| 16.3°C Dublin

Dubs' tough test of Faith'

IF it was Wimbledon, the covers would have been on. A couple of showers, but eventually the sun did peep through at O'Toole Park on Saturday.

It was the opening afternoon of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship. RTé were there. So was Joachim Kelly, the Lion of Lusmagh, who did such Trojan work in his four years in charge of the Offaly camogie team.

On the final whistle, he was rushing to O'Connor Park. On his journey, he could reflect on Offaly's comfortable victory, 3-13 to 0-5.

Dublin were competitive in the first half as they played with the breeze into the road end. They had bags of possession, but little return. Nine wides before the tea and an interval deficit of 2-2 to 0-4.

It was harsh on the hosts. Dublin worked hard. They defended well. Elaine O'Meara set the tempo with a mighty clearance. Then she foiled Rachel Brennan of a possible goal. "Super O'Meara" came the cry.



Danielle Smith and Eimear McCarthy got in uplifting deliveries. Louise O'Hara plucked the sliotar from the clouds.

Ali Maguire dispatched a FedEx parcel to full-forward, Sarah Ryan. Sarah's shot missed by inches.

Then, in one minute, four minutes from the break, the climate changed. Aoife Kelly, Joachim's daughter, sent in a drive from the left that was deflected to the home net. And within seconds, Ann Marie Guinan had raced through to hit Offaly's second goal.

It was a bitter double-blow for Dublin, whose first-half points had come from Aine Fanning, Aoife Kelly (2) and Ali Twomey.

The Blues needed scores in the opening pages of the second period. But Mairi Moynihan's free, four minutes into the restart, was their only return.

In the 48th minute, the classical Elaine Dermody spurted away to hand-pass goal number three.

Offaly then decorated their tally with some elegant points.

Their brilliant half-back, Sheila Sullivan, got the Player-of-the-Match award. Dermody, with 1-8, was their top-teller. Last year's All-Ireland semi-finalists had nine wides, three less than the Dubs.

DUBLIN: H McInerney (Na Fianna); C Power (Naomh Mearnóg), G Quinn (Naomh Bríd), E O'Meara (Na Fianna); E McCarthy (St Vincent's), L O'Hara (Erin's Isle), D Smith (St Vincent's); A Maguire (St Vincent's), A Carolan (St Oliver Plunkett's/ER); M Moynihan (Lucan Sarsfields, 0-1f), A Kelly (Raheny, 0-2), A Fanning (St Vincent's, 0-1); A Bugler (St Oliver Plunkett's/ER), S Ryan (Naomh Mearnóg), A Twomey (Lucan Sarsfield's, 0-1). Subs used: L McSweeney (St Oliver Plunkett's/ER), E Whyte (Good Counsel), C Rigney (Lucan Sarsfields), E Elliott (St Vincent's), A Maher (St Vincent's).