Tara and Croydon kicked off the first round of the Senior Camogie Championship on Saturday morning in Greenford. It was the reigning champions Tara who emerged victorious after 60 minutes of fantastic camogie by both teams. After their last encounter in the league final going to extra time, this was set to be a very competitive game, and viewers werent left disappointed.
Croydon put the Tara back line under serious pressure in the first 5 minutes, although with Lucy Hawkes leading from the fullback line the south Londoners found it hard to convert their scores. In the sixth minute the ball was cleared by Hawkes and found by Joanne Hamilton, Tara centre half forward, who struck the ball over the bar for the first score of the game. Croydon didn't take long to respond as the ball was worked down the field from the puck out and Danielle O Sullivan, Croydon corner forward, rounded two of the Tara girls to score Croydons first point.
Croydon kept the pressure on, but some great defending by Helen Murphy at centre back and Joni Traynor at wing back, the ball was intercepted before reaching the Croydon full forward line. Not only doing her job as a defender, Joni Traynor found corner forward Eilis O Neill who made an attack on goal and scored Taras second point in the 15th minute. Five minutes later Tara captain, Caroline Kelly, fed a lovely ball in to full forward Sheila Fernandes who didnt think twice about sticking it into the back of the net, giving Tara the four point advantage with ten minutes to go in the first half. The intensity was high, neither team gave their players an inch on the ball and it was obvious that this game meant a lot to both sides. Tara goalie, Denise Gillian, saved a great shot from Croydon full forward with 2 minutes to go in the first half, Elaine Dunphy struck the 45m free over the bar with ease. This meant the Tara girls were leading at the break on a score line of 1-2 to 0-2.
The second half got off to a great start for the reigning champions when Croydon conceded a free inside their own half in the 33rd minute, which Helen Murphy put over the bar. With some excellent ball being fed into the Tara full forward line by Caroline Kelly, Grace Hamilton, and Anna Nyhan, it wasnt surprising that Tara corner forward, Eilis O Neill put her second point on the score board 12-minutes into the second half. Croydon never gave up, but their attacks on goal were cut short with some great defending by the two Tara corner backs, Emer Kelly and Sinead Darcy. Tara's Helen Murphy found Noreen O Keefe, who was causing trouble for the Croydon backs all day, and finally made her break through the Croydon defence to score her first point of the day. Even though the Tara girls led by six points with ten minutes to go, the south Londoners never gave up hope. They made some great attacks on goal and were unlucky at times not to convert their scores. A blow to the Tara girls came in the ninth minute when wing back Joni Traynor was carried off the pitch with an injury, although substitute, June Donnely, looked like she had been there all day when she came on.
Helen Murphy continued her top form of the day putting another point on the board with a 45m free with five minutes to go in the second half. Croydon kept the pressure on in the last few minutes, although Tara's Emer Kelly caught a ball in front of the goal and cleared it to Caroline Kelly who then found the nifty wing forward Joanne Hamilton. Hamilton struck it perfectly on the run to score the last score of the day. The final score was 1-8 to 2 points, this was a great victory for the Tara girls and an excellent display of camogie from both sides.
The next senior game is 30th August against Fr Murphys in Greenford.
Tara continue to train Mondays and Wednesdays and welcome new players all year round for both Junior and Senior squads