ST PEREGRINE’S landed their first camogie championship title in over a decade as they picked off a 0-10 to 0-3 win over Trinity Gaels last weekend in Druimnigh by virtue of a superb second half performance.
They led by two points at the break in their Senior 5 championships final but did not concede again to run out winners with a bit to spare with Michelle Coleman’s free accounting for 0-4.
In conjunction with Christina O’Reilly’s work in midfield and Megan O’Sullivan at centre back while Emma Bergin – the star woman at the semi-final stage – was once again in strong form.
For coach James McAnaw – who has been working with manager Jimmy O’Connor for the past 18 months – the result came at just the right time for the Blakestown club and has certainly been in the pipeline.
“[This success] is a culmination of a couple of things,” he told GazetteSport. “They got to a league final last year and lost by a point in injury time, so it’s no coincidence. It’s been coming for a while.
“There’s a gang of players who were senior about 10 years ago and then there’s a group of younger girls who have come through the ranks and won things all the way up so there is that mix of youth and experience.
“They’ve just happened to meet in the last couple of years. There’s a lot of 17- or 18-year-olds and then a lot of players in their late 20s.”
Asked whether he sees this as the start of a rise through the levels, McAnaw says there is a lot of talent coming through but would still need guidance from some of the more experienced players in the interim.
“It will all depend on how many stay on with some of the players thinking of retirement. Camogie, it’s one of those things where family commitments do come in. The spine of the team is a lot of the older girls and then the younger ones are on the wings. When you win something, some players like to go out on a high so we will see how it goes in the next few months.”
Nonetheless, he is delighted that the club has received tangible silverware after a number of years developing the game
“There are a lot of people who have been working very hard at camogie in the last few years like JJ Murtagh, lots of people at the juvenile end of things pushing the sport,” said McAnaw.
“It’s absolutely great for the club to get a bit of silverware for the talent and finally get some reward to show for the talent that is there because we haven’t had a trophy for a while.”