Down U-16 Camogs on Road to All-Ireland Glory

Down U-16 Camogs on Road to All-Ireland Glory by Angela Mulhern All roads lead to Donaghmore, Ashbourne, this Saturday (7th May 2011) when Down Camogs take on Carlow in the All-Ireland U16 Championship Final (throw in 2.30pm). It is hoped that Down will enjoy a large support in their quest to lift the title after a long, hard-fought campaign.  Final preparations are underway in what is indeed a special occasion for a bunch of very special girls. In the lead up to the Final they have had walkover wins over Donegal and Monaghan and beat Roscommon 12-9 to no score.  They were unlucky to be beaten by a much fancied Meath team on a score line of 4-4 to 2-4 but made up for this defeat with a well deserved victory over Cavan on a score line of  6-8 to 1-0.  Their last outing was the semi-final against Section winners Westmeath and after a titanic struggle earned a Final spot on a score line of 4-6 to 2-6. [caption id="attachment_23365" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="The U-12 Camogs who took part in the Easter Camogie camp"][/caption] Their opponents, Carlow, will be tough opposition and are well capable of racking up big scores.  They beat Kildare 3-10 to 1-2, demolished Mayo 9-10 to 0-1 and beat Wicklow 5-5 to 1-0 before overcoming a very strong Meath team by 3 points to earn a place in the Final.  Down will have a tough fight on their hands but Manager Noreen Keown is full of praise for her young charges and management team.  She said: “As the manager of this team I have to say that this group of players are a great bunch to manage.  They are committed having spent most of the winter training on frosty, mucky ground and they have come together to form a tight unit with an excellent attitude.  I expect them to give all they have got as we have been aiming for this Final since January. It has been a great privilege to work with my five other mentors Ann, Roisin and Slim Rogers who all hail from the Longstone Club, Francie McGrath from Aghaderg and Dessie Rice from my own Club, Castlewellan.  I could not do this job on my own and feel incredibly grateful to such a great team of both players and mentors. Thank you also to Castlewellan Club who have provided training facilities and meeting rooms when we needed it and to Liz McGivern who has had the onerous task of finding us training pitches when the weather was bad and arranging transport etc for our matches” she concluded. Down will need to be at their best to beat Carlow but are more than capable of doing so.  If the defence can remain tight and minimise the goal scoring threat that Carlow has shown to date then they have the midfield and forwards capable of bringing an All-Ireland title back to the Mournes. DOWN U-16 CAMOGIE TEAM 2011 – PLAYER PROFILES

Aimee McAleenan: Club: Liatroim Fontenoys.  School: Assumption GS Ballynahinch.  Achievements: 1 x County League medal and 1 x County Feile.  I’ve played for my County for three years and have been in three All-Ireland Semi’s but this will be my first All-Ireland Final.
Aislinn McFarland: Club: Bredagh.  School: Aquinas GS Belfast.  As well as Camogie I also enjoy playing Gaelic Football, Basketball and Netball.
Aleacha Rooney: Club: Longstone – I am vice-captain of our U16 camogie team.  School:  St Columban’s HS Kilkeel – I am currently studying for my GCSEs.  My achievements include a League Division 3 medal with Longstone Senior Camogs last year, Player of the Year for Down U14 Camogie two year’s ago and Player of the Year for Longstone U16s last season.
Anne-Marie McKay: Club: Liatroim Fontenoys.  School: St. Malachy’s HS Castlewellan.  I am currently studying for my GCSEs including PE where I used camogie as one of my sports.  I train up to 5 times a week between Club and County.  This is the first year I’ve been playing for my County and the first All-Ireland Final I’ve been involved with.
Annette McCormick: Club:  Liatroim Fontenoys.  I also play Gaelic Football for Tecconaught GFC.
Anthea Trainor: Club: Longstone.  School: St Louis’ GS, Kilkeel.  Achievements: 1 x County and Ulster Schools Medal and 1 x County Division 3 League medal.  Position: Full Back.
Aoife Keown: Club: Castlewellan.  I play mid field for club and county. My favourite player is Kelly O’Higgins who plays for the Down Senior Camogie Team.  I represented down at the All-Ireland Feile Skills last year and came 7th . I also play Gaelic football for club and county.
Caitlin McCartan: Club: Liatroim Fontenoys.  School: St Malachy’s HS Castlewellan where I am studying for my GCSE’s.  I play both Camogie and Gaelic Football and currently represent my county at both codes and my preferred position is half back. I have played Camogie since I was 3 years of age. The Camogie player I most admire is Máirin McAleenan (Mo-Mac) from my club Leitrim Fontenoys.  She has been a major impact on my Camogie career as she has played for Down, Ulster and Ireland and won an All-star in 2004 when Down were beaten in the All-Ireland Junior Final.
Cara McMullan: Club: Liatroim Fontenoys CC.  School: Assumption GS Ballynahinch.  I am currently studying for my GCSE’s.  This is my first year playing at county level and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I am also honoured to be Vice-Captain of the Down U16 Camogie Team.
Catherine Rocks: Club: Bredagh CC.  School: Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Belfast.  I was part of last year’s Bredagh U14 Down and Ulster winning Feile team.  I am honoured to be captain of this Down U16 Camogie Team.
Ciara Gibson: Club: Castlewellan.  School: Assumption GS Ballynahinch.  Hobbies:  Camogie, Gaelic Football, Running and Netball.  I currently play for the Northern Ireland Netball Team.
Ciara Tumilty: Club: Clonduff.  School: Sacred Heart GS, Newry.  My hobbies include camogie, netball and milking cows.
Claire Connor: Club: An Riocht.  School: St Mark’s HS Warrenpoint.  Achievements: Schools County and Ulster Medals.
Clare Cleland: Club: Castlewellan.  School: St Louis’ GS Kilkeel.  I usually play Corner/Half Back and my favourite camogie player is Noreen Keown.
Claren Owens: Club: Liatroim Fontenoys.  As well as Camogie I really enjoy playing Gaelic Football for Bryansford.  Sport is a big part of my life and I am so happy to be a part of the Down u16 Camogie team.
Deirbhile Savage: Club: Ballygalget.  School: Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Belfast.  I went to St Patrick’s PS Ballygalget and because we won the INTO 7’s when I was in P6 I got picked to represent our school to play Camogie in Croke Park.  I also played on the Ballygalget team that won the U14 Championship and League in 2009. I also won u12 and u14 Player of the Year for my Club.
Finola Rice: I play for Castlewellan and I attend St Malachy’s HS, Castlewellan.  My usual positions are either Goalie or as a back and my favourite camogie player is Gemma O’Connor.
Jane McAleenan: Club: Clonduff.  School: St Mark’s HS Warrenpoint.  Achievements: Was on this year’s camogie team which won Down Schools’ Camogie County Final and Ulster Final.  As well as Camogie my hobbies are running and cycling and my goal is to be as good at camogie as my Aunt, ‘Mo Mac’, who is a past Down Senior Camogie Player and won an All Star.
Jenna Boden: Club:  Clonduff.  School:  St Mark’s HS Warrenpoint.  My achievements are 2 x U14 School County Champions, U16 Ulster Champions, First Year County Champions.  U12 and U14 Player of the Year for Camogie and Gaelic Football.  As well as Camogie my hobbies include Gaelic Football and Swimming.
Laura Grant: Club: Clonduff.  School: St Mark’s HS Warrenpoint.  Achievements: Was on this year’s camogie team which won Down Schools’ Camogie County Final and Ulster Final.  Was captain of the Clonduff U14 team when we won the Feile Shield.  My goal is to be as good a camogie player as Fionnula and Sara Louise Carr, Lorraine Maginn and Karen Gribben.
Lauren Cassidy: Club: Liatroim Fontenoys. School: St Coleman’s HS Ballynahinch.  Achievements: Won the Down U14 Feile with Liatroim last year.
Maria MacFarlane: Club: Bredagh.  School:  Fortwilliam.  As well as Camogie I also enjoy playing golf, the guitar and listening to music.
Mary-Clare Grant: Club: Kilcoo.  School: St Malachy’s HS Castlewellan.  As well as Camogie I also play Gaelic Football.
Megan Hughes: Club: Bredagh.  School: Aquinas GS, Belfast.  Favourite Position: Corner Forward.
Monica McKay: Club: Bredagh.  School: Out Lady and St Patrick’s College, Belfast.  As well as Camogie I also like to play Gaelic Football and Golf.
Niamh Hazard: Club:  Bredagh.  School:  Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Belfast where I play Camogie and Gaelic Football.  My achievements to date are winning the Down Feile in 2009, going on to take part in the All Ireland Camogie Feile and winning the Down Championship in 2010 for Bredagh U14’s.  My ambition is to win an All Ireland Camogie medal and to play camogie at senior level for Down.
Olivia Boyle: Club: Bredagh.  As well as Camogie my other hobbies include Basketball, Gaelic Football and Netball.
Paddi Hawkins: Club: Castlewellan.  School: St Malachy’s HS Castlewellan.  Position:  Half-back.
Roisin Mulholland: Club:  Clonduff.  School:  St Mark’s HS Warrenpoint.  Won Down and Ulster Schools Camogie medals this year.
Shannon O’Hagan: Club: Clonduff.  School: St Mark’s HS Warrenpoint.  I’m in fourth year and am studying Childcare, Business Studies and ICT.  I am also a part of St Mark’s U-16 Camogie team who won the Down and Ulster Schools Finals this year and got to the Schools All-Ireland Semi-final.
Sheree Fitzpatrick: Club: Longstone. School: St Malachy’s HS, Castlewellan.  I usually play midfield and I was made captain of Longstone’s U16 team this year.  My other hobbies include walking and netball and I was on the Northern Ireland netball team last year.
Tierna Rooney: Club: An Riocht.  School: St Columban’s HS, Kilkeel.  I usually play midfield or centre half forward for my Club.  I have been playing for Down Camogie for 3 years now.  Throughout my years of playing camogie I have won the U12 Down League, U14 League and Championship, got into league and championship finals for U16 and won the Minor 7s last year.
DOWN CAMOGIE BURSARY WINNERS KAREN TINNELLY AND SARA LOUISE CARR HOLD EASTER U-12 CAMOGIE CAMP by Roisin Rogers [caption id="attachment_23366" align="alignright" width="400" caption="Karen Tinnely at the U-12 Camogie camp."][/caption] Over fifty U-12 Camogs from Aghaderg, Atticall, Ballyholland, Clonduff, Kilcoo, Liatroim and Longstone participated in an Easter Camogie Camp held atClonduff on Tuesday and Wednesday past (26th and 27th April 2011).  The Camp was organised and delivered by 2011 Camogie Bursary Award Winners and Down Senior Camogie Players Karen Tinnelly and Sara Louise Carr. Karen and Sara Louise were assisted by guest coaches Kitty Fegan who is a past Down Senior Camogie Player and Michaela Convery who was on the Antrim Senior Camogie Team which won last year’s Junior All Ireland Camogie Championship. The young camogs who attended the Camp not only received top class coaching over the two days but they also made lots of new friends and had lots of fun and at [caption id="attachment_23368" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Sarah Louise Carr coaches U-12 player Katie Smith."][/caption] they end of the Camp they were presented with souvenir T-shirts.