Tara Camogie Club kicked off their junior campaign with an emphatic win over Michael Cusacks on Saturday.
After losing last years Championship final to Birminghams John Mitchels and failing to reach the League final, Tara were determined to get this year off to a winning start. However with the loss of midfielder Emer Fahy to regrading and seven Tara players to new club Cusacks, it was a very different team lining out on Saturday.
Despite this, Tara were ahead from the start, putting Cusacks under pressure immediately. Midfielder Sheila Fernandes with American new comers Lindsey Shanks and Jennifer Tomb worked well together to get the ball up to the forwards. Denise Mooney got Tara on the scoreboard first with a fine point, followed by a goal by Fernandes. Dearbhail O Neill and Michelle Adair marshalled the Tara defence, making sure any threat from Cusacks was easily dealt with.
Despite the hard work rate by Tara , with the strong wind they were guilty of many wides, but scored another point before half time courtesy of Denise Mooney.
Cusacks Catherine Dwyer worked tirelessly in midfield but with Taras Niamh Dolan brought out from full back, the blue and whites picked it up a notch in the second half; Dolan herself scoring 2 points. The Tara backs had a quiet second half but the ever dependable Susanna Gill, ably assisted by versatile Janine Heagney who moved to corner back from forwards, ensured any threats were immediately dealt with before they troubled goalkeeper Linda Cummins.
Aileen Bradley scored a point and won a 45 but Mooney, despite being tightly marked, stepped it up a gear and scored a couple of great goals after some good link up work with Bradley. Cusacks only score by Catherine Dwyer was from a free but with Fernandes scoring another goal, followed by a couple of Mooney points, Tara's lead out of reach for the girls in red and yellow. Tara's super sub Rachel Hawkins, on her camogie debut, scored a goal just before the final whistle to cap off a superb win for Tara.
Ciara O'Shea put in a good performance when she came on in the second half while spectators wouldn t have guessed US girls Lindsey Shanks and Jennifer Tomb are new to camogie with both putting in impressive debuts for the Tara team. Similarly Melissa Curran, Tina Enright and super sub Rachel Hawkins - all put in assured performances despite never playing the game before.
Tara: Linda Cummins, Niamh Dolan (0-2), Susanna Gill, Dearbhail O Neill, Michelle Adair, Lindsey Shanks, Sheila Fernandes (2-0), Jennifer Tomb, Janine Heagney, Aileen Bradley (0-2), Melissa Curran, Denise Mooney (2-2) Subs: Ciara O Shea, Rachel Hawkins (1-0), Tina Enright