It was an historic day for the parish as our Senior girls won the We Are Dublin Senior 2 Championship final and qualified to play in the top division next year for the first time in the club’s history.
Having come agonisingly close in previous years the scene was set to create history and the girls were more than ready to step up to the challenge. The management team of Martin Tully and Phillip Browne had the girls well prepared and when they took to the field out in Parnells on Sunday morning against Lucan Sarsfields, they were nothing but confident in their ability to finish the job at hand.
The Ballinteer girls started strong and after six minutes had four scores on the board, two frees from the majestic Fiona Hayes and two more from play from corner forward Eleanor Ahearne. Lucan struggled to gain posession due to a dominant display in the centre of the pitch from Niamh Nic Cinneide, Jane Tully and a player of the match performance from Breda Kennedy. Just before half time Lucan suffered a major blow with the loss of their full forward and free taker Jenny Ryan to injury.
Fiona Hayes was absolutely clinical with her free taking and slotted another three balls over in quick succession. When Grace O’Shea took the ball in her own half and took off at her awesome speed the strongly represented Ballinteer crowd knew they were witnessing something special. She used her lightening speed to leave Lucan in her dust and strike the ball over the bar with a post splitting score. The girls went in at half time 0.8 to 0.2 to the good.
There was still plenty of work to be done in the second half and Lucan proved they were not ready to throw in the towel yet with an early goal by Charlotte Rooney less than a minute in. They added another point shortly after to reduce the deficit to just two points. The Ballinteer girls had been here before and knew they needed to use their experience and mental toughness developed over the last few years to dig deep and turn things around. The opportunity came when a free was dropped into the square and Eleanor Ahearne wasted no time in getting her hurl to it to blast the back of the net and bring the lead back to five points.
Lucan kept pressing but Karen O’Donovan and her defence were ruthless in keeping them out. Caroline Kenny, Sophie Quinn and Louise Hayes were well able to keep the Lucan forwards at bay and Roisin Kiernan and Jillian Pounch kept feeding the ball back down to keep our attack going. The pressure was eased with two fantastic almost identical points from Louise O’Shea. Amber Traynor and Aoife Kelly kept the momentum going forward and the fresh legs of Emma Lane and Amy Burke coming in ensured the sliotar stayed in the Lucan half of the pitch. Olive Sorohan came on to make some crucial blocks and keep the Lucan forwards from scoring from play. They scored the final ’45 to finish the game with a scoreline of 1.10 to 1.5.
When John Goulding blew the final whistle you could see just how much it meant to the girls and the Ballinteer faithful as the celebrations began. Celebrations were enjoyed by the entire squad including Ashling Browne, Roisin Nic Uilleagoid, Fiona Connolly and Bróna Fagan who had all contributed during the year. It had been eleven years since the last adult camogie championship was won and Betty McCarthy, Tom Hayes, Sean Lane and Peter Canning looked on proudly at what the girls had achieved for camogie in Ballinteer St Johns. It was very much a family affair with two sets of sisters, three sets of cousins and two father daughter pairings and everyone realised just what an important step this was in the history of camogie in the club.
The girls would like to extend their thanks to the club and all our supporters this year who have been incredible in their support and dedication to the team. They invite you all to help celebrate their win on Sat 5th December in the clubhouse for their medal presentation. Hopefully the cup will be there in one piece too!! BSJ Abú!!!