Roscommon Gaels U16 Camogie girls blazed their way to a County A Championship win when they beat St. Dominics GAA in a fearsome camogie game on May 25th last. Starting the championship off at the beginning of the season with a loss to Oran and to St. Dominics, the outlay didn’t look great. However, winning the next two games against Four Road & Tulsk brought them through to a semifinal. There still was a huge mountain to climb. Meeting Oran again in a semifinal was not going to be easy but the Gaels Ladies were ready and determined. On Saturday May 21st in Lisnamult Oran were defeated by a Gaels team that hungered for success.
Against all the predictions Roscommon Gaels were through to a County A final against their old rivals St. Dominics. From Under 12 age, this team have been beaten by St. Dominics in replays, in extra time and always by the narrowest of margins, 1 point. The Gaels girls had had enough and finally they wanted to shake this monkey from their back and be victorious. The game was scheduled for St. Dominics own pitch but this didn’t deter the girls.
Roscommon Gaels matched St. Dominics shoulder to shoulder and the match began. Playing against the wind Roscommon Gaels settled in. The backs were under pressure and Ciara Killeen, Eve Mc Neill and Emma O Farrell blocked, hooked and cleared ball after ball to defend their goal. They were ably assisted by Molly Rose Finneran as goalie. St. Dominics and Roscommon Gaels scored points from play and frees and with the score Roscommon Gaels 0-05 St. Dominics 2-05 at half time, with points coming from Shauna Walsh, Alannah Sutton and Siofra Hession.
The roar from the crowd encouraged the Gaels as they took to the pitch in the second half with the wind at their back. Two points scored by Siofra Hession flew over the bar and the Gaels took courage from this. Then with all the play in the Gaels forward line, the pressure mounted. Alannah Sutton broke a ball and soloed in through the backs and buried it in the back of the net. Everyone was on their feet. Unanswered scores by the Gaels rattled St. Dominics. The midfield players with Emma Hough capitalized on any loose ball and fed great ball into the forwards. There was one point in it and the Gaels were propelled on. Scores were set up by Grace Geraghty and Grace Campbell. Two further frees by Siofra Hession sailed between the posts and put the Gaels one point up. St. Dominics answered to level the score and Shauna Walsh answered them with a point. Another score by Alannah Sutton meant the Gaels went ahead by two. It was too close now and the Gaels would not let this go. The defence players again steadied the ship and caught great ball. Martha Mc Sharry, Ciara Killeen, Eve Mc Neill, Molly Tully, Jane King and Emma O Farrell cleared everything and kept the play pushing forward.
St. Dominics came back with another point to leave it a one-point game again. St. Dominics won a free from the sideline but the ball fell short of the goal and the Gaels backline, who kept a battle raging all day, kept the ball out. When Mike Ryan blew the whistle the crowd erupted. There were scenes of jubilation and sheer pride and joy. The Gaels Ladies had battled hard and found their self-belief to win the 2022 U16 Camogie Championship. Comhgairdeachas do gach duine.
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