Tuesday 26 September 2017

Westmeath poised to dash Dubs' hopes

Liberty Insurance All-Ireland premier junior final: Dublin v Westmeath (12.)

Shane Plowman's outfit took all before them in the league on the way to Division 3 honours, but now they are crossing swords with a unit that played well in Division 2. Stock photo: Sportsfile
Shane Plowman's outfit took all before them in the league on the way to Division 3 honours, but now they are crossing swords with a unit that played well in Division 2. Stock photo: Sportsfile

Daragh Ó Conchúir

Dublin camogie is on the crest of a wave. The seniors, minors and under 16s all made All-Ireland semi-finals but the premier juniors took it one step further. The overall picture is one of blooming health in the capital county.

Shane Plowman's outfit took all before them in the league on the way to Division 3 honours, but now they are crossing swords with a unit that played well in Division 2.

Indeed Westmeath only missed out on a place in the last four on score difference, finishing just five points worse off than Kildare, who also reached the intermediate semi-final. Indeed the Lakesiders defeated the Lilywhites in the round-robin phase as well as another intermediate side, Antrim, and only lost by a point to Galway.

Both had already qualified when they faced off in the final Group 1 game so it is difficult to know what to take from that. On face value, we can say that there will only be a puck of the ball in this, as Westmeath prevailed by the minimum.

A goal from Evelyn Twomey seven minutes into the second half broke the Kerry resistance as Dublin moved to within 60 minutes of a sixth title at this grade with six points to spare. Aoife Bugler and skipper Emer Keenan will be among the players they will need to perform if they are to achieve it.

Dinah Loughlin, Pamela Greville and Denise McGrath stood out once more for Westmeath, although they had a couple of anxious moments as last year's runners-up Armagh launched a late rally and closed to within a point.

They are pursuing their first premier junior championship, having established themselves in recent years following junior 'A' success in 2012.

Verdict: Westmeath

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