All-Ireland final heartbreak
Venue: Ashbourne, Meath
Date: 27th November
Result: Tara (London ) 2-4 Inagh (Clare ) 5-4
History was made in Asbourne County Meath on Sunday as the first Camogie team from London reached an All-Ireland Junior Club final as Tara Camogie took on Inagh Camogie Club of Clare Conditions all be it bitterly cold were perfect and with not a drop of rain in sight both teams braced themselves for a good battle. Tara were the quicker off the mark however and scored almost immediately. Rosie Cusack in the middle of the park won the first throw in and flicked the sliotar out to Angela Kenneally who combined with Yvonne Donnelly on the left wing to pass the sliotar in to Grace Hamilton. Hamilton whose first touch on the sliotar was second to none throughout the game launched it into the square only for it to skid in to the back of the net to a roar from the Tara sideline. Playing in the biggest match of their lives, Tara had the perfect start to settle any nerves. However stunned but by no means out of it Inagh quickly regrouped. Instrumental in their attack was goalkeeper Brid McCarthy whose long puck outs to Rose-Ann O'Laughlin and Patricia O'Laughlin on the left wing buoyed Inaghs forwards who set about putting Taras back line of Niamh Keating, Ann Gleeson and Sheila Fernandes under severe pressure.
Despite the Inagh onslaught the Taras stood firm and Angela Kenneally showed her versatility switching from the forward line to the role of sweeping defender. It was tough job for the Taras getting the sliotar out of the danger zone made even more so by the long grass which made pulling on the sliotar difficult. Fiona Lafferty for Inagh was also on exceptional form and quickly pointed to get the girls from Clare off and running on the score board. It went on to be tit for tat between the two sides for the remainder of the first half. Inagh had the majority of the possession but failed to monopolise on their chances with many wides coupled with two fine saves from Tara goal keeper Niamh Dolan who was playing a stormer. It was to be Inagh however that went in to the warmth of the dressing room at half time the happier when Fiona Lafferty again split the Tara defence in dying minutes of the first half and the Inagh forwards scrambled the goal across the line. With another point to add to Laffertys tally the half time score was 1-02 to 1-0 in Inaghs favour. It was all to play for in the second half as both teams burst out from the dressing rooms eager to finish the game out. Inagh appeared the more fired up and quickly set about to increase their goal tally. A dubious free was given in Inaghs favour and Lafferty aimed the sliotar in to the middle of the square where forwards Emily Lynch, Helen Hehir and Tara Rynne were waiting to pounce and between them puncture the back of the net. Somehow Tara's raised their game and responded with an immediate two points from Angela Kenneally and Denise Gilligan and it looked like the come back was on.
To keep up the momentum changes were made by the Tara management. Joni Traynor was introduced for Karen Fitzpatrick and Siobhan Convery for Joanne Hamilton, the outgoing girls both carrying injuries from their semi final clash against Myshall of Carlow. Inagh knew they had to stop a come back, and they gritted their teeth and faced their heads in to the wind. Sharon Rynne and Emily Lynch both turned their markers and Lynch's shot on goal punctured the Tara net. Quickly followed by three more goals it was beginning to look like it was going to be Inaghs day. The Tara management again made changes with Donna Gallery on for Grace Hamilton and Susanna Gill on for Sheila Fernandes and despite a late goal and another point from captain Denise Gilligan, Inagh were to be crowned All Ireland winners. A pitch invasion ensued with jubilant celebrations from the large Clare contingent who had made the road trip up to Asbourne. Anyone could have easily been mistaken in thinking the match was being played at Croke Park and it was All Ireland hurling final day in early September. Final score 5-04 to 2-04. On the day Inagh were worthy winners and well done to them. Take nothing away from the Tara girls however. Having made history in reaching the final, they have cause to celebrate their 25th anniversary. They have helped in putting camogie in London on the map and were rightly treated to a rapturous welcome home in the Man o Aran in Rayners Lane.
Tara: Niamh Dolan, Niamh Keating, Ann Gleeson, Sheila Fernandes, Catherine Higgins, Bridget Grennan, Karen Fitzpatrick, Meabh Brennan, Rosie Cusack, Joanne Hamilton, Helen Murphy, Yvonne Donnelly, Angela Kenneally (0-2) , Denise Gilligan (Capt) (1-2, 1-1f), Grace Hamilton (1-0), Donna Galley, Susanna Gill, Joni Traynor, Lindsey Shanks, Janine Heagney, Dearbhaill O'Neill, Janine O'Neill, Michelle Adiar, Aileen Dillon, Siobhan Convery, Eilish Malone, Rachel Hawkins, Janine O Gorman, Tina Enright, Jennifer Tomb.
Inagh: Brid McCarthy, Jennifer Griffen, Siobhan Lafferty, Gillian Lafferty, Patricia McCarthy, Christina Glynn, Noelle McArthur, Sinead O Laughlin, Rose-Ann O'Laughlin, Sharon Rynne, Fiona Lafferty (1-4 3f), Patricia O'Loughlin (1-0), Emily Lynch (1-0), Helen Hehir (1-0), Tara Rynne (1-0) Noreen Shannon, Roisin Devitt, Roisin Shaughnessy, Clionadh Devitt, Edel Devereaux, Naomi Keating, Michelle Wynne.