Taken from Jamie Casey of The Irish Post.
All-Britain Senior Camogie Championship
TARA retained their All-Britain Senior Camogie Championship title after overpowering a game Croydon side in Greenford on Saturday.
The competition was only set up last year, when Tara beat Shire Gaels in the final, but including the six preceding London Camogie Championships, it is their eighth senior title in a row.
It is a huge achievement for the camogie heavyweights, and will feel extra special as it comes during the club’s 30th anniversary year.
They didn’t have it all their own way, however, as Croydon made the brighter start, with Tara looking uncharacteristically nervous in the opening 15 minutes.
Croydon smelt blood, and took advantage of Tara’s vulnerability with Esther Powell opening the scoring with a delightful point from a difficult angle.
Tara knew they were in a game when Croydon extended their lead to four points after a quarter of an hour’s play, when substitute Denise Sinclair pulled on a loose ball and steered it past the onrushing Gillian Denise in the Tara goal.
Sinclair had only been on the field for six minutes having replaced the injured Anne Browne early on, but she made a telling contribution for her side.
Tara looked a little frustrated at this point, with desperate shots from distance dropping short and wide from Sarah McNoicholl and Lucy Hawkes respectively, although the pair would go on to perform admirably thereafter.
A mix-up in the Croydon defence allowed Claire Ryan, who tallied 2-6 on the day, a sight of goal, and she executed and powerful shot past Aisling Sheehan in the Croydon goal.
It was the breakthrough Tara needed to settle their nerves, and it proved to be a turning point in the match as Anna Nyhan followed up the goal with a point from play to even up the contest.
Croydon looked a little deflated having made such a positive start, and this time it was Tara’s turn to sense blood, with Maria Ryan ruthlessly dispatching a second goal for the holders on 23 minutes.
Tara strengthened their new-found grip on the game as Ryan pointed from a free, but Una McGouran reminded them that Croydon were not giving up just yet with lovely score from play.
However, Tara’s Maria Ryan cancelled it out straight away to send her side in 2-3 to 1-2 up at the break.
Once again, Croydon made a spirited start once the game got underway again, but their lack of ruthlessness in front of goal cost them, despite the nuisance Sinclair was causing Tara.
Croydon’s good work was undone by back-to-back points from Claire Ryan and Fiona Morrissey, extending Tara’s lead to six points with 10 minutes played in the second-half.
Claire Ryan then hit 1-1 in the space of two minutes to put Tara in cruise control, thanks to some great work by Morrissey in the build-up to her second goal.
Now 10 points up, it was a huge ask for Croydon to come back, and they simply weren’t up to the task as they registered just one more point thereafter, though their work-rate never dropped.
A close-range point from Nyhan and another point from Claire Ryan, this time from a tight angle, took the score to 3-8 to 1-2, but Croydon then got their only score of the second period through a free from Caoilinn Ni Neil.
More great shooting from Tara followed, as Claire Ryan added to her tally before Caoimhe Staunton got in on the act.
The last act of the game was, rather fittingly, a pointed free from Claire Ryan – her fifth free in a personal tally of 12 points overall – to round off the game and confirm Tara’s eighth successive senior camogie title.
Tara - C Staunton (0-1), M Ryan (1-1), F Morrissey (0-1), C Ryan (2-6, 5fs), A Nyhan (0-2)
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