The Junior Championship Semi final was held in Greenford on Saturday between Taras of London and John Mitchells of Birmingham. Tara emerged victorious on a score line of 1-6 to 3-7 in what was a fantastic display of Camogie.
The first half saw a tough battle between two sides who were obviously gunning to get their place in the final. Mitchells were first to get on the score board when Emma Carroll found Noelle Devlin free in front of the goal and stuck the ball over the bar with ease. Anna Nyhan responded two minutes later when she scored a free from the half way line. The 10th minute saw a fantastic run by Tara corner forward Josie O Brien who found Aileen Dillon with a cross ball. Dillon rounded her player and found the back of the net to put the West Londoners up by 3 points. Dillon continued her good run 2 minutes later by sending an excellent ball into the hand of Mary Fenton who didnt take long finding the net herself. This put Mitchells under pressure although Emma Carroll continued her great run of the day by pointing another free. The Tara goalie, Fiona O Grady made a fantastic save with 5 minutes to go in the first half when Carroll took a shot on goal, the ball went out for a 45 and it was no surprise when Carroll stuck it over. With two minutes to go in the first half Carroll got the goal she had been threatening all day to put a point between the teams. Just before the break for half time Carroll levelled the sides by pointing another free leaving the score at half time 2-1 to 1-4.
Tara were first on the score board in the second half when Anna Nyhan continued her great run of free taking in the 5th minute. She followed up 3 minutes later with another point from a free putting the West Londoners two in front. The Birmingham girls did not take lightly to this and despite some fantastic defending by Niamh Murphy and Ann Gleeson Mitchells responded with two consecutive points from play from Nuala O Hogan to make the sides level with 8 minutes to go. Unfortunately for the Mid Landers this was the last time they would grace the score board. The next 8 minutes saw a fantastic effort from both teams but some spectacular scores from the Tara girls. Nyhan was fouled and had no intention of breaking her scoring run when she pointed the free. Some tactical changes from Alan Smith on the sideline saw Fiona O Grady brought out from the goal to centre forward which proved successful as she notched up two points within the space of 3 minutes. With two minutes to go Lisa Creamer found herself alone in front of the Mitchells goalie and scored a rasper of a goal into the top corner of the net. Creamer wasnt finished yet and the last puck of the game was after Mary Fenton sought Creamer out to put the ball over the bar. It was a great display of skill and determination form both side but it was the Tara girls who will be progressing to the final on a score line of 3-7 to 1-6.
The final will be played on Saturday the 25th of July in Pairc na hEireann, Birmingham at 11am between Wolfe Tones of Liverpool and Tara of London. It is a great achievement for the girls from Liverpool to be make it to the final having only entered the competition this year. Please come out and show your support. Tara have both Junior and Senior teams and are always welcoming new players. If you are interested in joining please call Sheila on 07771957341.