Bugler Leads Dubs Redemption In All Ireland Premier Junior Final
By Daragh Ó Conchúir at Croke Park
AOIFE BUGLER’S 15th minute goal was the crucial score as Dublin’s Camogie revolution continued with victory in the Liberty Insurance All Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Final.
It was redemption for the victors after losing last year’s decider but although the margin was emphatic and the pain of defeat will linger, this is only the beginning for the Kingdom, their first appearance at Croke Park coming less than a decade after the inauguration of a county team.
This day was about the Dubs though.
Bugler was just one of an impressive attacking cast in which Player of the Match Caragh Dawson and Laoise Quinn shone, while at the other end of the pitch, the redoubtable Deirdre Johnstone led an unyielding defensive effort.
Bugler, who was named Liberty Insurance Premier Junior Player of the Year last year despite Dublin falling short, suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury shortly after the Final and only returned for the Blues’ Semi-Final win over Offaly last month, in which she scored a goal and three points.
She matched that tally on this occasion but this was an excellent team display.
Shane Plowman had his team set up to pull out and leave considerable space in front of his front three, and then it was about the supply.
They were well drilled in this regard and Bugler’s goal was a product of it, Quinn drilling a low ball in front of her that she gathered neatly, before turning Niamh Leen and firing high to the far corner.
She almost had another from the next attack but Leen got back well to deny her and indeed, held her own in a brilliant individual duel.
Patrice Diggin settled Kerry with a couple of pointed frees but Aoibhe Dillon did likewise at the other end, showing good composure in doing so having missed a couple of early opportunities.
But Dublin had more firepower and added three points from play, the highlight of which was a splendid score by Bugler that combined subtlety, strength and accuracy.
They led by 1-06 to 0-02 at the break and though Kerry were much improved in the second half and Laura Collins’s point after sublime stickwork from Jessica Fitzell offered a glimpse of their capabilities, they never looked like getting the goal they needed to get back into proceedings.
Bugler took over the freetaking duties to good effect when Dillon was substituted and the gap remained comfortable.
Kerry boss Stephen Goggin took the opportunity to give as many of his players as possible a taste of Headquarters on All-Ireland Final day, in the hope that it might stand to them in the long term.
Plowman did the same and managed to get skipper Emer Keenan on in the dying seconds, having been sidelined by a cruciate ligament injury suffered four months ago.
Within minutes, Keenan was lifting the trophy named in honour of Dublin’s greatest player Kay Mills, and offering classy words of comfort to the vanquished Kerry, before the celebrations were on in earnest.
14. Aoife Bugler 1-03 (2f)
11. Aoibhe Dillon 0-03 (3f)
12. Sinead Wylde 0-02
13. Laoise Quinn 0-02 (1f)
10. Caragh Dawson 0-01
29. Emer Keenan 0-01
9. Patrice Diggin 0-05 (5f)
11. Laura Collins 0-01
1. Kathryn Kantounia
2. Eimear O’Riordan
3. Niamh Gleeson
4. Sinead Murphy
5. Emma Barron
6. Deirdre Johnstone
7. Caoimhe Ni Maolagain
8. Hannah O’Dea
18. Aoife Dooley
10. Caragh Dawson
11. Aoibhe Dillon
12. Sinead Wylde
13. Laoise Quinn
14. Aoife Bugler
15. Aoife Walsh
9. Louise O Shea For: 11. Aoibhe Dillon (37th Min)
21. Evelyn Twomey For: 18. Aoife Dooley (55th Min)
23. Laura Walsh For: 14. Aoife Bugler (61st Min)
29. Emer Keenan For: 15. Aoife Walsh (62nd Min)
1. Aoife Fitzgerald
2. Liz Houlihan
3. Niamh Leen
4. Michelle Costello
5. Aine O’Connor
6. Sara Murphy
7. Eilish Harrington
8. Orla Young
9. Patrice Diggin
10. Caoimhe Shanahan
11. Laura Collins
12. Aoife Brennan
13. Jessica Fitzell
14. Jackie Horgan
15. Norette Casey
17. Rachel McCarthy For: 7. Eilish Harrington (24th Min)
16. Elaine Ryall For: 5. Aine O’Connor (40th Min)
20. Alannah Whelan For: 15. Norette Casey (45th Min)
19. Kate Buckley For: 10. Caoimhe Shanahan (54th Min)
18. Julianna O’Keefe For: 13. Jessica Fitzell (58th Min)
Referee: A Doheny (Laois)