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Dublin and Clare prove a big hit out west

Plenty to see and hear as counties serve up another close tussle 

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Dublin’s Issy Davis in action against Aoife Keane of Clare during the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship game at Cusack Park. Photo: iLivephotos.com

Dublin’s Issy Davis in action against Aoife Keane of Clare during the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship game at Cusack Park. Photo: iLivephotos.com

Dublin’s Issy Davis in action against Aoife Keane of Clare during the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship game at Cusack Park. Photo: iLivephotos.com

THE sun blessed Cusack Park on Saturday evening. The locals had one ear cocked in the direction of Thurles.

One of the pitch-side adverts was for Clare FM. It was going to be a busy weekend in the offices of the Champion.

There was much to see in this fabled old stadium. And plenty to debate late into the night at the West County Hotel.

This compelling Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Championship duel was live on the camogie YouTube channel. A brilliant service.

Darren Kelly was in the commentary box. Kilkenny All-Star Elaine Aylward was his co-pilot. The commentary skipped along as smoothly as the sliotar.

A stoppage in play brought a fountain of knowledge. Early in the first half, Clare’s Orlaith Duggan was through on goal. A one-on-one. Out came Eabha Mooney. As quickly as the Castleknock Express.

She narrowed the angle. And made a telling save. Showing courage in the process. It was one of the most significant paragraphs in the match.

She took a knock for her trouble. As Eabha got treatment, Darren informed the viewers that she’s an acclaimed young scientist, and that she models her game on one of the best of them all, Cork’s Aoife Murray.

Aoife’s puck-outs were always measured to the last stitch. Injecting pace and accuracy to the deliveries. And Eabha has followed the same path.

Late on, when the game was in the balance, with Clare turning up the volume, Eabha made a sharp delivery right into the hand of Cliodhna Nicoletti, who was in space wide on the right.

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This field is required

When Dublin’s right corner-back, Róisín Baker, made another fine intervention to foil a Clare attack, Darren again came up with a nugget of information.

Róisín’s uncle, Mick Gleeson, won two All-Ireland Senior Football Championship titles with Kerry. He also collected a Dublin U21 Football Championship with Erin’s Hope and a Sigerson with UCD.

Róisín’s defensive colleague, Eve O’Brien, had another storming game. So composed and aware in possession. No matter how heavy the traffic.

Midway through the second half she left the field injured. And it dented the hopes of the Blues.

Dublin had gone in at the break a goal to the good, 1-4 to 0-4. The goal coming from Aisling O’Neill, a player who has lit up the campaign.

It was a score that carried her familiar trademark. She was out on the left. She grasped the sliotar. There were Clare players in close proximity.

Aisling turned, and she was off. Striding clear of the cover. Gaining enough room to get a firm connection on the ball and guide it low inside the left-hand post.

It was a super goal. Combining control, a turn of foot and the composure of a safe-cracker to complete the job.


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