Knockananna booked thier place with big win over St Dominic’s

All Ireland Junior Camogie final preview

Knockananna (Wicklow) 1-8 St Dominic’s (Roscommon) 0-2 (semi-final)

Bridíní Oga’s opponents on Saturday, Knockananna, qualified for Saturday’s All Ireland final when they beat Roscommon champion’s St Dominic’s back in early December

The Wicklow and Leinster champions, who last season won the All Ireland B title, made a great start to their semi-final against the Roscommon girls. Knockananna flew from the traps in the game on the 4G surface at St Loman’s GAA Club in Mullingar to lead by 1-5 to 0-1 at the half-time break, the goal coming from Emily Muhall while team captain Rachel Byrne grabbed four of the points.

It was clear at this stage that it was going to take an almighty effort from St Dominic’s if they were to overturn such a deficit, and as things turned out it was a bridge too far for the Roscommon girls, adding only a single point in a low scoring second half, which saw Knockananna add just three more to thier total.

Knockananna team manager Tom Byrne said after the game “We didn’t know what to expect when you’re playing these teams, you know very little about,”

“From the start we got stuck into them, and everything seemed to work for us. We kept them at bay. We didn’t allow them to hurl, and I know they have three or four very good hurlers, but the pressure we applied just kept them at bay. I thought it was a super performance, the work rate was really good, and that’s all we can ask for,” .

Byrne added “The defence were brilliant. The pressure we put on their forwards, we never let them settle on any ball. They swarmed around them. When we were coming down to the astro we were a little bit wary of it, because we’ve been playing on, you know, its winter hurling, then you come to the astro and the ball moves much faster, but they took to it like ducks to water. They did everything right today, it was one of those days where everything went right,” he said.

While the late switch of venue might have upset some teams, Knockananna were delighted that the fixture was taken out of Kinnegad which has become something of a black hole for Wicklow teams in the last few years.

Tom Byrne says Knockananna are in bonus territory now but that they’ll be hoping for a lovely Christmas present when they take on either Bridíní Óga or Adare in the final.

When asked about the wonderful form of his players as they continue to break barriers and create Wicklow camogie history, Tom Byrne said that a strong panel and players enjoying their camogie is key.

“I think the girls are getting so experienced. The panel is very strong. We’ve had a few young girls come up, and the girls are really fit, they play football at top level with their clubs. We haven’t had a break all year since the All-Ireland last year. Everyone’s really fit. It’s been working out really well this year. The girls are enjoying their camogie and if you can get everyone enjoying their camogie and there’s a good bond between them, let’s hope we can continue this next weekend,” he added.

The Knockananna team who beat St Dominic’s were: – Kellie Byrne; Dervla Byrne, Áine Byrne, Eimear O’Sullivan; Róisín Byrne, Emily Hadden, Aobha Harmon; Shannagh Goetelen, Aimee Maher (0-1); Ciara Byrne (0-1), Rachel Byrne (0-4, capt.), Laura McGrath (0-1); Emily Mulhall (1-0), Sinead Byrne, Sarah Byrne (0-1).

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