By Niall Gartland
LACKEN camogie boss Marie Brady hopes their All-Ireland ‘Junior B’ Championship final success resonates with the children in the local area and leads to further success in generations to come.
The Cavan club claimed a resounding victory over Delvin on Sunday with Roisin O’Keefe getting her name up in lights with a hat-trick of goals. It was the perfect way to round off a successful season, and their manager Brady said it was a particularly big achievement given their modest numbers.
“It’s a massive achievement for a small club like ours. We’ve a really small catchment area so it’s very significant for us. We’d a lovely homecoming with all the community at our clubrooms, and there were fireworks and various speeches so it was just fabulous.
“We’ve had a lovely reception back home, and there were guards of honour at our two local schools, an arch to walk through with the hurls out. That’s the important thing for us – to pass on our love of the game and keep the young girls playing camogie, and the young boys involved as well.”
While the team as a whole played their hearts out on All-Ireland final day, it was hard to ignore the three-goal contribution of O’Keefe.
“Roisin is a fabulous girl, she has come back from a second cruciate injury this year. We worked so hard to get back to her previous levels. To come back from a second cruciate at her age is just amazing. She’s an incredibly talented young lady.”
It also reflects well on Cavan camogie in general that it’s produced a club who have risen to the very top of the pile. The inter-county team secured promotion to Division Two this season, something they’ve never before achieved, so things are very much positive at the minute.
“We were very lucky when Michelle Smith took over as chairperson, she has really driven on Cavan camogie. I played camogie for Cavan years ago and it wasn’t at the level it is now. She has got management teams in place and really pushed things on so fair play to the county board. Cavan is a footballing county and it can be hard to keep camogie going and she’s really driven it on.”
And despite the one-sided nature of the scoreline (5-12 to 3-2), Brady says Delvin deserve credit for their efforts in the final.
“The girls don’t feel like it was straightforward, it was a tough physical encounter. I think our girls just raised it to another notch, every one of them played out of their skins. They had been playing well all season and have worked very hard but they just seemed to take the occasion in their stride. Every time Delvin had a purple patch we responded with a point or a goal. The scoreline probably doesn’t reflect the intensity of the game.”