Bridini Oga face a tough task, but they are up for the challenge

AIB All-Ireland Junior Camogie semi-final
Sunday 18th December 1pm in Abbottstown, Dublin
Brídíní Óga Glenravel (Antrim) v Adare (Limerick)

By John McIlwaine

It has taken a while, but all being well Sunday will see Bridini Oga Glenravel compete in their All Ireland Junior Camogie championship semi-final at Abbotstown, Dublin against Limerick and Munster champions Adare. The game was originally fixed for Edederry, Co Offaly, but when weather conditions ruled out the midlands venue it was moved to Mullingar. After watching Loughgiel and Down champions Clonduff win their games in nearby Westmeath there were doubts about whether the Glenravel game would go ahead, but it wasn’t until late on Saturday night that word of the cancellation came through.

Limerick and Munster champions Adare

This time, if the weather forecast is correct, there should be no problems, as the pitches at Abbotstown are among the best surfaces in the country. The Antrim champions face a formidable task though, for although no Limerick team have ever won an All Ireland Junior title, Adare gave an indication of just how strong they are when they travelled to London back in November and beat Tara Camogie Club, a team whose joint captain is former Loughgiel and Antrim star defender Laura Connolly.

Laura Connolly in action for Tara Camogie Club London in their All Ireland quarter final against Adare in McGovern Park, Ruislip

Laura was one of the stars in that game, and when Tara went in level at half time in the game, they must have felt they were in with a good chance. However Adare took control in the second half and with centre back Sophie O’Callaghan in great form and Caoimhe Costello causing problems up front, they went on to win by 3-8 to 0-9 and secure that semi-final spot.

After beating Portglenone in the Antrim final back in October Bridini Oga had a four week break before facing An Riocht of Down in the Ulster semi-final. It was another few weeks before they were in action again, this time against Armagh champions Granemore in the Ulster final, which they came through again with flying colours. Their first round defeat to Steelstown of Derry in the Ulster Intermediate Football Championship has meant the last couple of months have left them with only the Camogie to concentrate on, and the hard work they put in has put them in good shape going into the biggest game in the club’s history.

No doubt they will find the going tough on Sunday, but team manager Rodney Kerr and his management team have instilled a great spirit in this team. In the likes of Laoise McKenna, Kirsty Laverty, Victoria Edgar, Eimhear McAleenan, Erin Coulter, Molly Woulahan and their own version of Lionel Messi, Aimee Traynor, they have players who can match anyone on their day.  Their task is a big one, but these girls will be ready for it, and let’s hope they can keep their fairytale story, which started against Cargin back in September, going for another week or two.

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