Minor Camogie Championship Final

22 May 2016

Dunloy 5-05      Creggan 1-09

Creggan put up a spirited fight right up until the end of this minor B championship final.

Indeed for long periods, the Creggan girls had Dunloy pinned in their own half, only to be denied by some fine defending.

In the end Dunloy ran out comfortable winners and are worthy 2016 champions.

In perfect Portglenone evening sunshine, it was Creggan who got off to the livelier start posting 2 points from the excellent Susan McIlwee before Dunloy got the first of their three first half goals.

Their second goal came in quick succession before the inform McIlwee registered another 2 points.

And just as Creggan had seemed to recover from those two body blows, the hat trick of Dunloy goals put Creggan on the back foot for the third time.

Another point from Susan McIlwee did stem the tide a little but at the half time whistle it was Dunloy who lead 3-01 to 0-05.

The second half was tough, uncompromising, nip and tuck championship camogie, from both teams.

Going into the last quarter, a superbly struck free from Susan McIlwee found the top corner of the Dunloy net, reducing the deficit to 4 points.

However this was as close as the Creggan girls would come to bridging the gap.

Two more Dunloy goals effectively killed the game off and Dunloy showed their true pedigree scoring a further 4 superb points from play.

So in the end the victory margin was significant but the score-line does not do justice to the gallant Creggan girls.

Dunloy can thank their goalkeeper Kirsty McFerran for pulling off a magnificent save mid-way through the second half.

Backs Amy Forde, Chloe Reid, Eilish Kearns and Chloe Boyd were in superb form.

At midfield Caoimhe Conlon was awesome and lead like a true captain.

In the attack Mary McToal, Grace Patterson and Aimee Ingram were the pick of the Dunloy forwards.

While Creggan did not lift the silverware, they had a string of champions all over the field.

Susan McIlwee who scored all 1-09 of the Creggan total, was in sparkling form, from both the dead ball and from play.

Una McKeown was immense at full back, fending off attack after attack and then launching long balls in the heart of the Dunloy defence.

She got sterling assistance from the find of the year Niamh McCloy. Niamh who is still U16 ran herself into the ground and has a fantastic camogie future ahead.

Just as she has done all season, the Creggan captain Caoimhe McAteer worked her socks off throughout the hour.

The spirit and heart of the Creggan team was epitomised by U16 player Rosie O’Hara.

In blocking down a Dunloy goal-ward bound strike, Rosie took a heavy accidental blow to the front of the visor. Such was the impact, the visor lacerated Rosie’s lip.

However rather than go off to hospital, Rosie refused to lie down and after some first aid, was adamant that she return to the pitch and play out the last 15 minutes of the match.

Spirit, bravery and competitive endeavour such as this is what championship camogie is all about and something that cannot be coached. Well done Rosie!

But the final word has to go to the outstanding Alicia McAuley at centre half back.

It’s during matches like this, when great players show their greatness.

Alicia was a colossus, covering virtually every blade of grass on the park and was an inspiration to all those around her.

She foiled attack after attack and hassled the Dunloy forwards, thwarting them time and again.

Her piercing solo run from deep in her own half, in the final quarter of the game, was breath taking and reminiscent of Ciaran Carey’s magnificent solo effort for Limerick in their 1996 Munster hurling championship semi-final win over Clare.

Her overall performance, drive, and never say die, work rate was worth the entrance fee alone and proves, if proof were needed, that you don’t have to win a medal to be a champion.

Well done to the Creggan minor camogs of 2016 – it was a BLAST!!!


Creggan Panel:

Brid McGee

Niamh McAuley

Una McKeown

Niamh McCloy

Sile Murray

Alicia McAuley

Rosie O’Hara

Martine McCann

Caoimhe McAteer (captain)

Mya Quinn

Susan McIlwee

Dearbhla McCann

Maria Carey

Niamh Allen

Rebecca McIlwee

Ellen Martin

Katie McCann

Claire McIlwee