by Daragh Ó Conchúir
IT WAS a Galway double in the Cooley Mountains after Caitriona Daly was crowned M Donnelly All-Ireland Senior Camogie Poc Fada champion, while compatriot Katie Gilchrist took the spoils in the U16 category.
Fortunately the rain that bedevilled much of the country was not a factor for this unique test, though the swirling wind did make it difficult at times.
Daly was a clear winner, taking just 24 pocs to complete the course. The Mullagh goalkeeper dealt admirably with the testing conditions and remained composed throughout, her previous experience of competing at both Senior and U16 level clearly standing to her.
Daly’s fellow Galwegian and member of the goalkeeping union, 2013 All-Ireland Senior victor and winner of the last two All-Ireland Poc Fada titles Susan Earner, just got the better of a tight battle with Cork’s Amy Lee, herself a multiple All-Ireland winner as regular between the posts for Cork’s intermediates and a Senior panellist, and Louise Dougan from Derry, one of the stars of Slaughtneil’s three-in-a-row All-Ireland Club Championship-winning squad.
The trio each got around in 26 pocs but Earner cleared the finishing line by 22m, with Lee on 17 and Dougan on 13.
Meath’s Abbye Donnelly, who is the third generation of her family to compete in the All-Ireland Poc Fada and is a previous contestant at u16 level herself, was fifth with 29 pocs, ad with Andrea O’Keeffe of Clare in sixth on 30.
In the U16, Gilchrist was a very comfortable winner, getting around in 27 pocs.
Orla Laverty represented Antrim and Ulster well to be second on 31, while Hannah Bourke (Dublin) was third on 32 and Méadhbh Ring (Cork) finished fourth with 33 pocs, while her brother Paul was helping the Rebels defeat Dublin in the All-Ireland U20 football final.