Minors eye Leinster redemption

DUBLIN felt lonely leaving the field in Athenry last month. Their All-Ireland Minor Championship journey was over.

It was late when the Dubs arrived back in the capital. But on their way home, the focus had already centred on the Leinster Championship this month.

"That's the target now," relates Dublin mentor, Sandra Tarr. "Fingers crossed we can do better in the Leinster than we did in the All-Ireland series. We did relatively well in it last year.

"Half of this squad were also involved then. And we have several of the U16 girls who beat Kilkenny in the Leinster final last season, so that's pretty positive."

It was never going to be easy in the All-Ireland. Having Cork, Tipp and Galway in the group made sure of that.

"It was a very tough group. We were really up against it. Those three are such top sides.

"It's such a high standard. Galway were just fabulous. That was our last match. They were pure class."

Pat Clinton manages the Blues with Sandra, Colm Berkeley, Gerry McGough, Dave Dunning and Brendan Cooper.

They couldn't fault the application of the Dubs. "They tried hard. They did their best. They couldn't have done anymore," reflects Sandra. Yet preparations were far from perfect. Dublin were missing some key players and the Leaving Cert also curtailed the build-up.

"We have about 30 in the squad. Coming up to the exams, we'd only have 10 to 12 of them out training, so that did take its toll."

A positive show in Leinster would lift the spirits. Sandra is convinced that there's a golden future ahead for Dublin camogie.

"There is tremendous talent in Dublin," she says. "We have some brilliant minors who will be with the county senior team in a couple of years."

One journey might be over, but the refreshing resolve of these young Dubs has a touch of The Carpenters about it -- We've Only Just Begun.