The Ratoath Under 10 Camogie girls overcame Duboyne in the semi-final of the Championship to meet Kilmessan in a great final that saw Ratoath finally raise the Elizabeth McDermott Cup after a long 4 years. Frank McDermott presented the Cup to the Championship in 2004 in memory of his wife the Late Elizabeth McDermott. Ratoath who are sponsored by O’Reilly Transport lost that year to Dunboyne in a very tight game. The following year Ratoath went out in the semi-final and last year they lost out to Boardsmill in the final. So this year the manager Tommy McLoughlin, who has been there since the beginning was on a mission with the help of the mentors, Patricia Crehan, Maire Cooke, Veronica O’Riordan, Linda Leonard and Stewart Griffiths. The match took place in Donaghmore Ashbourne’s new facilites which are so impressive. After a night of heavy rain the pitch was in good condition. The excitement on the day was electric and both sides had terrific support. Tommy gave the girls one of his famous pre-match talks putting the fear of God into them and anyone in earshot of the dressing room. Tommy has trained these girls in all weathers and the girls have huge respect for him. The game got off to a flying start with both teams challenging for every ball. Whoever won this match was not going to do it easily. There was terrific ground hurling and Ratoath wasted no time in bringing the ball up the pitch with some fine ground hurling challenging the Kilmessan backs in the early stages. Five minutes into the game Ratoath’s half forward Niamh McLoughlin netted the ball. If Ratoath thought it was going to be plain sailing from then on they were very much mistaken. Once full hurling came into play Eimear Cooke and Niamh McLoughlin demonstrated some terrific lifts and Niamh McLoughlin got her second score of the match with a point. Kilmessan battled on and kept the score to 1 1 – 0 at half time. The second half saw Ratoath come out strong and Kilmessan’s backs were put under fierce pressure. Ratoath’s strong midfielders Eimear Cooke, Sarah McInerney and Ciara Leonard controlled the middle of the pitch and fed some terrifics passes to the the half forwards Niamh McLoughlin and Dearbla Muprhy. Dearbla Muprhy could be found all over the pitch such was her work rate. Ruth Fagan and Fiona O’Riordan bombarded the Kilmessan goal and only for some near misses and fabulous blocks by the Kilmessan goalkeeper the match would have been put out of Kilmessan’s reach. Again once full hurling commenced both teams raised their game and the Kilmessan goal was under attack again. It was during one of these attacks that Ratoath were awarded a 45 and Eimear Cooke stepped up to the mark and did what she does best putting the ball into the back of the net. Other teams might have put their heads down but Kilmessan continued to fight and they were rewarded with a goal. This just spurred the Ratoath girls on and Aine McInerney and Clodagh Griffiths in half back positions went on a mission to protect their lead and fought tirelessly throughout. Abbie Feeney, Anna Brannigan and goalkeeper Eimear McCabe stood strong and made it impossile for Kilmessan to break through. With minutes to go Eimear Cooke secured the victory with a lift and buried the ball into the back of the net. Game over, Ratoath finally got their win and it was so special to have Frank McDermott present the Cup to the Captain, Dearbla Murphy and Vice Captain Ruth Fagan. These girls have also made history by being the first Ratoath team to win the Under 10’s Camogie Championship. Well done girls you soooo deserve it!
Team: Eimear McCable, Anna Brannigan, Abbie Feeney, Clodagh Griffiths, Aine McInerney, Eimear Cooke, Sarah McInerney, Ciara Leonard, Niamh McLoughlin, Dearbla Murphy, Ruth Fagan, Fiona O’Riordan, Abbey Coakley, Roisin Crehan, Kerry Leonard, Eilisha McDonnell, Jennifer Grehan