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13 October 2019

Disappointment, tears and sheer exhaustion on every player’s face when the referee blew time on this epic Down U-16 Camogie Championship Final as Aghaderg realised that their brilliant performance just hadn’t been enough to overcome this exceptional Ballygalget team.

The Reds gave it all. They left nothing on the pitch and that is their consolation in this robust, physical and skilful battle played at a frantic pace. It was only in the closing moments that Ballygalget inched their way to a winning score-line. The spectators were proud of their Aghaderg team and it is a truly magnificent achievement for coaches, players and all involved that we have a team that can play to such a high standard in a County final.

There was nothing between the sides throughout this game. Ballygalget edged slowly into a two point lead but a free from Grace Husarz and a point from play by Tara McAnarney brought the sides level midway through the opening half. As the battle raged, Aghaderg’s powerful running created two great goal-scoring opportunities but two superb last-ditch hooks followed by two good saves thwarted our opportunity to give this game a completely different complexion. Eventually two further points from Ballygalget saw them hold a narrow 0-4 to 0-2 advantage at the break.

If anything, the pace increased in the second half and an early Ballygalget point increased their advantage to three. Then in the 35th minute came a moment of magic and the red flags were flying. Moya Lavery soloed through the Ballygalget defence and her powerful drive found the roof of the net and Aghaderg were back on equal terms. Both sides moved up a gear but it was Ballygalget who got the crucial score with a goal in the 40th minute. Grace Husarz replied with a pointed free and that is how it stayed until the 51st minute when a Ballygalget free edged them into a three point lead.

There were half chances at both ends as the game swung from one goalmouth to the other in a frenzied search for glory, but for Aghaderg that vital score just never came.

In the closing moments Ballygalget tagged on two further points to leave the final score: Aghaderg 1-3 Ballygalget 1-8.