Cuala Adult Camogie Team leave the best to last with an awesome performance against Group Leaders in final game of Adult Camogie Summer Cup
Tuesday 29th July 2014 – Dublin Adult Camogie Summer Cup (Senior 6 – 7)
Cuala vs. Faughs Celtic in Meadowvale
Cuala 6-12 (30) vs. 0-4 (04) Faughs Celtic (Half Time Score Cuala 3-5 vs. 0-3 Faughs Celtic).
Cuala Team: Caitlin Byrne, Mairead Kenny, Catherine Garner, Grace Hazley, Eleanor Moore, Cliodhna Reidy, Cara Sullivan, Juliette O’Flynn, Leonie Buckley, Sinead Murphy, Katie O’Dea, Blaithin Lane, Niamh O’Connor (Capt.), Deirdre Ni Thighearnaigh, Asia Kirwan, Niamh Dunne, Cybi NicGearailt, Orla McMahon.
Cuala Scorers: Katie O’Dea 3-5 (1 45, 1 F), Blaithin Lane 1-4, Niamh O’Connor 1-0, Orla McMahon 1-0, Sinead Murphy 0-1, Juliette O’Flynn 0-1, Leonie Buckley 0-1.
It was only a short 6 weeks since Cuala took their first steps back into competitive adult camogie playing their first Adult Summer Cup game, and now 5 games later, the girls played their final game of the competition against top of the group and unbeaten Faughs Celtic. After a disappointing result last week away to Lucan Sarsfields, it was the perfect opportunity for Cuala to end the campaign on a high but little did we think that the girls would put on the performance of the year and totally dominate the strongest team in the group for practically the full game.
With a squad of 14, Faughs requested the game be played 13 a side. After a very poor start the previous week against Lucan, Cuala were hoping for a much better start this evening but it was the visitors who struck first with the opening score – a well taken point from play in the first minute. It was a lead they only held for a minute and the only time they led in the whole game, with Cuala coming straight back down the field from the puck out and Katie O’Dea pointing from distance. A minute later and Katie had doubled her own and Cuala’s tally with another point and when team captain Niamh O’Connor pounced for a goal from close range on 8 minutes the writing was already on the wall for Faughs. It was a great team goal, the ball being moved from defence through 4 Cuala players before ending up in the back of the visitors net. A point from one of our Dublin U16 stars Blaithin Lane extended Cuala’s lead on 13 minutes and although Faughs did pull a point back from a free mid way through, a goal from Blaithin almost immediately afterwards put Cuala 2-4 to 0-2 ahead and well on top all over the field.
First half goal keeper Caitlin Byrne was untroubled for the majority of the half but her quick and well placed puck outs were the source of a number of Cuala’s scores. The 2 woman full back line of the tenacious Mairead Kenny and classy Catherine Garner were equally untroubled making some great clearances when required. The Cuala half back line were particularly impressive with Grace Hazley quickly getting back to her best playing only her second game in as many weeks after more than 12 months away in France, Cliodhna Reidy making life very difficult for the Faughs wing forward and driving forward whenever she had the chance and in the middle Eleanor Moore orchestrating the play and the whole Cuala defence.
The closing 15 minutes of the half were again nearly all Cuala, with another point from Blaithin Lane and a goal and a point from Katie O’Dea either side of a lone Faughs point from a free. The final point of the half was perhaps the score of the game, with 5 Cuala players involved in the move this time.
Half time score Cuala 3-5 (14), Faughs Celtic 0-3 (03), Cuala well worth their 11 point lead.
The strength in depth of the Cuala panel was plain to see at half time with wholesale changes and the introduction of all 5 rotation players.
The second half took up where the first ended with a super score within a minute from our other Dublin U16 star, Sinead Murphy. Faughs rallied immediately with a point from another free, three of their four points coming from frees, and although the Templeogue girls never gave up and fought to the end, this was to be their only score of the half and for the remaining 28 minutes Cuala reigned supreme.
Powered on by a hardworking centerfield pairing of Juliette O’Flynn and Cara O’Sullivan, Cuala continued to attack in waves with our deadly duo of Katie O’Dea and Blaithin Lane continually keeping the scoreboard ticking over, scoring another 2-2 and 0-2 respectively between them, one point from Blaithin rivalling Katie’s final point of the first half for score of the game after another great passing move again involving 5 Cuala players. After only 10 minutes of the half Cuala were ahead by 5-10 to 0-4, the game effectively over as a contest
Cuala continued to impress right across the field. Now playing at centre back Caitlin Byrne showed her versatility playing a pivotal role at the centre of defence. Replacing her between the posts and later at corner back, Deirdre Ni Thighearnaigh was as reliable as ever and along with Niamh Dunne dealt most efficiently with whatever Faughs could throw at them. Another to impress was Cybi NicGearailt playing in an unfamiliar role at wing back. Cybi again showed her versatility making a number of fine clearances along the ground. Up front Asia Kirwan worked very hard on and off the ball and was central in the build up to a number of Cuala scores. Niamh O’Connor continued to play a captains role and was particularly unlucky not to add to her first half goal with a lovely flick on which went narrowly wide.
The other Cuala scores of the half came from Juliette O’Flynn who topped off a marvellous display with a great point from distance and the remaining two scores were highlights of the game with adult ladies footballer and newcomer to camogie Leonie Buckley scoring a great point, her first in camogie for the club, and another ‘late convert’ and adult dual player Orla McMahon scoring a well earned goal.
At the full time whistle the final score read Cuala 6-12, Faughs Celtic 0-4, a massive 26 point win for the home side. The game was played in a very sporting manner at a very fast pace and from a Cuala perspective a joy to watch. In fairness to Faughs they were missing a number of players but they were most magnanimous in defeat and full of praise for the Cuala team.
The Cuala girls certainly kept the best to last and although narrowly missing out on making the final, the ‘experiment’ of playing in the Adult Summer Cup was a huge success with an average of 18 players turning out for each game, 31 players in total gaining experience of playing adult camogie and a great bond forming between a mix of age groups. Ironically, the 2 teams that finished joint top of the group, Liffey Gaels and Faughs Celtic only dropped 3 points each, drawing against each other and both only losing to one team – Cuala (we beat Liffey Gaels in the opening game 1-12 (15) vs. 2-2 (08) and Faughs in the closing game 6-12 (30) vs. 0-4 (04))!
As the minors and U16s now face into their respective top 4 league play offs and championships, we can look forward to adult camogie in earnest in 2015 with renewed enthusiasm.
Congratulations and well done to all concerned. Roll on 2015 …………. we’re back ………..
F. O’Cuill 30/07/2014