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Camogie: Standard of senior final between Jude’s and Vincent’s a big lift for the game in Dublin

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St Jude's players celebrate winning the Go-Ahead Dublin Camogie Senior 1 Championship Final. Pictures: Arthur Carron

St Jude's players celebrate winning the Go-Ahead Dublin Camogie Senior 1 Championship Final. Pictures: Arthur Carron

17/10/21 St Judes players celebrate winning at the Dublin Camogie senior 1 championship final at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown. Pictures: Arthur Carron

17/10/21 St Judes players celebrate winning at the Dublin Camogie senior 1 championship final at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown. Pictures: Arthur Carron

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St Jude's players celebrate winning the Go-Ahead Dublin Camogie Senior 1 Championship Final. Pictures: Arthur Carron

A match for the ages. And for the pundits to purr. The Abbotstown congregation voted with their hands. A sustained round of applause as the curtain fell.

For the second successive year, the Maura Brady Cup was earned by St Jude’s. And, boy, did they have to earn it. Against the famed Vinnie’s of Marino. 

Coming down the stretch, Sunday’s Go-Ahead Dublin Senior 1 Camogie Championship final could have gone either way. The conviction of both sets of players was one of the most appealing features of all.

“It was so entertaining,” reflected St Jude’s manager, Donie Fox. “A match like that is exactly what Dublin camogie needs,” added Donie. “To see a county final of that quality was so uplifting.

“It was such a close game. And it was so competitive. The skill levels were really high. It was so good to see a match of that standard.”

The sliotar skipped and raced along the velvet surface. There were many little pockets of craft. Sideline cuts, blocks, first touch, Faye McCarthy off the tee, cultured points, courage galore, and much more besides.

The pace was relentless. No time to look at the cloud formation here. Or watch another plane rising high into the sky from Dublin Airport.

“Yes, there was a marvellous tempo to it,” stated Donie. “And that’s where we need to go in Dublin camogie. We need to be having games like that.

“Look at the likes of the Corks, Kilkennys and Galways of this world and the tempo they bring to the inter-county stage. That’s what we have to be aiming at in Dublin.

“If you can’t play at a high tempo in the club level, you are not going to be able to do it at inter-county level. And that’s why a game like that was so pleasing to see.

“A match like that augurs well for the future of Dublin camogie. The future looks good over the next couple of years when you see a county final of that calibre.”

Jude’s won their first title in 2018, They lost the 2019 final to Vincent’s before winning again last season.

“It’s been a good season for us. The first time we have done the back-to-back. But we are still following in the footsteps of St Vincent’s. And what they have done in Leinster. But we’ll get ready for that now, and give it a go.”

On Sunday’s evidence, Jude’s will be giving it a right good go.

St Jude’s captain Aoife Walsh praises old foes St Vincent’s

Aoife Walsh is the St Jude’s captain. The first thing she did at the trophy presentation in Abbotstown on Sunday was to compliment St Vincent’s.

Jude’s had just overcome the Marino club in a memorable Go-Ahead Dublin Senior 1 Camogie Championship final. Two points in it – 1-14 to 0-15.

So close were they coming to the bell that many in the crowd were predicting extra time. But, when it mattered most, Jude’s got the priceless scores.

To decide an absolute belter of a match that will go down as one of the best of the modern era.

“We have had some great battles with St Vincent’s over the last three years, and this was another one,” said Aoife.

“St Vincent’s are the team we have looked up to. The side that have set the bar in Dublin for so long.

“It was a tight match out there. And to win it, we had to fight for every single ball.”

And that’s what they did. Just like Vins. There was no free sliotar for everybody in the audience here.

Jude’s had to graft hard to find an inch against such a compact Vincent’s defence. Niamh Hetherton played at centre half-back, and she got in some massive clearances.

Alongside Niamh, Ciara O’Leary brought such a focus to her performance. As she always does. Such a brilliantly consistent performer.

The Jude’s forwards took watching. They had such pace in the boots. With nimble, assured finishers like Caragh Dawson and Aisling Gannon, who, when the clock was ticking, hit crucial scores.

Castleknock earn ticket to play on main stage

Clinical Castleknock. They produced a handsome harvest in Abbotstown last Sunday to capture the Go-Ahead Dublin Senior 2 Camogie Championship title.

They defeated Naomh Mearnóg. In impressive style. To secure their ticket to the big time.

Their full-forward Aisling O’Neill was selected as The Player-of-the-Match. She scored eight points, five frees. And did so much more than that.

She set off on some scintillating solo runs, and her first touch was so good that it looked like she had glue on the timber.

The Castleknock half-forward Aoife Whelan has the pace of a sprinter. She scored two of their three goals. Her first one came just before the interval as she found the net from the left of the posts.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Aisling Andrews scored Castleknock’s second goal and six minutes from time, Whelan produced her second.

Castleknock would have scored a couple more only for the excellent Portmarnock keeper, Stef Carthy, who made saves and drove Poc Fada deliveries toward the Castleknock back garden.

Ciara Holland got an early point for Mearnóg. And in the second period, Miriam Twomey sent over one of the points of the day. This is the player that would fly back from Scotland to play for the Dubs. And she’s still leaving it all out there.


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