There’s literally only days to go before Shane Plowman’s Premier Junior Camogie Panel write another chapter into the history books of Dublin Camogie. It’s been a long and interesting road for this group of ladies, but this year has just been pure excitement for these Girls In Blue.
On April 30th, on a wet day in Coralstown Kinnegad, Dublin’s Captain Emer Keenan climbed the steps of the stand to receive the Littlewoods Ireland Division 3 trophy after their victory over Roscommon. And in her acceptance speech she promised that there would be more to come and that day was only the beginning.
Timing in Camogie Competitions is never ideal and within one week of their League victory they were back in competition again, this time, to begin what was expected to be a successful Leinster Intermediate Championship. But Carlow had other ideas and used Netwatch Cullen Park to their advantage, beating the Dubs 1-12 to 0-09 and sending them out in the Quarter Finals.
But that gave Dublin manager Shane Plowman some extra time to prepare for the Premier Junior All Ireland Championship, and prepare he did. When this Dublin panel lined out against Waterford in Walsh Park on the opening day, a clear message was sent to the rest of the group, as Dublin notched a huge 3-10 to 1-06 result against the girls of the Deise and things were getting real. Westmeath also took their first points of the competition, beating Wicklow 3-22 to 0-05.
Dublin returned home for their next round game, welcoming Offaly to Parnells, their home for the competition, and once again, no stone was left unturned, as the girls in blue romped to another huge victory over their opponents on a score of 3-10 to 0-05. On the same day Westmeath the second win of their campaign with a comprehensive victory over Waterford, winning on a score of 6-28 to 1-09.
So after 2 weeks it was becoming very clear who the standard bearers were going to be in this competition.
Round 3 took Dublin to Baltinglass to face Wicklow, who had lost their opening game to Westmeath, so this could have been seen as a benchmark by both sides based on the result, and what a result. Dublin smothered Wicklow for the entire 60 minutes, raising seven green flags, and could’ve raised more. The final score of 7-17 to 0-02 put the Dubs in the driving seat with Westmeath enjoying their bye week.
The girls from the Lake County returned for their third game of the competition, and in a tough tussle with Offaly they eventually ran out clear 2-18 to 2-04 victors.
Which left these two sides to face each other in the final round already, both qualified for the Semi Finals, so the game was to decide who would top the group, and who would be runner up.
This game didn’t disappoint, and as expected it ebbed and flowed back and forth with both sides jostling for position. Dublin could have snuck it with a 0-02 advantage with only 6 minutes remaining on the clock, but Westmeath dug that little bit deeper and scored three valuable scores to edge the Dubs out by a solitary point and top the group.
Nevertheless, despite Dublin losing their 100% record in the competition, they would still have a place in the knock out phase and with Kerry finishing top of Group 2, the tie was set and Dublin knew their opponents for this massive Semi Final.
The Gaelic Grounds in Limerick would be the venue for the game and Dublin’s last hurdle to jump to reach an All Ireland Final and a day in Croke Park.
And as happened on so many occasion throughout the campaign, Shane Plowman’s panel did NOT disappoint and were the dominators in this tie. With Kerry heavily reliant on the scoring of Patrice Diggan, Dublin were able to move more freely and show their creativity in a stunning performance. An unexpected goal and and saved penalty provided the highlights, sending Dublin to Croke Park to face Westmeath, who had beaten Armagh by a single score in the other Semi Final.
What you can be guaranteed this Sunday, is a thriller of a match between these teams, who know each other so well, and still can’t be separated. But for Dublin it will be all left on the pitch regardless of the result. They’ve grafted at this level for many years and are now bearing fruit.
We’re counting down. We hope you are too.