This scoreline in Sunday’s Senior 2 Camogie Championship decider was a cruel one to bear for Naomh Mearnog.
Unbeaten in 13 games between league and group games, it’s clear they are going in the right direction, but finals are one-off affairs and more often than not it’s the team with the momentum that normally gets on top.
Castleknock, managed by Kevin Broderick, had the edge almost from the time their top scorer Aisling O Neill landed their first free inside the opening 60 seconds.
On an immaculate surface up in Abbotstown, they hurled with great composure and Caitlin Coffey showed some lovely touches in the middle of the park.
The Mearnog side, which also included Teagan Comber and Ciaran Buchanan from St Finian’s Swords, battled hard all day, but scores were hard to find inside.
Ciara Holland, their talented under-age dual star, certainly showed well up front, but with Castleknock captain Niamh Mulrooney anchoring the defence well Mearnog were never allowed to get into their stride.
Nonetheless they came at Castleknock at ever opportunity, with their Dublin player Grainne Power strong through the middle.
But Castleknock were the more fluid up front, with three frees from O’Neill complemented by a fine score off the right from Emma Diamond, and Holland was Mearnog’s only scorer leading up to the first water break.
And then just before the end of the first quarter, Castleknock were presented with their first goal chance.
It came from an unlikely source, but it nonetheless lifted the Castleknock side for the rest of the game.
Their 36-year-old mother of three Ciara Burgess, a former stalwart for Dublin in both codes, seemed primed to strike from the edge of the square, only to see her effort fall just inches wide of the far post.
Still Burgess had ventured boldly into the Mearnog defence, and certainly she lit the torch for her colleagues for the rest of the game.
Castleknock, leading by four points to one at the end of the first quarter, drove on in the second.
Still, some tenacious play from Mearnog corner forward Leanne Walsh reminded Castleknock that they couldn’t afford to sit back.
And as such Castleknock drove the ball up the field at every opportunity, with Diamond a good presence for them at right half forward.
And they had added three more points to their tally before Aoife Whelan popped up with a timely goal just before the half-time break to leave it at 1-7 to 0-1 at the interval.
A score from Rosie Keneally offered Mearnog a bit of respite early in the second half, but Castleknock were looking to add to their goal tally and O’Neill produced a good save out of Mearnog keeper Stef Carthy. But with the score at 1-10 to 0-2 Castleknock would eventually find the back of the net through substitute Aisling Andrews to take a 15-point lead heading into the final quarter.
A second goal from Aoife Whelan shortly after the restart would confirm Castleknock’s dominance on the day, but with plenty of young talent out there Naomh Mearnog are building for the future. And as Castleknock commented graciously afterwards, the Portmarnock side will live to fight another day.
NAOMH MEARNOG: Stef Carthy, Lauren Delaney, Laura Walsh, Caitriona Power, Aobhine Dillon, Laura Twomey, Aoife O’Connor, Mirium Twomey, Teagan Comber, Ciara Buchanan, Grainne Power, Ciara Holland 0-1, Leanne Walsh, Rosie Keneally 0-1, Ellie Kane.Subs: Grace Murray for Delaney, Ciara Mullen for Delaney, Aoife Kavanagh for Walsh, Ciara Mullen for Keneally, Graine Skelton for Rosie Power.
Castleknock: Eabha Mooney, Niamh Mulrooney, Amy Mahony, Lucy Quinn, Ciara Feeny, Molly O’ Neill 0-1, Ellen Baker, Caitlin Coffey, Ciara Golden, Eleana Diamond 0-1, Louise Mahony, Aoife Whelan 2-2, Ciara Burgess 0-1, Aisling O Neill 0-9 (0-5f), Ciara Murray. Subs: Aisling Andrews 1-1, Bronagh Quinn 0-1.