Kildare 4-22 London 0-1
Superior skill and a scoring fest by Susie O’Carroll were key factors in the Lilywhites’ excellent opening to their 2008 quest for the Gala All Ireland Junior Championship (Nancy Murray Cup).
Played in the London GAA headquarters in West London, Kildare’s intentions were clear from the throw in when midfielder Ciara Tallon found Clare Doran who slotted over the opening score. London played against a very strong wind which had an undoubted influence on the game. The Exiles’ puck outs and clearances continuously fell short, dropping between the 20 and 40m lines. The sliothar was gratefully hoovered up by Kildare half forwards and midfielders, who, in turn, ably set up the inside forwards for scores. By the end of the first quarter Kildare had notched up 3-6 with goals from Susie O’Carroll (2) and Ruth Treacy (1).
At this stage, the result was beginning to look predictable. In the remaining quarter of the first half Regina Gorman and Siobhan Hurley registered two points apiece with the latter’s scored coming from two placed balls on the 40m line. Scoring opportunities were extremely scarce for the Londoners. On the rare occasion when the ball breached the Kildare half back line, Ruth Foley and Sarah Allen were prominent for the Londoners. On the 20th minute, their efforts were rewarded when Croydon’s Aisling Tuohy drove a long ball between the uprights to register their first and only score. For Kildare, O’Carroll added a further two points to leave them comfortably ahead 3-12 to 0-1 at half time
With the backing of the wind, London were stronger on the ball and in the tackle in the second half. While Kildare’s scoring was less prolific, they still managed an impressive 1-10. Siobhan Hurley, Clodagh Farrell and sub Cliodhna McSweeney, on her championship debut, all raised the white flag during this thirty minutes. Susie O’Carroll got her goal hat trick and also managed to add a further seven points to bring her personal tally to an amazing 3-13 (6f).
For this match, Kildare started with four championship debutants: Johnstownbridge’s Eimear Hurley and Aoife Trant and the Cappagh duo Caroline Forde and team captain Clare Doran. Four more, Naas pair Cliodhna McSweeny and Amy O’Hara, Roisin O’Connell (JTB) and Maria McNaugton (St. Laurence’s) were all called off the bench during this half to get their first taste of All Ireland championship camogie. For McNaughton, it was a special occasion, having worn the London jersey herself some years ago. Impressively for Kildare, seven forwards registered on the score board.
A further connection between London and Kildare was provided by Mary McArthur (Devine), one of the Kildare mentors, originally from Prosperous who played her camogie in the Clane colours in the 1960s.
Lilywhites’ thoughts now turn to the next round at home on the 12th July when they will meet Roscommon. These sides already met in the League earlier in the season when the Western women came out on tops. Kildare will be looking to overturn thae result on this occasion.
Kildare: Maria McCabe, Niamh Breen, Eimear Hurley, Aoife Trant, Louise Walsh, Melanie Treacy, Reiltin Treacy, Caroline Forde, Ciara Tallon, Clodagh Farrell (0-1), Siobhan Hurley (0-3 2f), Regina Gorman (0-2), Susan O’Carroll (3-14 6f), Ruth Treacy (1-0), Clare Doran (0-1). Subs: Roisin O’Connell for Maria McCabe, Amy O’Hara for Aoife Trant, Maria McNaugthon for Maria McCabe, Cliodhna McSweeney (0-1) for Clare Doran and Niamh Concannon for Louise Walshe.
Referee: Mattie Maher (Moindearg).
-Joan O’Flynn, Kildare PRO