Lucan’s national heroines

by Stephen Findlater

LUCAN’S Community Games Under-14 camogie side added another national medal to the region’s tally last weekend in Athlone as they landed third place, building on Lucan Sarsfields’ Feile title won earlier this summer.

The side were victorious both in the Dublin regional and Leinster championships to earn the right to represent the province in the national finals.
At the semi-final stage, they fell to Munster champions Killanena/Flagmount 3-5 to 1-4 on Saturday. From the throw-in, the Clare side brought the game to Lucan with a strength, aggression and determination that the young Lucan team had not experienced before. The match was a tough challenge and a display of the standard of camogie that Dublin teams experience outside the county, and the Killanena would go on to win the national title.
However, Lucan bounced back in jig-time to beat Ulster champions Ballyjamesduff from Cavan in the third place play-off with an emphatic 9-7 to 2-2 result. The experience of the day before and a sharper focus saw the Lucan girls dominate this game from the very start. The Lucan mentors emptied the bench every five minutes from the middle of the first half ensuring every Lucan girl played a pivotal part in this game.
There was a great display in goals from Faye O’Reilly, alongside the defensive partnership made up of Aoife Byrne, Heather Kenny, Caoimhe Morris, Chloe O’Connor and Willow Byrne. The midfield was controlled by Hannah Brady, Aoife Mahon and Siofra Byrne, while the attack was led by Emma Sweeney, Rachel Feighery, Carla Delmar, Laura Quinn and Aisling Gray.
Manager Oliver Mahon said afterwards “virtually everyone scored” as his panel of 16 showed the spread of talent evident in another show of strength for camogie in the local area.
Despite this being an Under-14 competition, just two of the panel that played in the Feile success in July were involved once again with the majority eligible for Under-13 level.
“In fairness, the parents have been hugely supportive all year and they and the players have been great across a really busy summer.”
The players will begin their championship campaign with Sars on Sunday morning against Good Counsel, hoping to add to their Under-13 league title obtained in May while their Under-14 counterparts begin their championship on Saturday.
The camogie stars were the second team from the local area to land national bronze at the Games, with the local soccer team reaching the Under-13 semi-finals after success in both Dublin and Leinster. They missed out on the final when they fell 3-0 to Cork’s Douglas but they showed few nerves as they came back a day later to win the third place playoff with a 3-1 win over Cavan’s St Patrick’s, the Ulster champions.

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