The increasing depth of camogie at inter-county level was confirmed once again at Donaghmore Ashbourne as Offaly played Derry in the U16B final, while Armagh and Westmeath faced off in the decider.
With Dublin having annexed the A title just a few weeks earlier, these final pairings confirmed the tremendous work being done at grassroots level throughout the country.
And it was Offaly and Westmeath who departed the Meath venue with the silverware, with the Faithful coming out on top of a high-scoring encounter 5-10 to 2-5, while the Lakesiders edged out Armagh 1-10 to 2-4.
Although it was double scores in the B final, Derry had a significant input into an entertaining clash. Newbridge starlet, Aimee Devlin plundered two goals and Lavey’s Aoife Shaw shot four points, two of which came from play.
It just wasn’t enough though against an Offaly team with a wide range of attacking talent however. Vice-captain, Christine Cleary scored 2-2, while Rachel Brennan also bagged two goals and added a point.
Lisa Gorman found the net as well and raised a white flag, while Mairéad Jennings from the famed Birr club slotted three frees in a five-point tally to confirm her side’s second success at this level.
Westmeath were pushed all the way to the wire by Armagh but Aoife Corcoran’s six-point contribution proved crucial as they repeated the championship glory achieved by the U16s of 2009. The Castletown Geoghegan ace converted four frees and a 45 to keep her side’s noses in front.
Jena McKeogh shot a vital goal too, while Nicola Judge (two points) and Caoimhe McCrossan played major parts in a hard-fought victory.
Hannah Gray was chief scorer for the gallant Orchard County girls, hitting a goal and three points from frees. Shannon Kelly poached a second goal, while Emma McGuigan raised a white flag but they needed one more goal and were unable to break down a resolute Westmeath rearguard for a third time.
Pictured: A jubilant Offaly U16 team with the All Ireland B title