Dublin 3-11
Offaly 4-12

Dublin’s Minor A Camogie squad went down fighting against a Sarah Harding led Offaly side in today’s Leinster Championship Semi Final clash which took place in O’Toole Park in Crumlin.

The game was played at a frantic pace throughout and there was nothing to separate the teams at halftime with the scores tied at 1-07 apiece.

Offaly raced into a two point lead inside the opening four minutes as star player Sarah Harding hit two fine scores one from open play and the other from a free.

Dublin though had the better of the exchanges after that and roared straight back with five unanswered points, two from Ciara Holland, one from play the other from a free, a brace from Alix Buckley and a point from Kerri Finnegan.

Offaly responded with two quick fire points in a thirty second spell from Eaodaoin Kilmartin and Louise Savage. But a well worked Dublin move in the 18th minute ended with Jessica McClelland fouled in the square and the girls in blue were awarded a penalty.

Up stepped Niamh Rock and although there were three players on the line she drove the ball home for the first goal of the contest.

In fairness to Offaly they took it in their stride and a Sarah Harding free was followed with a nice point from Orla Maher to reduce the deficit. Dublin though looked dangerous anytime they broke forward and Jessica McClelland stretched the lead again with an excellent point from play.

Dublin were awarded a second penalty late in the half but this time Niamh Rock’s effort was well saved.

When a Sarah Harding point from a free for Offaly was cancelled out just before the break with a Ciara Holland free it looked like the young Dubs would take a three point lead with them into the dressing rooms.

But in injury time Sarah Harding collected a high ball, turned inside and played the ball off Louise Mannion who made no mistake for Offaly’s first goal of the game to draw the sides level.

Dublin took the lead again three minutes into the second half with a Ciara Holland point. Offaly though upped their intensity after the break and led by the impressive Sarah Harding stamped their authority on the game.

Three Harding points, two from dead ball strikes and the other from play put Offaly two in front by the 37th minute.

By the 48th minute that lead had stretched out to eight, Louise Mannion set up Eaodaoin Kilmartin for Offaly’s second goal of the game in the 41st minute and seven minutes later a long free from Harding broke in front of Kate Bergin who made no mistake and buried the ball to the back of the net.

The Dubs now had their backs to the wall with the game starting to run away from them. In fairness to them they showed plenty of character and with five minutes to go had halved the deficit.

The sides swapped frees with Ciara Holland finding the target for the girls in blue and Sarah Harding with the Offaly free.

In the 53rd minute a point effort came back off a post, Dublin substitute Clara O’Sullivan was quickest to react and was unlucky to see her first time flick just clear the crossbar, it could so have easily been a goal.

Two minutes later Dublin did get the just rewards for their efforts when Chole Mullen after a goalmouth scramble got her stick to the ball to send it over the goal line for the Dubs second goal of the game.

Offaly though were not going to be denied and the ever impressive Sarah Harding hit a stunning 65′ to push the lead back out to five points.

A minute into injury time they made sure of the victory, the ball broke to substitute Emma Mulrooney in front of the Dublin goal and with only her first touch since entering the game she stroked the ball home for the Faithful County’s fourth goal.

Dublin pressed forward and Evelyn Twomey hit a beauty of a point, the Dubs won the puck out and a couple of passes later Chloe Mullen grabbed her second goal of the match to leave four between the sides, but unfortunately from the resultant restart time was up and on the balance of play Offaly earned a deserving victory.

Dublin will now face Wexford next Sunday in the Shield Final.

Dublin Scorers:

Chloe Mullen 2-00
Ciaran Holland 0-05 (3f)
Niamh Rock 1-00 (1 Pen)
Alix Buckley 0-02
Kerri Finnegan 0-01
Clara O’Sullivan 0-01
Jessica McClelland 0-01
Evelyn Twomey 0-01

Offaly Scorers:

Sarah Harding 0-09 (7f)
Eaodaoin Kilmartin 1-01
Louise Mannion 1-00
Kate Bergin 1-00
Emma Mulrooney 1-00
Louise Savage 0-01
Orla Maher 0-01

Dublin Team:

1. Megan Thomas
2. Sarah Meagher
3. Niamh Gleeson
4. Aoife McKearney
5. Orla Gray
6. Isabelle Costello
7. Niamh Rock
8. Emma O’Byrne
9. Chloe Mullen
10. Evelyn Twomey
11. Sinead Wylde
16. Amy Burke,
17. Ciara Holland
13. Kerri Finnegan
14. Jessica McClelland
15. Alix Buckley

Dublin Substitutes:

18. Clara O’Sullivan For 8. Emma O’Byrne (42nd Min)

Offaly Team:

1. Ellen Gilligan
2. Sarah Guinan
3. Aoibhe Whelahan
4. Helen Healy
5. Amy Byrne
6. Ciara Brennan
7. Alana Roddy
8. Sarah Harding
9. Louise Savage
10. Eaodaoin Kilmartin
11. Orla Maher
12. Kaitlyn Kennedy
13. Kate Bergin
14. Becky Bryant
15. Louise Mannion

Offaly Substitutes:

21. Emma Mulrooney For 13. Kate Bergin (60th Min)