Under 13 Camogie Match Report by Ger Reilly
It’s a rural thing to look at tall grass in the City and see something comforting but the Phoenix Park looked splendid today and I was dreaming of home. As I got closer to Ashtown I was still remembering my youth. When I was a small one we would travel from home in Westmeath to see my cousins in the city in an old Grey Ford Anglia (Harry Potter fans note). The bottom was like a patchwork quilt of rust and bright blue Esso Oil drums hammered flat and riveted in to keep our feet dry (rust was a real problem in the 70s). I was also reminded of that recently when a friend at work from Cabra told me they walked as kids to Ashtown to the canal and they would skim tin can lids on the water. That conversation arose out of our chat about recycling oil drums and USA Assorted biscuit tins and the Ashtown Tin Box Company. The Tin Box is now also gone… like our Ford Anglia registration… FLI 180. No lids either on the canal today as I walked over the bridge… just a few ducks and one water hen.
I worry when I see a pitch with a decent crop of daisies and buttercups. Martin Savage Park was a little hairier than you would like for summer camogie. As we are trying to work on speeding up our pick up and step out of the tackle into space a field of long grass is an extra challenge.
None the less we were on top for the whole first half having a strong wind at our back and some tenacious play. It took us a while to settle and find the range but we did and got some really nice points (Meabh off the right wing) and goals, one classic after a lovely batted ball from Lily went straight towards Bebhinn who one handed controlled the bounce onto the hurley, turned and struck it over the goalie into the top of the net. It was a thing of beauty.
At half time we encouraged the girls to give it all for the first 15 mins of the second half to kill the game as that is the crucial period when a game is won or lost. They hunted down every loose ball and tackled hard and we added more goals (long range monster from free by Aisling, and another from Beibhinn) and great points one hard worked by Aedin while continuing to control in every position. Our backs were utterly dominant throughout racing upfield to launch attacks with the forwards.
It was a tough ask today. 12 players on a full pitch requires energy. We were missing a few as other commitments meant some could not be with us and they would have enjoyed it. On top of that a few playing had already delivered our first All Ireland trophy yesterday at Rounders. To be fair no matter how much we won by today we could not top that achievement. We are competitive and on two occasions two of the girls (nameless) gave out to me that we were not competing hard enough even when the game was already over. However chatting afterwards all of us felt this was a great victory. Great heart, great determination, great skill and tackling and great examples of new leaders stepping forward today. Thanks again to all of the parents for getting the girls out and travelling to support. Congratulation to Etain, I think this was her first game playing with us and she will have lots more to follow.
It’s hard not to be very happy at what they achieved so far this year. Some played and won in Croke Park in Cumann na mBunscoil this week, rounders yesterday, 6th win today at U13 and some on Dublin Schools Squad next week (Chloe and Sadhbh). I like to say they are all our girls and we are proud of them.
I lived in Sligo for 15 years. There is a Martin Savage Terrace there. Martin was a Republican from Ballisodare, home to the weekend country/folk music festival in the 70s and 80s (one of the first of its kind in Ireland), Oxygen eat your heart out. Martin was an Irish republican and was killed in an event connected to the rising at Ashtown. He is remembered in the naming of the Park in Ashtown where we played today. I was wondering about that on the way over to the game. The Anglia would never have made it to Ballisodare… and as there was 4 of us and parents I’m not sure I would have either. As the youngest then I got the short straw on seat. There is only so long a kid can take on the handbrake. However it did get us to Ballymore to see the Cotton Mill Boys a few times… don’t ask… I still bear the mental scars….
Considering the history of Kevins and our connection to the Gaelic League and some past members to the 1916 Rising I’m sure Martin Savage would not begrudge the girls this great result today.
Kevin’s 7-5 Oliver Plunketts 0-0