A great day of celebration on Sunday 24th throughout Ireland, but no more than in O`Toole Park, as Ballinteer St Johns won their Camogie Feile Final versus Good Counsel. The previous day was exceptionally long in St. Peregrines who were excellent hosts of the Division 3 feile.
Our first game was against St. Olafs, who as expected of a local rivalry, put up stiff opposition but in the second half BSJ prevailed.
Next up was Naomh Finbarrs, BSJ were down a goal and point early on and with the short games it was crucial that they got back in to the game. This they did with some great forward play by Molly O’Carroll and Aoife Clancy. Members of the 03 squad were to the forefront in this game especially Rebak Fitzpatrick and Anna Watters. Finbarrs went into the 2nd half knowing that playing downhill was advantage, but the back line stood firm, with Eva O Donoghue very prominent and Niamh Moriss, Naoise Stack and Lelya Hebe. Grace Dent ensured that forwards scored with every opportunity that was presented to them, no more than Jenny Andrews and Ashling McDonnell.
The last game in the group was against Skerries, who put up a spirited display but found it difficult to deal with Hannah Mulholland organising midfield and Jenny Rose Hayden dominant in the half forward line. Katie Dillion, Emer Ni Chiarain and Katie O’Reilly were excellent in defence. The 2nd half saw Lara Nathan, Robyn McLoughlin, the two “Pine Valley scoring machines”, and Molly Sheehan ensuring that the Skerries backs had nothing easy.
The semi –Final was delayed due to a play off in the other group, this meant there was longer than expected downtime. St. Maurs who top the league were the opposition. The warm up to the game was excellent, great focus on the job to be done. BSJ tore into Maurs, it was great performance. Ellie Dornan was excellent in the half back line while Rachel Dolan was showing great leadership qualities. Grace Dent was making great runs and passing to Jenny Andrews who scored a goal or two. Then Kayelyn Foley came on and followed on with a great performance. Defence was key again with Eva O Donoghue, Emer and Anna excellent. The large number of supporters cheered loudly at the final whistle. On a warm day the girls were exhausted as well as the supporters. What great support they gave the girls from 10am to 6.30pm that evening. The team were especially delighted for Faye Flynn, who missed out through injury.
Sundays final was against Good Counsel in O’Toole Park. There was shuffle in the team, we moved Grace Dent into goal and in midfield was Rachel Dolan and Jenny Rose Hayden. Early excellent point from Rachel Dolan, helped ease the nerves but Good Counsel found Jenny Andrews difficult to manage and it was no surprise that she got early goal. In the backs, Ella Quinn Glennon, who had fabulous Saturday, continued where she left off. She was dominant at Centre Back, nothing was going past and she attacked with speed and purpose. Half time was 1-2 tp 0-1.
The second half continued in the same vein with BSJ soon adding points. Grace Dent moved outfield, with Jenny Rose Hayden in goals. Grace and Ellie added points. Before another goal by Jenny Andrews. Then Good Counsel scored a wonderful goal from distance, that would grace any senior game. Eve O’Donoghue and those ensured that the back line would not be breached close in. But Hannah Mullholland rallied and went on great run to score a lovely point. Finally, Captain Rachel Dolan scored a point from 45 at the end of game, to finish 2-7 to 1-2.
Mentors Tony Dillon and Karen Donovan and Conor, were delighted with the result. But also owe great depth of gratitude to Oisin Power, who assisted on Saturday as Tony was attending his Daughter`s Libby confirmation but arrived for the 2nd game, but Oisin stayed and gave of his time freely.
Finally, thank you to the great support we had on Sunday and in addition to David Watters who captured so many memorable moments over the weekend.
By Conor Dolan