CUMANN NA mBUNSCOL DIVISION 1 CAMOGIE FINAL
Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn 1-2
There was a fitting end to the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Chiarraí 9-a-side Division 1 camogie final in Tom Healy Park, Abbeydorney recently as Ardfert NS won the Aoibheann Duffy Memorial Shield, named in memory of their friend and former class mate.
Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Chiarraí has promoted camogie through the Mini Sevens competitions for over a quarter of a century but, as no Mini Sevens competitions were organised within the county since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic, it was decided to run a 9-a-side competition to allow all school going girls participate and get the opportunity to wear their school jersey.
This competition proved a huge success with 11 schools entering. Following the initial round robin series of games, four teams emerged for the semi-finals where Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn defeated Scoil Treasa Naofa, Kilflynn in the opening semi-final before Ardfert accounted for Sliabh A’ Mhadra.
In the first ever staging of the competition the trophy was dedicated in memory of Aoibheann Duffy. Aoibheann was a fifth class student in Ardfert NS who died at the tender age of 11 in a tragic road accident in May 2021. Aoibheann was a keen sports person who loved football, horse riding but especially camogie.
She is greatly missed by all her friends, class mates, the school community but most of all by her loving parents and siblings. Nuala, Gavan, Michaela and Daniel were present at the game and prior to the final Caroline and Robbie Stack and Cillian Foley led Aoibheann’s class mates in song and music. They sang songs and played tunes which they had learned in fifth class prior to and during the lockdown in 2021 which were enjoyed by Aoibheann prior to her tragic passing.
A moment’s silence was observed prior to the throw-in and following the toss of the coin by inter-county camogie star Jackie Horgan the game commenced.
Gaeil Scoil Mhic Easmainn played with the aid of a stiff breeze in the opening half and applied lots of pressure on the Ardfert backs but Hayley Fitzgerald O’Connor and Nicole Power stood firm and cleared attack after attack. Eimear Ní Dhuilleáin was dominant at mid field during these early exchanges and she scored two fine points to give her side the early lead in a tremendously competitive opening ten minutes of play when each player fought fiercely for possession.
Sinéad Flynn struck a fantastic free to open the Ardfert account and the switching of Millie Raggett and Ally Russell prior to half time proved vital as Ally won possession in the half forward line and provided the perfect pass to Millie who finished with a powerful shot to the net to see their side lead by two point at the break.
Millie and Ally took up positions in the full forward line in the second half and with Emma Bodenham, Sinéad Flynn and Rachael Lennon now dominant in the midfield area the inside line got the match winning scores minutes into the second half. Millie scored 1-1 and Ally accounted for 2-1 to set their team on route to victory. Sinéad Flynn extended the lead with a well worked ‘45’.
Ardfert ran the bench and while Orla Ní Choisteala scored a late goal for Gaelscoil she was denied a second by second half goal keeper Elsie Dowling who saved well and cleared her line. Along with scores mentioned Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn had top performers in Brigid Ní Stiobhaird, Avril Ní Dhúghaill and Robyn Nic Conmara.
For Ardfert this was a fantastic team performance by the girls and all the training at the school and club paid dividend as they were delighted to be the first custodians of the Aoibheann Duffy Memorial Shield named in memory of their friend and former class mate.
The trophy was presented to joint-captains Nicole Power and Sinéad Flynn by Nuala Duffy, Aoibheann’s mother.
ARDFERT NS: Caoimhe O’Flaherty, Hayley Fitzgerald O’Connor, Nicole Power, Emma Bodenham, Sinéad Flynn, Rachael Lennon, Doireann O’Keeffe, Millie Raggett, Ally Russell, Elsie Dowling, Cori Boylan, Leona Kelly, Kaley Leen, Clodagh Flaherty, Ríona McGrath.
GAELSCOIL MHIC EASMAINN, TRA LÍ: Abbie Ní Mhuireasa, Brigid Ní Stiobhaird, Robyn Nic Conmara, Norena Ní Dhrisceoil, Eimear Ní Dhuilleáin, Avril Ní Dhúghaill, Tegan Nic Gearailt, Orla Ní Choisteala, Emma Ní Loingsigh, Brónadh Ní Mhuircheartaigh, Eimear Breathnach, Keelin Breathnach, Ellie Ní Shúilleabháin Ní Shiochrú, Aobh Ní loingsigh Ní Mhuirí.