Sarsfields make it a Division One double
LUCAN Sarsfields made it a double on the Dublin Camogie front last weekend with Under 16 and Under 14 Division One Championship titles secured following epic encounters.
In the older age group, Lucan had just two points to spare over a tenacious Naomh Maur outfit as they won out 3-6 to 0-13 while it was the same winning margin for the Lucan Under 14s as they saw off Kilmacud Crokes 3-12 to 5-4.
The latter have proven an exceptional team this season, having now secured a double-double after landing both the Division One League and Championship in camogie and the very same in football.
Yet they were pushed all the way by a Crokes team in their bid for the final jewel in the crown as their Stillorgan rivals raced four points in front by the halftime break.
Indeed this Crokes outfit was certainly not goal-shy with Holly Garry, Ailbhe Garvey, Andrea Birch, Sinead Kelly and Eabha Gannon all finding the back of the net on the day.
Still this Lucan outfit demonstrated just why they are regarded as one of the best outfits in Dublin camogie, turning a four-point deficit at the interval into an eight-point advantage by the second half water-break.
Eva Collis, who together with Izzy Cuffe, accounted for the team’s four first-half points, rattled the net just a couple of minutes into second half, signalling the start of a remarkable Lucan comeback that also featured points from Rachel Johnson and Saoirse Fitzgerald as well as a goal from Emma Hickey.
Crokes, nevertheless, were far from done and reduced their arrears to a couple of points thanks to their clinical finishing in front of goal, but Lucan held out thanks in no small measure to Chloe O’Shea who was rock solid at half back, while Anya Dunne and Fitzgerald worked tirelessly at midfield.
The Lucan Under 16s also had to weather a fierce challenge from their opponents in the Division One Championship decider.
Following a minute’s silence in Abbottstown to mark the passing of Mary McCarthy, grandmother of Lucan midfielder Mia Rooney, both teams engaged in an enthralling battle with Maur’s drawing first blood in the form of a point by Tara Brady before tagging on a further two.
Lucan, however, came roaring back into the match when Aoibheann Stokes rattled the net, while at the other end, Lucan goalkeeper Aisling Colféir kept the game level after Brady’s effort was stopped by her helmet.
Kerrie Austin converted the resulting 45 before Clara Finn scored a breakaway point from midfield as the two sides went in level at the break, 1-3 to 0-6.
In perfectly dry conditions with little wind, the second half got off to a blistering start with each team asking serious questions of the opposing defence.
Lucan’s Sinead Farrell, Bláthnaid Ní Dhuíbhir and Caoilfhionn Sheary were worked hard and responded well to the pressure, as Maurs continued to press, tacking on points from placed balls.
Yet Orla Morrissey pointed from play for Sarsfields before firing home a goal shortly after while another point from a placed ball by Stokes propelled Lucan four points in front.
Maurs now committed everything forward with huge energy trying to break down the stalwart Sarsfields defence, with Brady leading from the front only to have close range shots blocked by Kate Ryan and Colfer.
Lucan’s Niamh Roche dropped back into the pocket mopping up any loose ball and easing some of the pressure on the Lucan defence by using Finn and Kellie O’Brien as an outlet to link up with Stokes, Cathy Cosgrove and Morrisey.
Lucan captain Finn never wavered and added another point from play before capping her Player-of-the-Match performance with a quick side line cut to Stokes who linked up with Morrissey to finish to the net.
Maurs managed two more points, but time was not on their side in their bid to close the gap.