Bugler strike sets up title win as camogie revolution in capital hits fever pitch
Dublin 1-12 Kerry 0-6
A goal from Aoife Bugler in the 15th minute set Dublin on their way as the camogie revolution in the capital continued with victory yesterday in Croke Park.
It was redemption for the victors after losing last year's decider to Westmeath and while the pain of defeat will linger, this is only the beginning for the Kingdom, their first Croke Park appearance coming less than a decade after the inauguration of a county team.
This day was about the Dubs, though. Bugler was just one of an impressive attacking cast in which Player of the Match Caragh Dawson, Laoise Quinn and the pacy Caragh Dawson shone. At the other end Deirdre Johnstone led an unyielding defensive effort, much to the delight of Dublin manager Shane Plowman.
"It's absolutely fabulous" said the Dubs boss. "To come here last year and walk away so hurt, we really did promise ourselves we'd do whatever we had to do to get back here today.
"It's a credit to the girls, they left nothing out there. It's great for the girls and great for Dublin camogie going forward. We tried to put down a marker, we wanted to go at them from the start and in fairness, they kept at us. They're a good team and they will be back."
Bugler suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury shortly after last year's final and only returned for the Blues' semi-final win over Offaly last month, in which she scored a goal and three points. She matched that tally on this occasion, but this was an excellent team display.
Shane Plowman had his team set up to pull out and leave space in front of his front three, and then it was about the supply.
They were well drilled in this regard and Bugler's goal was a product of it; Quinn drilling a low ball in front of her that she gathered neatly, before turning Niamh Leen and firing high to the far corner.
She almost had another from the next attack, but Leen got back well to deny her and, indeed, held her own in a brilliant individual duel.
Patrice Diggin settled Kerry with a couple of pointed frees, but Aoibhe Dillon did likewise at the other end.
Dublin, though, had more firepower and added three points from play, the highlight a splendid score by Bugler that combined subtlety, strength and accuracy.
They led by 1-6 to 0-2 at the break and though Kerry were much improved in the second-half and Laura Collins' point after sublime stickwork from Jessica Fitzell offered a glimpse of their capabilities, they never looked like getting the goal they needed.
Bugler took over the free-taking duties to good effect when Dillon was substituted and the gap remained comfortable.
Kerry boss Stephen Goggin took the opportunity to give as many of his players as possible a taste of headquarters on All-Ireland final day, in the hope that it might stand to them in the long term.
Plowman did the same and managed to get skipper Emer Keenan on in the dying seconds, having been sidelined by a cruciate ligament injury four months ago.
Within minutes, Keenan was lifting the trophy named in honour of Dublin's greatest player Kay Mills, and offering classy words of comfort to Kerry, before the celebrations were on in earnest.
SCORERS - Dublin: A Bugler 1-3 (2f); A Dillon 0-3(3f); S Wylde, L Quinn (1f) 0-2 each; C Dawson, E Keenan 0-1
Kerry: P Diggin 0-5 (5f); L Collins 0-1
Dublin - K Kantounia, E O'Riordan, N Gleeson, S Murphy, E Barron, D Johnstone, C Ní Mhaolagáin, H O'Dea, S Wylde, C Dawson, A Dillon, A Dooley, A Walsh, A Bugler, L Quinn. Subs: L O'Shea for Dillon (38), E Twomey for Dooley (56), L Walsh for Bugler (60+2)
Kerry - A Fitzgerald, L Houlihan, N Leen, M Costello, A O'Connor, S Murphy, E Harrington, O Young, P Diggin, C Shanahan, L Collins, A Behan, J Fitzell, J Horgan, N Casey. Subs: R McCarthy for Harrington inj (25), E Ryall for O'Connor (41), A Whelan for Casey (46), K Buckley for Shanahan (55), J O'Keeffe for Fitzell (59)
REF - A Doheny (Laois)