U18 Camogie Season Report

MINOR CAMOIGE 2019 was always going to be a big ask as we were now in ROINN A after our great success in beating Thomastown in U16 Roinn A Final in 2018. The challenge to be competitive was made more difficult as we only had one girl up to the age of 18. Not withstanding that we had a bunch of girls who had shown great character over the past few years. So Minor 2019 would be a challenge, a year of learning and a year of maintaining our competitiveness.

Only six teams entered ROINN A League 2019 so we were in great company with favourites Thomastown, Gowran, Piltown, St. Martins and Kilmacow-Slieverue.

Training this group was always going to be difficult as we had half team over 16 team and balance were under 16. As a club under, 16s trained as underage while Over 16 girls trained with senior team therefore meaning we had little or no access to the older girls.

A major change in how we train is required in 2020 if we are to maintain out competitiveness and success in 2020.

April 2019 and we were down to play three LEAGUE games

First one was at home against Piltown and after a great battle on a miserable evening for hurling we won on a score of St. Brigid’s 3-4 Piltown 2-5.

Next up were Gowran away and this was always going to be difficult as they were the 2017 Minor champions with 13 of the team still eligible. As predicted it was a difficult night and while we didn’t play the younger girls we started off well but an injury to Katie Brennan slowed both Katie and the team. We lost out on a scoreline of 5-13 to 1-8 and we returned back down to earth after the great win in the First Round.

Round 3 we had the favourites for MINOR-U21-SENIOR camogie in 2019, Thomastown. What a change around in a week our girls knuckled down and fought tooth a nail for every ball. Thomastown were rattled and we had them under pressure but as all good teams do, Thomastown composed themselves and finished us off in last 10 mins to win 2-13 to 1-9. St. Brigid’s were delighted with their performance against a top team, the younger girls didn’t look out of place, the likes of Moya O’Brien, Claire Doheny, Lauren East while the older girls, Katie Brennan, Tara Ronan, Isabel Caldbeck, Molly Butler and Kate Everard offered us great hope for the remaining year.

Round 4 was up against St. Martins who had a few very good individuals who needed policing. On the night  we came with a great attitude as the team were now starting to gel and play with some confidence. A great match which had some great individual battles ensued and St. Brigid’s came out on top in the end St. Brigid’s 2-10 St. Martins 2-5.

Exam break for May and June took place so next match wasn’t until early July where we played combination Kilmacow-Slieverue away. This was a replay of the 2018 Minor B Semi Final which we lost out narrowly in Windgap in 2018. The girls were hurt over that loss and were determined to get a result and wow did they get a result. Playing with huge confidence, huge belief and huge hunger the girls gave the display of the year and beat Kilmacow/Slieverue 6-12 to 1-6. This was one of these nights when all that you hoped came together. So we ended with 3 wins and 2 defeats in LEAGUE, we were contented and competitive.

Championship format changed and DICKSBORO were back up in A after winning the B league comfortably. We drew them in the quarter final and were well aware of their potential. So two days after the ALL IRELAND Senior Hurling Final on a Tuesday night in Palmerstown we fell into the trap. Poor attitude and a poor display cost us dearly. We had hoped for better, yes we were short 3-4 of our preferred starting team but that would be unfair to Dicksboro, they were the better team and if didn’t matter who we were short. They were first to every ball and that meant they had the advantage. What a pity as we promised so much especially with our  two previous displays. As we write, Dicksboro have went on and reached the final by beating St. Martins in semi and due to play Gowran in County Minor final.  On the night we would all rather forget we lost out on a scoreline of 5-15 to 2-5.

So that was Minor 2019, enjoyable, rewarding and a great learning curve. We were all disappointed the way it ended, we didn’t do ourselves justice, that’s sport so we dust ourselves down and be ready fitter, faster and hungrier in 2020.

Minor Panel: Katie Brennan, Kelly Lanigan, Molly Butler, Kate Everard, Tara Ronan, Isabel Caldbeck, Sarah Harrison, Aoibhe Murphy, Roisin Casey, Margaret Maher, Abby O’Keeffe, Recce Delaney, Caragh Keating, Kate McCluskey, Ellie O’Neill ( inj), Leah Brett, Caoimhe Cahill, Caoimhe Young, Ellie Lanigan, Moya O’Brien, Claire Doheny, Lauren East.

Mentors: John Caldbeck, Adrian Ronan, Mary McCluskey