Tara Camogie Club won their sixth London Camogie County title with a 3-8 to 0-7 win over Croydon producing a quality second half performance to collect the honours.
Tara were made fight all the way though against a gallant Croydon outfit, who will rue a number of missed scoring opportunities throughout the course of the game, including a blistering penalty shot from Elaine Dunphy in the final minutes which shot over the bar, as opposed to hitting the back of the net.
The game was delicately poised in the opening half with an opportunist goal, giving Tara a two point advantage at the break. Tara made the better use of opportunities and when they scored their second goal twelve minutes from time, they put a little bit of daylight between the sides.
The Tara attack had greater possession but they found it hard to overcome a resolute Croydon defence, where Ruth Kilkenny excelled.
Croydon played with the assistance of the breeze in the opening half with Una McGouran popping over a point after after two minutes. Tara's Noreen O’Keeffe and Roisin O'Grady hit back with two points and Croydon took the lead again with Anne Browne and Elaine Dunphy hitting two points. The Croydon attack lost shape after they opted to play a sweeper and the only score in the second quarter came when Noreen O’Keeffe was on hand to smash a breaking ball to the Croydon net that gave the reigning champions a 1-2 to 0-3 half-time lead.
Fiona Morrissey and Elaine Dunphy swapped early scores before Tara scored three points in quick succession. Approaching the three quarter stage another Dunphy point left Croydon four points adrift. With Caroline Kelly dominant at midfield, Fiona Morrissey added another Tara point before the game swung decisively in Tara’s favour twelve minutes from the end with Eilis O'Neill scoring a goal. Croydon were awared a penalty in the closing stages, but Elaine Dunphy's effort went over the bar while Tara snatched a goal through Fiona Morrissey in injury-time.
Tara Camogie Club will now proceed to the AIB All Ireland Junior Quarter-final. Time, date and venue tbc.
Photos of the match are available on the London Camogie Facebook page.
Tara: D Gilligan: E Kelly, L Hawkes, S Darcy (0-1); J Traynor, H Murphy, G Hamilton; C Kelly (capt) (0-1), H Hamilton; O Tynan, N O’Keeffe (1-1), R O’Grady (0-1); A Nyhan, F Morrissey (1-3), E O’Neill (1-1).
Subs: N Dolan for Hawkes (h-t).
Croydon: B Hehir; E Power, M Twomey, F Kearney; E Dunphy (0-4), R Kilkenny, C Curtin; U McGouran (0-1), A Glynn; A Kerr, A Browne (capt) (0-1), E Egan; A Touhy, D O’Sullivan (0-1), C O’Neill.
Subs: M Murtagh for Touhy (45 mins), R Barden for Glynn (52 mins).
Referee: B Collins (Bros Pearses).