, winning 2-11 to 1-9. No doubt that Fullen Gaels will use the disappointment of that close defeat to try and ensure the cup travels northwards to Manchester after the final whistle on Saturday.
In these unprecedented times with no spectators allowed at the match, the final will be live streamed with commentary – a first for a Senior Camogie final in Britain. Previous Tara manager, Padraig McMullan will be providing the Tara commentary on the day. Referee Kelvin Magee of John Mitchels Birmingham will be officiating on the day, and thanks must go to Camogie Board Britain for their hard work in ensuring this final takes place after such a long delay in such unprecedented times. Although a very different final without supporters physically present, both Tara and Fullen Gaels will be hoping that their wider camogie families within Britain, Ireland and further afar will tune in and get behind the teams.
Throw in – 11.30am Saturday 15th May Pairc na h’Eireann, Birmingham. Live streaming link below.