Sarsfields will face new opposition when they bid for a third consecutive AIB All-Ireland senior club camogie title and fourth in five seasons in a fortnight – reigning Kilkenny and Leinster senior club champions Dicksboro, writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
The game will take place at Croke Park on 17 December as part of a double-header with the intermediate final, which will be contested by the rollercoaster-riding Meath champions Na Fianna and the winners of Sunday’s clash between Clanmaurice (Kerry) and Shamrocks (Galway).
The ‘Boro were the first to book their spot in the senior blue riband at Donaghmore Ashbourne thanks in large part to two second-half goals from emerging county attacker, Asha McHardy. Amy Clifford got them off the mark from the throw-in and further scores from Aoife Prendergast (45) and Rachel Dowling had them two ahead after just three minutes.
They were rocked on their heels by a fifth-minute goal from Caitrin Dobbin however, and though Prendergast levelled from a free, it was the Antrim girls champions that had the wind in their sails. Points from Róisín McCormick, either side of a neat score from Dobbin opened up a three-point gap.
Dowling and Prendergast did split the posts for Dicksboro but the Shamrocks continued to threaten and points from McCormick, Dobbin (an excellent effort on the run) and Annie Lynn gave them a 1-8 to 0-6 lead at half-time.
They only scored two points in the second half, however. In contrast, Donal Carroll and his players made good use of the break and were the better team after the resumption, buoyed by another fast start, this time with a 32nd-minute goal from McHardy. They were soon level, as McHardy and Prendergast split the posts.
It was fiercely fought thereafter, with points from Jenny Clifford and Kilkenny’s former All-Ireland winning captain Prendergast edging Dicksboro two ahead before McHardy removed all doubt with her second goal in injury time, the Noresiders eventually prevailing by 2-13 to 1-10.
It’s a first for the club on a camogie or hurling front, an All-Ireland senior title on the line at Croke Park and we’ll be there to bring you the game live and in full on 17 December. They’ll play defending All-Ireland champions Sarsfields of Galway who played their Cork namesake in Mallow, also on Saturday, running out 2-10 to 1-6 winners.
Needless to say, the spirits were high on the way back from Ashbourne on Saturday evening.
Get a full breakdown of the game plus post-match reaction from players and management on this coming week’s edition of the Camán Caint camogie podcast, available wherever you do your podcast listening. Coverage of Saturday’s live game was courtesy of Hackett’s Bar, 10 Irishtown, Kilkenny.