Days Like This
When it’s not always raining, there’ll be days like this,
When there’s nobody complaining, there’ll be days like this,
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch,
Well my mama told me, there’ll be days like this.
Van Morrison – Days Like This
And so it was, on the 28th April 2018 at a sunny Naomh Mearnóg venue, where the first ever Cluain Tarbh team featured in the Áth Cliath Camogie Féile. They were in a tough group of Thomas Davis, Naomh Mearnóg (hosts) and St Finians in Division 3.
The heat of the day was getting up at 9:30 am in the morning as an entourage of cars, players, mentors, parents all descended in Portmarnock. Having got the gazebo erected and the kit bags sorted, we were asked to join the parade behind the band. As this was Clontarf’s first time at Camogie Féile, we didn’t realise that a lot of the other teams brought flags and banners. A quick-thinking Clontarf player grabbed a corner red flag and stuck it in the air to represent the team. After the marching around the pitch, Amhrán na bhFiann was sung and the games got under way.
Clontarf v Thomas Davis.
Having played Thomas Davis recently and won well, we were confident of a win here. The confidence was shaky at half time when it was 0-2 to 0-2. The girls put in a super second half performance and upped their game to close out the game at 5-4 to 0-2.
Clontarf v Naomh Mearnóg
This game was going to prove much tighter. Clontarf having lost ten days ago by a goal and 2 points to the same Naomh Mearnóg team. Mearnóg’s had also beaten St Finians in the first round which was a bit of a surprise and were gunning to top the group. The game got off to a cracking start and by half time, the scores were all level at a goal each. Naomh Mearnóg added two points to their score line early in the second half and looked like they were going to close out the game at 1-2 to 1-0. In the last couple of minutes, Clontarf broke from midfield and sent the sliotar into the full forward line and scored a goal to close out this match as winners. Clearly the focus now was to see if they could top the group.
Clontarf v St Finians
The last game of the day was against St Finians, who were probably favourites coming into this group to top it. Finians needed a win to put this group into playoff territory. Clontarf needed a win to secure a semi-final position. Every girl from Clontarf and St Finians fought tooth and nail for every ball and the game was in the balance at half time. The team talk at half time advised the girls that if they drew this match, they had to play two further matches by way of playoff before the semi-final. This seemed to spur them on and they closed this game out as winners 2-1 to 1-2.
Clontarf v Naomh Maur – Semi Final Division 3, Camogie Féile
The heat of the day was now well up and the semi-final match was scheduled for 3:45 pm. As the day had ran on, it was more likely to start at 4:30 pm. We had played Naomh Maur at the beginning of the league in February and were well beaten. Maurs were confident going into this game that they were going to be featuring in the final the following day. They did not reckon on meeting the fighting girls from Dublin 3. The girls were told that they needed to play with their heart and give 100% effort. Each and every one of them delivered in spades. This game was anyone’s at half time, every player was pumped for a very tough second half. The score line finished at 2-0 to 1-2 to Clontarf to put Clontarf into their first ever Camogie Féile final.
FINAL – 29TH APRIL 2018 – ST PEREGRINES – 4:15 PM
We met at Áras Chluain Tarbh at 2:15 pm to journey across to Naomh Peregrines. BSJ, a Division 2 team, who had a clean sweep the previous day were confident that they would beat the newly promoted team from Division 4. The girls were nervous but well up for a final match. The game started well and Clontarf got an early goal. It was end to end stuff with the first half finishing 1-1 to 0-2 to Clontarf. Early in the second half, Clontarf added a second point and in the last couple of minutes, secured a goal. The score line stood 2-2 to 0-3 at that time with three minutes to play. BSJ got a 45 and a well taken 45 ended in the back of the Clontarf net. With one minute to play, the ball went over the end line and a disputed 45 was given. In the last strike of the game, BSJ drilled another 45 into the goal mouth which bobbled over the line to secure a victory for BSJ 2-3 to 2-2. Needless to say, the girls were devastated.
In fairness, this team only began playing Camogie in mid 2013. They had a very successful year last year and won the Division 4 league and got promoted. When we were put in Division 3, our expectation level was hopefully to get to a semi-final. To top the group unbeaten, and to win the semi-final to secure a final place exceeded our expectations. Each and every one of the panel of girls fought bravely and hard in every game and gave it 110%. No more could have been asked from them and the mentors and parents are incredibly proud of the achievement of this team who began playing Camogie four years ago. As all of the players gave it their all, we didn’t want to single out individual players in the match report, however special mention must go to Alison Garvey who assists us from Under 13 (although I think technically, she is an under 12 player) who had a phenomenal Féile and secured the “Player of the Match” award in the Féile Final.
The coaches and mentors would like to acknowledge the support of the Club Executive in helping develop Camogie in the club.
The panel was: Laura Aylward, Orla Bates, Faye Crumlish, Leah Rose Duffy, Abby Eccles, Alison Garvey, Grace Gray, Medb Hannigan, Anna Lawlor, Sam Alice Lynch, Caoimhe McDaid, Grainne McDaid, Sarah McHugh, Caoilinn McKeown, Amelie Ni Rian, Amy O’Boyle, Anna O’Brien, Grace O’Keeffe, Mairead O’Neill, Amy O’Toole, Grace Smith, April Smyth, Caitriona Smyth.
Onwards and Upwards for Camogie in Clontarf.
Oh my mama told me,
There’ll be days like this.
Fintan Lawlor on behalf of the U14 Cailíní Mentors