Vincent’s end 21-year wait at second attempt

by Cóilín Duffy

Leinster Senior Camogie final replay
St Vincent’s 2-11
St Martin’s (Wexford) 2-9

ST VINCENT’S delivered a display of pure heart and determination to get over the line and earn their first AIB Leinster Senior Club Camogie title since 1998, after a hard earned two-point replay win over St. Martin’s on Sunday at IT Carlow.

A strong final quarter stood the Marino outfit well, although they were left with a tense finish after St Martin’s grabbed a late goal.

But, ultimately, they held out for a deserved victory, ending 20 years of heartbreak, which had seen them lose two provincial finals by the minimum margin in recent years.

“We’ve endured a lot of pain in recent years,” St. Vincent’s manager Germaine Noonan told Dublin Gazette.

“We were beaten in injury-time in 2015 and 2016. It built the reservoir of hunger and wanting to make things right.

“I think as well the drawn match gave them a sense of belief that they can compete with anybody really, and they absolutely channeled the pain.

“They worked harder this year than they have ever worked before. They got their just rewards, and were more composed.

“We’ve had probably one of the strongest panels that St Vincent’s have ever had.”

Niamh Hetherton was the player of the match in a game where plenty of players shone throughout the field.

Ali Maguire was in stunning form, and took nine frees, some from difficult angles – and landing all over the crossbar.

Aisling Maher also put in a tremendous shift over the hour, and led the attack throughout.

Maher was marked tightly in the drawn encounter, and again in Sunday’s replay, but worked hard in testing conditions.

Noonan was also keen to pay tribute to the Vincent’s and Martin’s supporters who travelled in large numbers and really added to the occasion.

“There was tremendous support for both teams,” she said.

“Plenty of kids in attendance and it really shapes their ambitions for the future.

“There’s nothing like the AIB Club Championship.”

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