by Jack Dunphy
WHAT A START!!
The UPMC Ashbourne Cup weekend began on Friday night with the UPMC Ó Maolagáin Cup Final between Marino Institute of Education and MIC St. Pat’s Thurles, and what a start it was!
This game was manic right from the throw-in, Anna Murphy slotting in a goal in the first minute for Marino. It didn’t however seem to faze the Thurles side, Clare’s Áine O’Loughlin putting over her first 2 points of the game in response. By the tenth minute Marino had already got their second goal, Lorraine Dineen adding to the point she scored 2 minutes previous, leaving the Dublin side 2-01 to 0-02 ahead.
Pats were to dominate the second ten minutes however, the Clare duo of Áine O’Loughlin and Regan Conway scoring a further 2 points each, as well as Lauren Burke, and even the wing back Ciara Foskin getting in on the act. The period of dominance was curbed by an Áine Crotty goal for Marino, only to be answered immediately from Pats’ full forward Regan Conway with another strike to the net. Charleville’s Fiona Neligan wrapped up the first half with a point to leave the Thurles side up by 3 at the break, 2-08 to 3-01.
One could be forgiven for thinking Pats might pull away in the second half, they did of course claim a 17-point scalp off the same opposition during the group stages, but a repeat was not to be on the cards. It was the defences turn to take over for the opening few minutes of the second half. Miriam Campion, Drom & Inch swept up for MIC Pats whilst Ferns’ Orla Sinnett and Ciara Ní Chealaigh of Kildare shut up shop at the back for Marino. It took 7 minutes for the first score of the second half, yet another goal for Marino, and who else but Player of the Match Áine Crotty.
Momentum was now certainly with Marino, and the anticipation was building amongst a large and loud Marino crowd. It would not be until the 50th minute that MIC would score again, Lauren Burke hitting their third goal. In the meantime, Marino had hit a further 1-04, Grace Kenny from Laois with the goal this time round.
It was roughly point for point from then to the finish, MIC St. Pats Thurles unable to catch a break to grab that much needed goal. Miriam Campion was moved up to full forward to aid the cause, shooting narrowly wide in the final 5 minutes which would have drawn up the game. The final action saw Marino grabbing a goal themselves, Grace Kenny pulling from close range to seal it, and the last whistle blew on the puck-out following! Final score Marino Institute of Education 6-08 MIC St. Pats Thurles 3-11.
CCAO Chairperson, Michelle Molloy, presented the cup to Marino captain Shaunagh Maher from Co. Westmeath and the first cup of the 2020 UPMC Ashbourne Cup weekend was headed back to Dublin.
Massive credit must be given to both colleges, not only on the highly entertaining game itself, but the work being done in both colleges to promote camogie is fantastic. It isn’t easy in a small college, especially with players being on placement all around the country. A special mention to Denis Forde, Marino’s GAA Development Officer, who has put many years hard work into promoting camogie in the college, finally reaping the rewards.
If the entertainment continues in a similar fashion on Saturday and Sunday, we are in for some weekend!
Marino Institute of Education Scorers: Aine Crotty (2-02), Grace Kenny (2-01), Lorraine Dinneen (1-01), Anna Murphy (1-00), Orla Sinnett (0-02), Shaunagh Maher, Claire Kirwan (0-01).
MIC St. Pats Thurles Scorers: Lauren Burke (2-00), Áine O’Loughlin (0-05), Regan Conway (1-02), Fiona Neligan (0-02), Ciara Foskin, Aoife Curtin (0-01)