Our minor camogie team took to the main pitch early Sunday morning, the 10.30 start time isn’t a favourite with the girls. Our opposition was St Annes, who are always a tough side. The girls had beaten them in the round-robin stages of the championship but by a tight margin of 2 points only, so this was always going to be a close contest! The girls had waited for over 6 weeks for this final to be played and were always going to be rusty.
The team captain Hannah McGinnis won the toss and we played with the wind, hoping this would work to our advantage. On the first whistle, St Annes won the ball and sent it against the wind into the full forward who put it in the back of our net in under 5 seconds…This had the girls all a little shaken and with a bit of encouragement we started to get them to settle, however unfortunately for our girls, St Annes scored another goal very quickly and indeed added 3 points to their tally before we put a score on the board.
Our first score of the match came from a free that was well taken by Alex Ward, this seemed to wake the girls up to the task and they went on to score another 6 points before the halftime whistle, these coming from Hannah McGinnis, Leah Beggs, Niamh Finn Hannah Lockhart and 2 more points for Alex Ward. The girls had brought the deficit back to 2 points at halftime, with St Annes on 2-03 – Skerries Harps 0-07.
We got the girls in and regrouped. The girls started to get on top, with some tough challenges going in by both sides. This final was starting to heat up, with both side-lines getting very animated. The referee spoke to both teams and told them to calm down. The Skerries girls got a close in free, which the St Annes girls defended but it resulted in a penalty for Skerries.
Alex Ward stepped up and with a cool head promptly put it in the back of the St Annes net, for the 1st time in the match we were in the lead by a point. Skerries tagged on another free that was well taken by Rebecca Beggs, then St Annes got free and slotted it over. The margin was back to a single point!! With lots of questions about how long was left. St Annes went on to get another couple of scores from frees, and this left the Harps girls down by a 1 point. Rebecca Beggs stepped up to take a 45 and sweetly put it over the St Annes goalie into the back of the net, and so started the run in what was to be a nail-biting finish! The Harps girls defended resolutely, there was no ball being given up easily at this stage. St. Annes tagged on another score from a free. It was 33 minutes in at this stage time been added on from an injury to one of our players earlier in this half. It was all square!!
This looked like it was going to be extra time but with a lovely pass into the forward line, Alex Ward slotted over the winning point in the 34th minute of the second half. With our side-line praying for the final whistle, St Annes had one final attack but the girls were not losing this one and defended it as their lives depended on it!! The final whilst blew and the Harps girls won their minor camogie final on a score line of 2-10-2-09!!
A great match to watch if you were neutral but stomach-churning for those of us on the Harps sideline!! This girl's camogie team showed steely nerves and character that saw them battling back from a deficit of 2-02, to go on to win the final, as always is the case they never stopped playing and left everything out on the pitch!! So proud of you all as always, you are a credit to both your parents and to your club!! Thanks to everyone for all their support on the sideline.
Huge thanks to our mentor team of Oonagh Ward, John Ward, Noel Feehily, Paul Lockhart, Michael Donoghue and Anto Holland.
Scorers Alex Ward 1-05, Rebecca Beggs 1-01 Hannah McGinnis 0-01 Hannah Lockhart 0-01 Leah Beggs 0-01 Niamh Finn 0-01
Back Row: Saoirse Manner, Ellie Carr, Tilly Frazer Lauren Fanning Katie Birney Kim Rice Rebecca Beggs ChelsiMcMahon- Holland Hannah Lockhart Hannah McGinnis Niamh Finn Grace El Shamy
Front row Cathy Weldon Nicole Sheridan Daria FingletonMia Rice Aoife Donohue Keela Feehily Alex Ward Leah Beggs