A superb Derry side completely outplayed Wexford in Blakestown on Saturday afternoon last to claim the All-Ireland Minor ‘B’ Camogie Championship crown.
It was a powerful performance, full of heart and panache from the northern girls who dominated all over the field against a disappointingly overawed opponent.
Good spells from Wexford were few and far between – despite starting promisingly with a two point lead inside ninety seconds – and for too long they were second best as Derry strolled impressively to the All-Ireland title.
Double scores probably doesn’t do justice to how much better Derry were on the day and the victory, over a side who boast double All-Ireland winners at adult level, is just desserts for the fantastic work done at underage level in Derry in recent year.
This Derry side, who won the Under-16 title in 2010, a year after Saturday’s opponents, had nine different scorers from play compared with Wexford’s two. However, the dominance didn’t stop there; the defence stifled a forward line that boasted a double-goalscorer in last month’s All-Ireland club final, in Oulart-The Ballagh’s Aideen Brennan. On top of that the midfield was simply majestic, with the Shauna Quinn/Rosanna McAleese combination running the show. Although it didn’t look like it would be all plain sailing in the opening two minutes.
Emma Walsh’s surging run up the right wing presented Jackie Quigley with the chance to fire over the opening point – which she took – and when the Rathnure forward was fouled attempting to add her second, Aideen Brennan fired over the resulting free. Yet that was the last Wexford score of the half and the final one from play for 43 minutes.
Bronagh McGillian pulled one back for Derry and by the seventh minute they were ahead as a long range Mairead McNicholl effort flew out of the sharp sun and into the roof of the net (1-1 to 0-2).
Wexford quickly started to lose their shape as points flew over, with McGillion, Shauna Quinn, Aoife Ni Chaiside, Rosanna McAleese, Mairead McNicholl and Aoife Quinn all picking off points (1-7 to 0-2) before Aideen Brennan almost gave her side a moments respite. The Oulart-The Ballagh forward powered a twenty metre free at the goal but Rachel Mulholland came to the aid of her keeper by stopping the goal bound shot on the line.
Just Áine Murray and official ‘Player of the Game’ McGillion raised white flags in the last thirteen minutes of the half as Wexford did a little better. Indeed, it could have been closer at the interval had Marie-Claire Morrissey’s pulled shot been a little more forceful and crossed the line rather than being stopped short. Nonetheless nothing short of a remarkable recovery would claw back the ten point deficit (1-9 to 0-2) in the second period as Derry looked set for victory.
Jemma Doyle scooped away Mary Hegarty’s shot two minutes after the interval to keep her sides faint chances alive, although McGillion did point from the resulting ’45. Moments later Shauna Sinnott’s goaled penalty, after Marie Morrissey was felled, gave Wexford even more hope.
Hegarty became the eight Derry player to notch in the 43rd minute but Wexford looked to have grabbed a real foothold when Hayley Cahill reacted quickest to Rebecca McKeefry fumbling a long Eimear Nolan punt forward for the Leinster sides second goal in ten minutes (1-12 to 2-3).
But just when it looked like their tails were up, and the large travelling crowd – which included the Wexford Senior county side travelling as a team in support – reached a crescendo of noise, Wexford again had a spell without a score and Derry clinically finished off their opponents with a quick-fire 1-3.
Rosanna McAleese capped a fine performance with her side’s second goal in the 50th minute, while Clare Tracey became scorer number nine. Jackie Quigley did clip over two lovely late points but it was very much in vain as the Ulster side deservedly claimed the trophy in style.
DERRY: Rebecca McKeefry; Rachel Mulholland, Maeve Quinn, Eilis McNamee; Áine McAllister, Aoife Ni Chaiside (0-1), Megan Kerr; Shauna Quinn (0-2, 1 free), Rosanna McAleese (1-2); Mairead McNicholl (1-2), Bronagh McGillion (0-5, 2 frees, 1 ’45), Mary Hegarty (0-1); Áine Murray (0-1), Sinead Donnelly, Aoife Quinn (0-1). Subs: Clare Tracey (0-1) for Donnolly, Catherine McColgan for A. Quinn, also, Bríd Corrigan, Noleen McBride, Emma Devlin, Emer McAteer, Clodagh Shaw, Aoife Shaw, Clare Burns, Ciara McNabb.
WEXFORD: Jemma Doyle; Pamela McCormick, Belynda Cahill, Nancy Dunphy; Emma Walsh, Shauna Sinnott (1-0, pen), Ciara Neville; Marie-Claire Morrissey, Louise Stafford; Hayley Cahill (1-0), Jackie Quigley (0-3), Eimear Nolan; Marie Morrissey, Áine Lacey, Aideen Brennan (0-2, frees) . Subs: Mary Cummins for M. Morrissey, Lisa Firman for Cahill, Lisa Doran for Lacey, also, Katie Kenny, Shannon Byrne, Nicola Byrne, Áine Wright, Sarah O’Neill, Eileen Byrne, Catherine Kelly, Eimear Byrne, Anna Whitty, Niamh Doyle, Caoimhe Doyle, Denise McGrath.
REFEREE: Alan Lagrue (Kildare)
Thanks to Dean Goodison (Wexford PRO) for the report
Here is a report from Derry Captain Shauna Quinn also completed this report on the bus journey home, congrats Shauna!
Saturday 21st April saw the All-Ireland Minor B Final between Derry and Wexford at Naomh Peregrine Blakestown. With the experience of players from Derry’s U16 All Ireland campaign two years ago, the Oakleaf girls were more than determined to bring the silverware home once again.
In the opening 5 minutes seen the Derry girls taken by surprise as the scoring went in Wexford’s favour with two quick points by Jackie Quigley. This drove the Derry girls on and each ball was contested before they earned themselves a free which was finely placed between the posts by Bronagh McGillian to put the girls on the score board. Three fine points from the experienced Bronagh McGillian, Shauna Quinn and Aoife Ní Chaiside along with consistent defending of Maeve Quinn from full back helped carry the team as the senior youngsters provided support throughout.
Confidence was high throughout the field, Rebecca McKeefry making crucial saves along with fantastic clearances from Rachel Mulholland and Aine McAllister to the along with the Eoghan Rua stars Eilis McNamee, Megan Kerr and Roseanna McAleese who found the posts to push the Oakleaf girls further ahead. Mairead McNicholl bagged an exquisite goal from the 21 yard line and Aoife Quinn slotting over another point before corner forward Aine Murray and player of the match Bronagh McGillion confirmed Derry’s 1-09 to 0-02 lead at the interval.
It was Wexford who got first to the mark in the second half with a goal from Hayley Cahill to punish another slow start from Derry. Derry punished each mistake made by the Wexford girls as free taker McGillian stepped up easily add two more points to the scoreline. Wexford once again answered Derry’s replies with a penalty to the top left corner by Shauna Sinnott that left keeper McKeefry with no chance. As the margin was slowly decreasing, the fight for an All-Ireland medal became much
harder with a more determined Wexford side starting to take control. Derry took no fear as Mary Hegarty split the posts and moments later McAleese blasted to the net. Wexford took their
last score of the game with a point from Jackie Quigley before nippy Clare Tracey in corner forward took her point in the final stages of the game. Mairead McNicholl collected a lovely ball from McAllister and controlling it on her hurl she turned and fired it effortlessly over the bar before Captain Shauna Quinn stepped up to take the last point of the match to lift the well-deserved All Ireland Cup. Derry were deserving winners in the end showing admirable skill from each and every player.