The county’s camogie revival continues to gather pace. Mayo came into this afternoon’s Camogie Leagues Division 4 clash with Louth at Tooreen off the back of a fine win over Kildare last weekend. They powered to a second victory of the campaign today, completely overwhelming their opponents to win by 7-14 to 1-1.
There was poignancy to the fact that today’s contest took place at Adrian Freeman Memorial Park, set amidst the rolling East Mayo countryside at Tooreen. This was because today marked the eleventh anniversary of Adrian’s death, which occurred in a traffic accident in Australia. So far from home and now gone so long so it was good to see the date being mentioned prominently today.
Played in cracking summer conditions, this game took a while to get going. There was a long scoreless spell at the start, which lasted close to ten minutes, before full-forward Lisa Scahill drove the sliothar over the bar to break the deadlock.
The home team were two points to the good at the water break, Erin Murray bagging the second one, but at this juncture this was a keenly contested game. Louth were battling hard all over the pitch but weren’t able to trouble the Mayo posts. Two ’45s – there are no ’65s in camogie – yielded no return on the board for the visitors.
Half-time was approaching before we got our next score. Half-forward Emily Kelly galloped forward and shot over but we then shot wides from a free and from play so, despite getting the upper-hand in the exchanges out the field, our dominance wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard.
It was then the home team made its first big breakthrough. Aoife Lilly did well to create a goal chance and although her effort was blocked, Ciara Delaney was on hand to poke the sliothar to the net.
On the stroke of half-time we added a second. Lisa Scahill pulled off a cheeky rob and took off towards the Louth goal before offloading to her Westport clubmate Emily Kelly. The teenager fed Orna Hession who fired over to send us into the break 1-4 to 0-0 in front.
Louth finally got off the mark right from the restart with a point from play from Denise Moyna. We hit back immediately, however, when Erin Murray drove straight down the middle and belted it over.
We then bagged a second goal, once again an opportunistic finish from Ciara Delaney. The score originated from Aine Charlton, full of power and pace around the middle, who burst through and popped a pass to Lisa Scahill whose shot came back off the bar. Ciara Delaney was first to the rebound to drive the sliothar to the net.
The same player added a point straight away afterwards. Executing a great pick up, she shot on the run and over it went.
Our wide count hit double figures soon after but the scores kept coming too. Our next goal was a fortuitous one, with Orna Hession shooting from distance and the Louth ‘keeper, blinded by the sun, misjudged the sliothar’s flight and it dipped under her crossbar into the net.
The roof really fell in for the visitors after that. Lisa Scahill banged in three goals in seven minutes and although Louth got one back, direct from a close-in free, the home team were now cruising to an easy victory.
With twenty minutes to go we started to empty the bench but the scores kept coming. Lisa Scahill notched her fourth goal, her team’s seventh, while a steady flow of frees from Maebh Delaney saw our points tally rise as well.
We also added points from play, with Mairead Charlton and sub Helen O’Malley (twice) finding the target. These scores helped push our winning margin to an outsized 31 points.
Today’s game was, in retrospect, a total mismatch but this is surely a reflection of just how much progress this Mayo team has made in such a short space of time. Today’s win sees them through to the Division 4 semi-finals in two weeks time where, as far as I know (and I could well be wrong), they’ll be up against Cavan.
Well done to the Mayo team on their win today and here’s hoping for further success from them over the coming weeks.
A quick word on today’s excellent Facebook live stream of the game from Tooreen, which worked faultlessly throughout. Adrian Hession – a friend of this parish – put in a great shift on commentary and he was ably assisted by Peter Cassidy. It was a super service and fair play to Mayo Camogie for organising it.