Bolger says ‘future’s bright’ after All-Ireland camogie win
Roscommon manager, David Bolger, says the future for camogie in the county is bright following Roscommon’s All-Ireland Minor B Shield final success last Saturday. Roscommon defeated Meath by 2-9 to 1-7 in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park (Longford).
Bolger was understandably very pleased with his team’s performance in what was a physical encounter against a tough Meath side.
“I’m absolutely delighted. Meath beat us by four points in August in what was our first competitive game this year. Both teams were missing players that day but we knew we could’ve maybe played a little bit better,” the Kilkenny native said.
“We were probably considered underdogs going into last Saturday’s final but we weren’t overly concerned about that. I have known these girls for a number of years and I’d never really feel we were underdogs going into any game. These girls would even be competitive at the next level up.
“We told them that on All-Ireland final day you have to stand up to the challenge and meet it head on and they did that last Saturday”.
The Roscommon manager said that despite Meath’s larger population and therefore wider pick of players, his backroom team was confident of a big performance on the day.
“We talked about it in the lead-up to the game that if everyone did their part we would be okay and thankfully that’s what happened.
“Getting them all together for training was quite difficult this year because they have part-time jobs and club camogie and football. Some also represent Roscommon in minor football. The week leading up to the semi-final was probably the first time we got them all together,” he said.
The core of this minor team won the U-16 All-Ireland ‘C’ title in 2019 and David says the interest and passion for the game hasn’t waned since.
“That core is definitely still there, I think we had about two-thirds of the team that started that U-16 final. But it’s not just the starting team; it’s the whole panel. We had our weekly management meetings and it was always very difficult to pick the team,” he added.
The Four Roads clubman says the standard of underage camogie in Roscommon is improving all the time.
“The game is in a good place at minor and U-16 level. The U-16s were barely beaten in their All-Ireland final recently (by Westmeath). We were also at the U-14 county finals on Tuesday night and that standard is coming up all the time.
“Over the next few years I can’t see any reason why a good core of these girls can’t take the next step with a bit of mentoring and training with more senior players. A few of them are already playing at senior level for their clubs. They are good players and they are only getting better,” he said.
As the senior footballers of Tyrone and Mayo were preparing to do battle in Croke Park, Roscommon and Meath went head-to-head in Longford, with a big prize on offer. It was a Super Saturday, with a fired up Roscommon showing grit, determination and skill to get over the winning line.
The Knockcroghery-based St. Dominic’s club has a great camogie tradition and it was two of their players who provided the vital first-half goals which gave Roscommon an early initiative.
Meath closed the gap to two points when Robyn Dunne goaled in the second half. Roscommon held their nerve, adding vital scores which kept the Leinster side at bay.
Roscommon team and scorers: E Cafferkey; C Carr, A Campbell, T Kelly; M Lohan, O Connolly, S Treacy; L Mahon, E O’Farrell (0-1); N Fitzgerald (0-2), S Mannion, A Campbell (1-1); S Finneran (0-1, a free), C Kilcommins (1-3), C McNeill (0-1). No subs used.