With the weather on Friday very wet and cold it looked as if this years Tara Tournament was going to be another wash out like last year. However the sun was splitting the stones in TCG in Greenford on Saturday morning. As the travelling teams began to arrive the Tara backroom team were getting the last bits organised to make sure that everything ran smoothly.
Following the draw the home team Tara were drawn against London rivals Croydon, Derry, Craoibh Carainn B, Craughwell A and Liverpool Hope Uni in Senior Group 1. Group 2 contained Brother Pearces, Fr Murphy’s, CBC Kevins, Craughwell B and Craoibh Carainn A. Tara came out top of Group 1 win convincing wins over all opposition. Bid Grennan was on form for Tara along with newly signed Angela Kenneally. Ann Gleeson was solid in defence with Becky Purcell pulling off some great saves between the sticks. Denise Gilligan was as clinical as ever in up front for Tara.
The runners up in this group were Na Magha from Derry, with Andrea Shepherd and Michelle Rogers steering the team to 3 out of 4 wins. They booked their place in the Senior Plate Final. Meeting them in the final was Brother Pearces who were runners up in Group 2. Sinead Tracey and Bronwan Keeshan standing out for Brother Pearces. Fr Murphy’s come out on top of this group. Eimear O’Higgins as ever was as always involved in everything good from Fr Murphy’s. Katie McAulley who has transferred back home to Derry but flew back for the tournament was in great form all day. Her mid field partner Grainne Hunter was living up to her high standards also.
The Senior Plate Final was closely contested in the first half. Susanne Deacy worked hard up front for Brother Pearces. A long day of tough games and both teams started to tire in the second half. It was Na Magha who still had something left in the tank and hit the net twice in the second half to run out winners.
The Senior Cup Final was a replay of the Birmingham Tournament Final against Tara. Fr Murphy’s started strongly and bagged 2 goals. Bid Grennan looked dangerous but her scoring form from earlier in the day let her down at clinical moments. Mel Hogan in goal for the Murphy’s pulled off some great saves and denied Grennan and Gilligan. At half time there was a goal between the teams. There were some great battles through out the field. Angela Kenneally again completed another fine performance and worked tirelessly in midfield for Tara sending a lot of ball into the forwards and picking off some lovely scores. Gleeson at the back was strong along with Cat Higgins. For Murphy’s McAulley was doing a lot of damage up front while Bronagh McLearnon was picking up loose ball from the back line and setting up attack after attack. The vital chances missed by Tara were the deciding factor and Murphy’s just had the finishing power up front. Fr Murphy’s ran out 4-6 to 3-2 winners in the end. With the teams facing each other again next weekend in the first round of the Senior League there is no love lost between the teams. Two out of two for the Murphy’s so far this year. Kenneally was awarded Senior Player of the Tournament following great performances all day for Tara.
Such is the continued support of Tara members new and old that they were in the very fortunate position to field two Junior teams. Tara B comprised of new comers in the main, but they certainly embraced their new-found sport with vigour and demonstrated a gutsy performance in their two games against London Shinty team and John Mitchells in Junior Group 1. Tara B netted 4 goals against the latter team who eventually went on to compete against Tara A in the Junior Final. Tracey Willis bagged two of these goals for Tara B. London Shinty Camanachd lead by Jenny Black went on to become runners up in the Plate Final with Green Isles coveting the Plate 4-5 to 0-0. Louise Landers was the star on the Green Isle team. A lot more to come from these members who can take great heart from competing against teams that advanced to great heights in the tournament.
Fortune favoured Tara A who coasted to top of Junior Group 2 defeating Erin go Brath, Green Isles and Brother Pearces. The stage was thus set for a thrilling final against John Mitchells, but Tara A gritted their teeth and their resolve resulted in victory. Grace Hamilton (captain) and Marion Coleman in mid-field set up many scoring chances, which were utilised with effect by the forwards Sheila Fernandes and Rosie Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe’s consistent performance earned her Junior Player of the Tournament, which was well deserved having never been exposed to the game until this year. The back line remained solid and great clearances were made by Orla Maguire and Nollaig Barron. Meabh Brennan and Martina Cunniffe stood out on the John Mitchells team, who only formed this year. A great day out for this group of camogie players.
Thanks to all the Competitors:
A special word of thanks to Sheila Fernandes and Mags Heneghan who did the majority of the background to make this yet again another successful Tournament. Thanks also to the continued support of the Tara sponsors Julie O’Neill from Cara Personnell and The Shawl in South Harrow and those who sponsored the Tournament Trophies Galway Association, , Getjar, TCG Greenford and the Shawl. Finally as always thanks to Adrian in TCG Greenford the use of the facilities in Greenford.