Katie McAleese shares her memories of the 2010 Junior Final

Earlier in this lockdown Seamus McAleenan did an interview with Portglenone’s Katie (McAleese) Carey about her favourite game. With Seamus’s permission we use it again here in the lead up to Sunday’s Intermediate final.

Antrim celebrate their win over Waterford in the Gala All Ireland Junior Camogie final replay in Ashbourne, Co. Meath in 2010.

2010 All-Ireland Junior Camogie Final:

Antrim (1-9) 2-10 Waterford (1-9) 0-12

“I am maybe cheating here in that I have picked two games in one, the drawn final in Croke Park and the replay in Ashbourne a fortnight later.

“By this stage I had gone from playing against Jane Adams to playing alongside her in the Antrim forward line and I was a regular right there through to the final.

“Then, as I saw it, I was dropped for the final in Croke Park. In hindsight I can see the management’s logic.

“They wanted to use me as an impact sub, coming on with my pace to give Antrim a lift. But that was not how I saw it and I was annoyed.

“I remember Aileen Martin did her cruciate in the first half and I was thinking that they will move someone back into defence to cover and bring me on.

“That is how wrapped up I was in myself.

“Anyway I came on with about ten minutes left and scored a couple of points. Jane tapped over a couple of frees near the end to get the draw, 1-9 each.

“Everyone goes into a final in Croke Park expecting to either win or lose. A draw feels such an anti-climax. You don’t know what to do really when the referee blows for a draw.

“Anyway the replay was fixed for Ashbourne a couple of weeks later and I would have to say that we learned more from the draw than Waterford did.

Antrim manager Micky McCullagh

“Micky McCullagh and Ronan McWilliams were the managers and they set us up well in the replay. We knew for both games that Patricia Jackman was the danger in the Waterford attack. In the second game we focussed a lot on stopping the supply coming into her and that worked a treat.

“I started the replay instead of Laura Connolly, but didn’t get any scores. Jane didn’t score much either. But Antrim worked well as a team and I can never remember us being in a situation that we could have lost the game.

“Laura came on as a sub and scored a goal. Michaela Convery got the other goal and Racquel McCarry hit a few points. It was great watching Jane (Adams) lift the Cup at the end.

“You want to win these big games in Croke Park because it is Croke Park. In Ashbourne that day, I remember knowing exactly where the Portglenone supporters were seated and it is a great feeling to hear a familiar vocie shouting encouragement.

Katie and her team mates celebrate with the Portglenone fans after the game

“In Croke Park you just lose all that closeness.

“We reached the Intermediate final in Croke Park the following year and lost to Wexford and I suppose you could say we have been in a kind of no man’s land since.

“Then you look at Waterford. They bounced back to beat Down in 2011, went on to win the Intermediate crown a couple of years later and are now closing the gap on the top two or three at senior level at the moment.

“They are doing the things that I dreamt would happen to us after winning in 2010.”

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