Derry confirmed their increasing profile on the camogie scene when annexing the Irish Daily Star League Division 2 title for only the second time in their history with a resounding 2-11 to 0-6 victory over Meath.
The Oak Leaf contingent’s previous success arrived in 1999 but they appear well placed to make a stronger bid to break into the top tier, with Eoghan Rua’s two All-Ireland intermediate club titles in a row proving that camogie is reaching a higher plane in the county.
Meath have made their own giant strides in recent years, reaching the Division 3 final in 2010 and coming back last year to snatch a one-point victory in the decider over Kildare.
In that context, appearing in the Division 2 final this time around with a 100% return from their four Group 2 outings was an outstanding achievement.
However, despite the excellence of Jane Dolan, who finished with five of their six points, they had no answer to the impressive firepower that propelled Derry to five-out-of-five wins in Group 1, and a plus 68-point point differential in the process.
Karen Kielt and Gráinne McGoldrick have been amongst the chief architects of that run and player of the match Kielt recorded 1-3, while McGoldrick notched up five points.
With Katie McCauley providing a significant contribution of 1-2, Meath were unable to stem the flow of scores from difference sources, while overly-reliant on Dolan at the other end.
An Edel Guy point did give the Royals a 0-3 to 0-2 lead and Lizzie Lynch had a goal chance soon afterwards but Derry goalkeeper, Claire O’Kane made a vital save.
With Gráinne McNicholl and Aileen McCusker getting on top at midfield, the supply to Derry’s big guns improved. Kielt struck for her goal but with 11 wides in the first half alone, the Ulster girls managed to keep Meath in the game at half time, with just five points between the teams.
McGoldrick, Kielt and Sinéad Cassidy did manage to raise more white flags in the second half but O’Kane was called upon again to make another excellent save from Sinéad Hackett.
McAuley pounced for Derry’s second goal late on to seal the verdict.
Scorers – Derry: K Kielt 1-3; G McGoldrick 0-5; K McCauley 1-2, S Cassidy 0-1
Meath: J Dolan 0-5, E Guy 0-1