Brilliant ‘Boro are champions

by on the 21st of December 2023

AIB Senior All Ireland Club Final

by Aoife Lanigan, PRO

Dicksboro 0-18

Sarsfields (Galway) 1-11

A masterclass of shooting by Aoife Prendergast plus a brilliant all-round team display that included some monumental contributions by Kirsty Maher, Jane Cass, Katie Byrne, Amy Clifford, Asha McHardy, Orla Hanrick and substitute Lucinda Gahan were some of the reasons Dicksboro secured a first AIB All Ireland Senior Club Camogie Title

A powerful performance gave the ‘Boro a day to remember at Croke Park last Sunday evening as they secured Kilkenny’s first Senior Club All Ireland title since St Lachtains (Freshford) won three in a row in 2004, 2005 & 2006. In the process, they ended Sarsfields three in a row dream

It may have been their first senior final appearance, but Dicksboro showed no signs of serves and settled well

While Orlaith McGrath opened the scoring with a point from play for Sarsfields, from the resulting puckout, Aoife Prendergast scored a great point from play to level matters. Prendergast converted a free before Rachel Murray equalised again. By the 15th minute, it was level 0-4 a piece with Prendergast (f) and Orla Hanrick adding points for the Boro and Caoimhe Kelly (f) and Siobhan McGrath (f) adding the points for Sarsfields

Dicksboro were growing into the game at that stage, shutting down the champions with some solid defensive play. With Aoife Prendergast (f) and Aobha O’Gorman on target they went two points ahead before Caoimhe Kelly pulled a minor score back for Sarsfields

The confidence was growing in Dicksboro, who produced one of the game’s standout moments soon after. Katie Byrne reacted quickest to a breaking ball out of a ruck. Snapping up possession, she ran from her own 21m line to the opposition 21m line, pausing only to lay off a handpass to Jenny Clifford who popped over a super point. With Rachel Dowling added another point, this time from Aoife Prendergast pass, the Boro were 0-8 to 0-5 ahead after 23 minutes – but the Sarsfields were about to hit back

Chasing the game, the defending champions stepped up the pace. Siobhan McGrath tacked on a point before, in the 25th minute, Sarsfields broke through for the only goal of the game. Seizing on a short puckout, the McGrath sisters Orlaith and Siobhan combined, Siobhan getting the goal at the Hill 16 End to put the Connacht side ahead by a point


However, the Boro didn’t panic. Raising their game again, they finished out the first half scoring with points from Asha McHardy and Orla Hanrick to go in at the interval a point in front (0-10 to 1-6)

The game resumed with Siobhan McGrath equalised for Sarsfields, Aoife Prendergast replied after a wonderful display of power and pace from McHardy drew the defensive cover

Sarsfields found an extra gear after that and took command of the game when they struck the next three scores. Siobhan McGrath landed the first with a good point which was followed by two more excellent efforts by Shannon Corcoran and Sarah Spellman

That last point arrived in the 43rd minute, but crucially it would be Sarsfields last score for a spell as Dicksboro took over

The key for Dicksboro was that they hung in through the whirlwind that threatened to overcome them and then, gradually, clawed their way to parity before re-asserting their dominance

Lucinda Gahan was introduced for the Boro in the 44th minute. She made a real difference, showing strength when the Kilkenny side needed it most

Prendergast stopped the rot from a free in the 48th minute. This was the start of a run of seven straight points that ultimately secured the Bill and Agnes O’Carroll Cup

Ciara O’Shea hit the leveller after a lovely handpass from Lucinda Gahan. Then Aoife Prendergast and Amy Clifford did the damage, as Dicksboro began to come out of more rucks with the sliotar, pin Sarsfields back and create more situations that ended with players in space

Prendergast added two points from frees and Amy Clifford added another point for the Boro, to put them five points ahead

The game was slipping from them, but Sarsfields kept fighting. Klara Donohoe pointed in the 63rd minute. Heading towards the final whistle, Sarsfields were awarded a 20m free, Centre Back Maria Cooney came forward to take it and Kirsty Maher had to dive full length to deny her

That was the game’s last act – for Dicksboro the celebrations were about to begin!

Scorers – Dicksboro – Aoife Prendergast 0-9 (7f), Orla Hanrick, Amy Clifford 0-2 each, Aobha O’Gorman, Jenny Clifford, Rachel Dowling, Asha McHardy, Ciara O’Shea 0-1 each

Sarsfields – Siobhan McGrath 1-4 (2f), Caoimhe Kelly 0-2 (2f), Orlaith McGrath, Rachel Murray, Shannon Corcoran, Sarah Spelman, Kiera Donohoe 0-1 each

Dicksboro – Kirsty Maher, Jane Cass, Tara Clifford, Katie Byrne, Niamh Phelan, Caoimhe Dowling, Ciara Phelan, Ciara O’Shea, Aobha O’Gorman, Asha McHardy, Amy Clifford, Rachel Dowling, Aoife Prendergast, Orla Hanrick, Jenny Clifford (Capt)

Subs – Lucinda Gahan for Rachel Dowling, Rose Kelly for Orla Hanrick, Niamh O’Donoghue for Ciara O’Shea, Tara McGrath for Amy Clifford, Danielle Kenny, Bronagh Doheny, Caoimhe Carroll, Angela Carroll, Aisling Browne, Sarah O’Gorman, Orlaith Moore, Emer Phelan, Becky Peters, Sinead Carroll, Eva Healy, Issey Carroll, Isabel Roberts, Rachel Egan, Isabelle Fahy, Isabelle Egan, Kate O’Neill, Libby Carroll

Sarsfields – Laura Glynn, Reitseal Kelly, Laura Ward (Capt), Kate Gallagher, Tara Kenny, Maria Cooney, Joanne Daly, Clodagh McGrath, Sarah Spellman, Klara Donohoe, Orlaith McGrath, Rachel Murray, Shannon Corcoran, Siobhan McGrath, Caoimhe Kelly

Subs – Cora Kenny for Caoimhe Kelly, Ciara McGrath, Cliona Cahalan, Aoibhe Deeley, Ciara Kyne, Aisling Dillon, Rachel Murphy, Ciara Ward, Elysia Cox, Jasmine Scully, Melissa McDonnell, Bronagh Deeley, Emily Dillon, Erica Leslie, Sheena Warde, Laoise McGrath, Niamh McGrath

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