St Dominic's, Cabra 2-4
Maryfield captured the u16 Dublin 'A' Schools title after surviving a late comeback by St Dominic's at Sancta Maria College on Tuesday afternoon.
The Drumcondra girls were in control for the majority of an enjoyable contest and were seemingly cruising to victory. However, the reintroduction of the injured Clodagh Hogan almost inspired Dominic's to a famous win.
The teams struggled to gain any significant momentum in the early stages as both defences were on top. Maryfield midfielder Edel O'Leary opened the scoring but this was quickly cancelled out by her opposite number Lizzy McSweeney.
Stalemate remained until the 20th minute when Dublin u16 star Ciara Berkley stamped her class on proceedings. Berkley showed terrific accuracy and composure in front of goal and popped over 3 unanswered points to leave her side with an interval lead of 0-4 to 0-1.
Dominic's were under intense pressure for a lot of the first half but they stood firm with some excellent defending from Clodagh Hogan and Aine Clerkin. Goalkeeper Lauren Smith pulled off two vital blocks to keep her side in it, while her distribution was superb throughout.
It looked like the Cabra side were after riding the storm but Berkley wasn't finished and she resumed the second half in the same vain as she put in an all action display. Her style was a joy to watch as she set up attack after attack and managed to add another couple of scores to her own personal tally.
And it was far from a one-player show as O'Leary, Shauna Harte and Fiona Fogarty added to the scoreboard as their side took complete control and raced into an eight-point lead.
It could have been more were it not for some wasted chances but credit must again be given to the Dominic's defenders who battled to put intense pressure on their opponents.
Hogan, who had been a rock in defence before injury forced her off in the first half, was sent in at full-forward in a last throw of the dice for Dominic's.
Her impact was immediate and she managed to bundle in a goal with her first chance.
It seemed to wake her side from a slumber as they came roaring back into the game after appearing dead and buried. Lizzy Maguire was the driving force behind the revival and she scored some wonderful long range-points.
However, Maryfield were able to answer the questions put to them and showed great character to respond with a goal of their own from a neat finish by Laura Mulvey.
The drama didn't end there as there was another twist in the tale. Anna Walsh got on the end of a long ball by McGuire to bury home the game's third goal to leave three points between the sides. Unfortunately for Dominic's though, there wasn't enough time to try and force a draw and Maryfield held on for a deserved victory.
Dublin Colleges Camogie chairman Seaghan Kearney, who was also the Dominc's manager, presented the trophy to a thrilled Maryfield captain Aisling Maher. Kearney was full of praise for both sides. "It was a terrific game and the best side won on the day. The standard of camogie in the county is on the up and it's great to see a final like this".
Maryfield will now represent Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final on Saturday.
Scorers: Maryfield: C Berkley 0-5, L Mulvey 1-0, S Harte, E O'Leary 0-2 each, F Fogarty 0-1. St Dominic's: L McSweeney 0-4(2f,45), A Walsh, C Hogan 1-0each.
Maryfield: K Cummins; K Murphy, E Elliott, L Smith; E O'Grady, J Wilson, C McCullogh; F Fogarty, C Berkley; E O'Leary, A Maher, S Harte; L Walsh, L Mulvey, S Clinton.
St Dominic's: L Smith; M O'Neill, A Clerkin, C Hogan; L Condon, L Gaffney, F Dunne; L McSweeney, E Hale; A D'Arcy, S Maguire, A Walsh; S Hales, C Rockford, C McDonald Subs: K Larkin for McDonald(15), A Quinn for Hogan(25), E Murchin for O'Neill(40), Hogan for Hales(50)
Referee: PJ Donohue (Ballyboden St Enda's)