All-Ireland Minor A Camogie Championship
Seven points from the stick of Isabelle Costello ensured a Dublin victory in Carrig against Offaly in the Minor All-Ireland Camogie Championship last Saturday afternoon.
Aoife McLoughlin opened Offaly’s scoring account after she picked up a Grace Teehan clearance to put the faithful ahead in the opening two minutes. Playing with a slight breeze, Offaly dominated possession in the first half hitting 1-6 from play out of their 1-7. Siofra Ryan added Offaly’s second point while deadly accurate Costello then stood up to hit her first free and Dublin’s first score of the game. Offaly’s defence was rarely tested from play as Aisling Brennan anchored the Offaly defenders and was ably assisted by Una Kilmartin, Aoibhe Whelehan and Ciara Brennan.
Two points from Roisin Egan extended Offaly’s lead to three points but Ciara Glynn was on hand to add Dublin’s second. Mid-fielder Grace Teehan had a tremendous game mid-field both attacking and defending and added Offaly’s fifth point after attacking a Dublin puck out to pop over the black spot. Two Costello frees narrowed the gap back to one as the centre-back punished careless fouling of the Offaly defence. A fine point from Alex Griffen levelled the sides for the first time in the 23rd minute. Offaly hit a slight purple patch just before half time hitting 1-2 without reply. Captain Aisling Brennan stood up to hit two points for her side before Siofra Ryan found the Dublin net to raise the green flag minutes later giving Offaly a four point lead at the break.
Offaly started the second half with intent as a foul on Niamh Kileen resulted in a converted point from Aisling Brennan. Dublin eventually weathered the storm and started to gain their own momentum late in the second half. Another Costello free put three between the sides as Dublin continued to tick over scores. A great series of play from Dublin seen Julia Buckley rattle the net to leave just a single point separating the sides. Offaly bounced back from this attack as Niamh Kileen found goal hungry Siofra Ryan who was pulled down on the edge of the small square. Referee John McDonagh was left with no choice but to award the penalty and give Niamh Gleeson her marching orders from a second yellow. Aisling Brennan’s penalty was saved on the goal line and cleared to Ciara Glynn who pointed for the second time. Offaly were then awarded a free as a huge strike from centre back Aisling Brennan made no mistake second time round. This was the final score for Offaly as two points in the closing stages of the game from Grace O’Shea and Isabelle Costello secured the win for the Dubliners.
Player of the match: Grace Teehan was Offaly’s engine around the middle of the park, the Naomh Brid woman also added a point to her tally taking a Dublin puck out and breaking forward for a crucial point. Sisters Aisling Brennan and Ciara Brennan also were outstanding in defence while Isabelle Costello was Dublin’s main threat and top scorer of the game also deserves credit for her free taking skills.
Moment of the match: Dublin scored a goal five minutes into the second half cancelling out Offaly’s first half goal. Seconds later Offaly were awarded a penalty which was saved and cleared, this was the turning point in the game as Dublin never looked back from here.
Talking point: Dublin were awarded nine frees inside Offaly’s ’65 with Costello pointing seven. Moving forward Offaly will have to reduce their fouling levels as this game was there for the taking but slipped away because of placed balls.
Pitch Watch: Carrig was in pristine condition for the championship game. Last weeks bad weather didn’t seem to be affect the Tipperary bordering field as it provided perfect conditions for championship hurling.
What’s Next: Offaly will be disappointed with this result given that they were ahead by four points at half time. Following their loss to Clare two weekends ago, Offaly now face the daunting task of taking on Kilkenny in Kilkenny on March 26th. Dublin face Clare in round four in a battle for third place in the group, a win would see the Capital county eye up a semi-final position.
Referee Watch: Referee John McDonagh managed the game extremely well. In the first half the game was very stop start with the man in the middle having dealings with both management teams but eventually play got underway without pause in the second half. McDonagh also correctly presented Niamh Glesson her second yellow for a dangerous tackle.
Offaly: Dara Hanamy, Aoibhe Whelhan, Megan King, Una Kilmartin, Orla Gorman, Aisling Brennan, Ciara Brennan, Sarah Walsh, Grace Teehan, Niamh Kileen, Roisin Egan, Aoife McLoughlin, Aideen Freeman, Sarah Harding, Shiofra Ryan.
Subs: Sarah Guinan for Aoibhe Whelehan 48mins, Elizabeth Harding for Niamh Kileen 52mins.
Dublin: Ciara Tierney, Sinead Murphy, Ciara Griffin, Niamh Gleeson, Emma O’Byrne, Isabelle Costello, Amy Burke, Hannah O’Dea, Evelynn Twomey, Alex Griffen, Kerrie Finnegan, Claire Murray, Julia Buckley, Grace O’Shea, Ciara Glynn.
Subs: Aoife McKearney for Ciara Glynn 46mins.
Offaly: Siofra Ryan 1-1, Aoife McLoughlin 0-1, Roisin Egan 0-2, Aisling Brennan 0-4 (0-3f), Grace Teehan 0-1
Dublin: Isabelle Costello 0-7 (0-7f’s), Ciara Glynn 0-2, Alex Griffin 0-1, Julia Buckley 1-0, Grace O’Shea 0-1
Cards: Yellow: 3. Ciara Brennan (Offaly) 9minutes. Red: 1 (Two yellows) Niamh Gleeson (Dublin)