Champs Sarsfields swept aside by new kids on block

Dicksboro 0-18

Sarsfields 1-11

SARSFIELDS knew what was coming down the tracks at Croke Park on Sunday evening, but even with that valuable insight into their opponents, the reigning All-Ireland champions were unable to extend their stranglehold on club camogie.

There was no shame in that outcome against the sport’s potential new force in a talented Dicksboro outfit from Kilkenny as Sarsfields paid a heavy price for their challenge unexpectedly falling away in the final quarter when they appeared to have most of the heavy lifting done.

Chasing a third consecutive All-Ireland title, Sarsfields were strong favourites to carry the day especially as Dicksboro were facing into their first national final, but the Leinster champions didn’t suffer any stage fright and the way they turned the screw from the 47th minute on was impressive.

Fielding again without the talismanic Niamh McGrath, Sarsfields had got the inside track on Dicksboro from a challenge game earlier in the season, and though such fixtures can be notoriously unreliable, Hopper McGrath’s squad knew that they would have no walk in the park on Sunday evening.

From the off, there was an energy about the Kilkenny girls that Sarsfields found hard to subdue; while the accuracy of the outstanding Aoife Prendergast also proved a key plank in Dicksboro making camogie history in front of a modest attendance.

They also had obdurate defenders in Tara Clifford, Katie Byrne – whose up-field surges typified their ambition – Caoimhe Dowling and Ciara Phelan; a quality midfield alliance in Ciara O’Shea and especially Aobha O’Gorman; while the strong finishing Amy Clifford and Orla Hanwick were a handful up front too. Substitute Lucinda Gahan also contributed significantly to their final quarter superiority.

Pictured: Sarsfields’ Siobhan McGrath scoring their goal against Dicksboro in Sunday’s All-Ireland Club Senior Camogie Final at Croke Park. Photos: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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