Tipperary Camogie notes
Cashel 0.11, Athenry 0.09
By Kieran Slattery, County Camogie P.R.O.
The tag of favourites going into any game is something that is earned, & after last Sunday’s final in Clarecastle, Cashel justifiably wore that tag with pride. Their display is atrocious weather conditions was nothing short of heroic from a team who were determined to bring the title back to Cashel for the second time.
Athenry opted to play with the advantage of a cross field wind, but it was Mairead Morrissey who pointed first for Cashel. Laura Linnane, Therese Maher & Brenda Kerins pointed for Athenry before Claire Grogan pointed a free for Cashel. With driving sleet raining down on the Clare venue, Athenry kept the pressure on the Cashel defence, & had two goal chances, only to be denied by Helen Breen in the Cashel goal. Una Dwyer & Philly Fogarty stood firm in the Cashel defence, ably assisted by their colleagues in both lines of defence. Cashel found it difficult at times to attack, mainly due to their half forward line playing so deep because of the wind, but when they did take on the Athenry defence, they enjoyed the better of exchanges. At the 20 minute mark, it was 4 points to 3, favouring Athenry. A point from Noreen Coen in the 22nd minute put 2 between the sides, but a point from Claire Grogan in the 26th minute closed the gap. Then, what was arguably the score of the game; Alison Lonergan latched onto a great pass from Cora Hennessy, & from 30yards pointed with a superb cross field effort. Suddenly, after playing most of the game in Cashel`s half of the field, Athenry were only 1 point ahead at half time, 0.06 to 0.05.
Cashel were first out of the blocks in the second half with Emily Hayden & Mairead Morrissey pointing for Cashel, giving them a lead which was never relinquished. Laura Linnane again kept Athenry in touch with a free, before 3 points from the stick of Claire Grogan (1 free, 2 play), & at the 20minute mark of the 2nd half Cashel were 3 points up. However, Athenry, were playing their best Camogie of the hour in the second half, & the threat of them scoring a goal was always present. A point from Noreen Coen put 2 between the sides, & a dangerous lead for Cashel when entering the last 5 minutes of the game. With some stern defending from Cashel, & their mid field working well, Claire Grogan popped up with another point. At this stage both Jessica Gill for Athenry, & Sinead Millea for Cashel, were introduced. Both players had been out of action due to injury, so their introduction was testament to both teams desire to win. Jessica Gill had half a chance for a goal but her free was deflected for the last point of the game, & scenes of jubilation from Cashel, & utter disappointment from Athenry when the final whistle was blown.
Cashel are quickly becoming a thorn in the side of Athenry, who lost to them in `07 in the final, & earlier this year again when Cashel beat the Westerners in the all Ireland 7`s final. This was a gritty display from Cashel, who once again had to call on all their experience & their self belief to ground out this victory. Even when Athenry came looking for the equalising goal, their composure & calmness in defence ensured that soft frees were not given away. The player of the match award went to Claire Grogan, who, incidentally, won the same award against the same opposition in the 7`s.
Claire’s ability to pick off the points at the most critical stages of the game was vital to this win, as was the huge work rate of her team mates throughout the game.
A delighted (if not frozen) Una Dwyer proudly accepted the cup from Uachtaran Joan O Flynn, & in her acceptance speech, Una spoke of the huge team spirit in the squad, & thanked the management team for their help in getting them to be All Ireland champions for 2009.
Team; Helen Breen, Claire Ryan, Una Dwyer, Nolette Dwyer, Paula Bulfin, Philly Fogarty, Julie McGrath, Jill Horan, Linda Grogan, Cora Hennessy, Mairead Morrissey (0.02), Claire Grogan (0.07), Alison Lonergan(0.01), Emily Hayden(0.01), Cliona Dwyer. Subs used; Sinead Millea.
Referee; Fintan McNamara, ( Clare).