Camogie: Late drama as O'Shea strike secures Division 1B title for Dublin

April 13, 2024

Ciara O'Connor of Wexford challenges Emma O'Byrne of Dublin ©INPHO/James Lawlor

Dublin 2-10
Wexford 2-8

by Daragh Ó Conchúir

An injury time goal by Grace O’Shea broke Wexford hearts and snatched victory for Dublin in the Very Camogie League Division 1B final at SETU Carlow.

Ciara O’Connor had propelled the Yellowbellies to the front by providing all their scores apart from a first-half point from Laura Dempsey, her first goal arriving after just 95 seconds.

Dublin recovered well from that setback to draw level by half-time.

Yet when O’Connor grabbed her second green flag with a fantastic finish five minutes from the end of normal time after nipping in alertly to gather possession, it looked like Colin Sunderland’s side would take the spoils.

Last year’s runners-up were to be denied once more, however. Goalkeeper Laura Brennan appeared to have time on her hands when collecting a shot that dropped short in the 62nd minute but she was closed down quickly by hugely influential sub and dispossessed. Nolan offloaded to the outstanding O’Shea, who finished to the empty net

They teams were inseparable at the change of ends, on 1-4 to 0-7. Wexford were overly reliant on the indomitable O’Connor, whereas Dublin had a wider variety of scorer.

Both sides were inconvenienced by the cross-field wind, the Blues hitting eight wides to their opponents’ six in that first half but it all added up to entertaining fare, with plenty of chances and eye-catching attacking play.

The first goal was provided by a resounding finish from O’Connor, taking a pass from Anais Curran who had done well to gather a break under pressure from a free by the scorer’s sister, Sarah O’Connor.

The team stewarded by Gerry McQuaid and Bill McCormack had restored parity within six minutes though, thanks to points from O’Shea, captain, Aisling Maher (65) and Aoife Heffernan. Things settled thereafter and in all, they were level on five occasions by the time Barry Nea blew the short whistle.

Although O’Connor had moved Wexford ahead by the three-quarter mark, a 52nd minute goal by Nolan, when a shot for a point dipped into the far corner of the net, re-established Dublin’s advantage momentarily.

O’Connor shifted the momentum once more two minutes later but then came the dramatic denouement.

DUBLIN: A Gorman, A Ryan, E O’Byrne, E Jameson-Murphy, C Gannon, A Maher, K Finnegan, N Gannon, G Couch, A McKearney, O Gray, A Heffernan, A O’Neill, E Flanagan, G O’Shea. Subs: Á Rafter for Gray (18), A Gannon for Flanagan (34), S Nolan for McKearney (44), H O’Dea for Rafter (58), S Power for Jameson Murphy (60+3)

WEXFORD: L Brennan, R Cooney, M Sinnott, L Dempsey, A Brennan, C Storey, A Cardiff, Shelley Kehoe, S O’Connor, A Curran, C Foxe, K Kirwan, O Sinnott, C O’Connor, E Tomkins. Subs: J Dillon for Tomkins (44), K Roche for Dempsey (58), A Neville for Kirwan (60+1)

SCORERS FOR DUBLIN: G O’Shea 1-3; A Maher 0-5(3fs); S Nolan 1-1; A Heffernan 0-1

SCORERS FOR WEXFORD: C O’Connor 2-7(0-6fs); L Dempsey 0-1

REFEREE: Barry Nea (Westmeath)

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