At lunchtime on Saturday the U12 camogie team met in the Mills Car Park to get ready to travel to their last league match of the year. Lying in 4th in the league the girls were about to take on the free scoring team in 2nd place, St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh. A win would bring the Harps level on points, a win by 10 goals and 1 point would put Skerries above them. This was a huge ask as Plunketts had only lost 1 game, to the league leaders.
So we arrived in various cars ready for a tough match. 18 girls, 3 coaches/mentors and loads of parents. During the warm up Anja Ni Chuin felt some twinges so unfortunately she had to be removed from the starting line up. Not the start we would have liked, but the show as they say must go on. Megan Carroll wins the toss and the starting girls take their places on the pitch facing the breeze. The travelling entourage take their places on the touchline. The whistle sounds and the game jumps into life.
Plunketts started well with some early pressure however they are limited to a couple of wides by some great defending by Kyana McGuinness, Sadhbh Culleton, Dayna Morgan, Megan Carroll and Mary Halpin. Jessica Anyanwu and Claudia Herbert battled in the midfield and Skerries started to get more possession and territory. Plunketts Centre Back was playing a blinder, clearing everything. However Anna Calvez and Sarah Farmer persevered and after goalmouth action involving attempts by both of them the sliotar broke out to Hannah Coleman who buried it into the net. Less than a minute after the restart and it is a free against Skerries. One of Plunkett's midfielders step up, lifts the sliotar and strikes it through a crowd into the goal. Skerries win the restart. Half forwards Hannah, Alana Holland and Kate Brereton keep striking the sliotar
in towards the full forwards, now comprising of Anna and Danu Holland. The full and half backs keep battling away and Aoife Arnold in goal makes some fine puck outs. The crowd are cheering on the girls however before the end of the half Plunketts got a point.
Half time after a first half full of action with Skerries trailing by a point. We all take a breath.
A few changes occur with Megan Churcher, Alanna Murray and Claudia Gormley coming on at half forward, full forward and half back respectively. Unfortunately Anja had not recovered enough to be able to take part. Words of encouragement and a shout of SKERRIEEES!!! and it is back on the pitch.
Off we go again, the crowd roaring the girls on as they battle away. Mary Halpin starts showing some fabulous touches and Hannah puts one over the bar. Back level. Plunketts start putting on some pressure. Claudia Gormley takes a whack to the ankle but gets the sliotar cleared. Before she can get treatment the pressure is back on and despite her valiant efforts and those of the rest of the defence Plunketts manage to smuggle the sliotar into the net. Unfortunately Claudia can't continue. Plunketts keep pressing, the defnece works hard and Sarah Farmer, now in goal, clears the couple of attacks that manage to get past the defence.
Skerries worked their way into it and get a free. Hannah Coleman takes it, it is on target and drops over the keepers head into the net. Level again. The Harps girls push on, players are battling for possession all over the park. More pressure from Skerries results in another point from the hurl of Hannah. Next thing you know Plunketts have put it over. But in this tight match and with considerable efforts throughout the team Skerries have the last word with a pont from the hurl of Hannah.
When the final whistle blows the score is Plunketts 2-2 Skerries 2-3. Not enough to go above Plunketts in the league but a hard fought and well deserved win. The two teams shake hands, the crowd applaud all the girls off the pitch. Just about all the Harps girls played at their best which was all you could ask for. Later that day we find out that the win has lifted Harps from 4th to 3rd, a worthy reward for such effort.
The coaches/mentors would like to say thanks to the girls for their efforts in this competition. Also
we must pay tribute to contribution of the unbending and considerable support of parents, family and friends be it home or away they were always there.
Thanks to you all.