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REACTION: Winning with “family” the highlight for hat-trick hero

Mon 19th Dec

Daragh Ó Conchúir

Club, Latest

“I can’t believe it,” admitted Róisín O’Keeffe, who was an easy selection as player of the match after scoring 3-1 to help propel Lacken to the AIB Camogie All-Ireland junior B camogie title against outgunned Delvin on a 5-12 to 3-2 scoreline at Donaghmore Ashbourne yesterday.

Niamh Horan goaled for the Westmeath champions in the first half, and Denise McGrath and Kate Gaffney raised green flags to reduce the margin to six points in the second half, but Róisín Galligan and the outstanding Joanne Moore shook the Delvin rigging to remove all doubt.

“I suppose I scored but I didn’t do all the hard work,” O’Keeffe continued. “The girls absolutely fought like dogs out the field and I’d the easy job to do. I’m just so grateful for everyone that we pulled together and won this.

“We knew Delvin were going to hunt in packs and were trying to keep it as open as we could and knew if opportunities came, there was space there.

“This is probably the pinnacle of my career. To win with your club, with girls we went to primary school with, have played in primary school with, have gone through so much with. We’ve had such good times, we’ve had such bad times together.

“We went off, some of us have played county, some have played colleges, but you always come back to your club and the girls are always just like family.

“The support from the community out there. We were privileged to be playing today but it just meant so much to everyone.”

Delvin manager Jimmy O’Grady admitted that his troops were second best but was proud of their battling efforts.

“We tried our best,” noted O’Grady. “I suppose watching this video back will be like watching a video of your own funeral. We were outgunned, outfoxed. I suppose if we had two or three players that broke 50-50, that was about it.

“I’ve no complaints and am very proud of the girls today. They’re a credit to the club, parish, village, past managers and coaches that took them on but I’m very proud for themselves. They gave everything but were just second fiddle all over the field.

“Lacken’s defence was very solid, they stood firm all over the field. They were on a going day.

“I think two or three years ago (Delvin) were amalgamated and couldn’t field a team, so to go from that to win the League unbeaten, to win the Championship unbeaten, win a Leinster and get to an All-Ireland final, huge credit. They’ll be disappointed but that’s life.

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