Dublin’s Senior Camogie Squad headed to the Ragg last weekend to take on Tipperary in the Liberty Insurance Senior Championship.
The Dubs needed to take something from the game to keep their championship hopes alive and they had to call on all their fighting spirit on the day.
Both sides got stuck in from the off, but it was Tipperary who took the early lead with points from Mary Ryan and Miriam Campion.
Eight minutes in and Dublin hit the perfect reply, a high ball was won by Sarah O’Donovan, she burst past two Defenders and although she had her hurl pulled from her hand, she palmed the ball past the on rushing Tipperary goalkeeper to the back of the net to give the sky blues the lead.
Aoife McGrath drew the sides level again, but Dublin pushed back in front when Ali Twomey clipped over a fine score. Three Nicole Walsh dead ball strikes and an excellent point from play by Roisin Howard gave Tipperary a three point lead.
The scoreline though was not a fair reflection on how the game was going, thanks in no small measure to the poor, one sided officiating. Dublin’s forwards couldn’t buy a free and continuously dangerous high tackles on a number of Dublin players were completely ignored by the referee.
With four minutes to the break Dublin finally got a free in a scoreable position and it was dispatched between the sticks by Alison Maguire to leave two points between the sides.
Tipperary had the last say of the half with a delightful point from Megan Ryan to give the girls from the Premier County a 0-08 to 1-02 lead going into the dressing rooms.
Dublin lost Siobhan Kehoe to injury and she was replaced for the second half by Louise O’Hara. Two minutes in and Dublin reduced the deficit with a well struck free from Alison Maguire to leave them two points adrift.
Tipperary though pushed five in front thanks to two Nicole Walsh frees and a point from Megan Ryan. Louise O’Hara got her first point since being introduced at halftime to put four points between the teams again.
But Tipperary struck back with another Nicole Walsh free, Dublin won the resultant puck out and Ali Twomey was on hand to strike the ball straight over the black spot as the game continued to flow from one end of the pitch to the other.
Mary Ryan was next up to trouble the scoreboard with an excellent point, Dublin’s Alison Maguire pulled it back to four again between the teams with a fine long range free, but with two minutes left on the clock Tipperary looked home and dry when a Nicole Walsh dead ball strike pushed the lead out to five.
Dublin were in desperate need of something special or their 2016 Championship was all but over and Louise O’Hara provided it.
Dublin were awarded a free about twenty metres out and to the left of the goal. Louise steadied herself before striking the ball low to the back of the net past a glut of players on the goal line.
With time running out there was still two points between the teams, Dublin made a substitution putting goalkeeper Síle Níc Coitir up into the forward line and it worked a treat.
Heading into injury time Síle was fouled out on the left wing and Orla Beagan scored from the free to leave just the bare minimum between the teams.
And right at the death Síle won the ball again out on the left wing, cut inside a Tipperary defender and sent the ball over the bar for the equaliser, the stand erupted as the large travelling support proclaimed the hero of the hour.
Dublin now head into their last group game this Saturday against Derry with their championship destiny in their own hands. But it won’t be easy as the girls in blue need to beat bottom of the table Derry by twenty six points to advance automatically.
The championship dream is still alive, it will be up to the players on Saturday to turn that dream into reality.
Louise O’Hara 1-01 (1-00f)
Sarah O’Donovan 1-00
Alison Maguire 0-03 (3f)
Ali Twomey 0-02
Orla Beagan 0-01 (1f)
Síle Nic Coitir 0-01
Half Time On:22 Louise O’Hara Off:15 Siobhan Kehoe
19mins 2nd Half On:23 Emma Flanagan Off:08 Miriam Twomey
21mins 2nd Half On:27 Mairead Luttrell Off:06 Alison Maguire
31mins 2nd Half On:20 Kate Whyte Off:09 Leah Butler
31mins 2nd Half On:19 Elaine O’Meara Off: 05 Grainne Quinn
Nicole Walsh 0-07 (7f)
Mary Ryan 0-02
Megan Ryan 0-02
Miriam Campion 0-01
Aoife McGrath 0-01
Roisin Howard 0-01
11mins 2nd Half On:14. Jenny Grace Off:23. Orla O’Dwyer
23mins 2nd Half On:19. Mairead Eviston Off:9. Ereena Fryday
29mins 2nd Half On:25. Shauna Quirk Off:5. Aoife McGrath