We Won! Milford camogie team winners of the All Ireland Senior Club  Camogie Final in Croke Park last Sunday. Photo by Wm. Casey.

We Won! Milford camogie team winners of the All Ireland Senior Club Camogie Final in Croke Park last Sunday.
Photo by Wm. Casey.

All-Ireland Senior Clubs Camogie Final:

MILFORD, (CORK)……………………………………………………………2-8

KILLIMOR, (GALWAY)………………………………………………….…1-3

And the cream rises to the top once more. After being shocked last year in the AIB All-Ireland senior Club Camogie semi-final by Mullagh, there were at least a few observers, some of the seasoned variety, who wondered if the Milford machine was running out of steam.

While there were undoubtedly some who would have gloried in their apparent demise – that has ever been the case with dominant champions and after two All-Irelands, four counties converted to Munster pre-eminence, this is exactly what Milford were– that commentary would not have been intended as criticism generally. If anything, it was logic in an increasingly professional era where sustained success is so difficult to achieve.

Who knows? Maybe there was a slight reduction in hunger or a marginal seeping in of complacency. Or maybe the mileage on the clock was taking its toll. Whatever happened, there could be few complaints about the way their three-in-a-row dream died.

Two things transpire in these scenarios. The first is that nobody questions, nobody is too hard on themselves and there is a congratulatory atmosphere around having done so well. These teams don’t make it back to the summit.

The other road is the one taken by Milford. Stricken team captain Sarah Sexton – ruled out by a cruciate knee ligament injury – had spoken in the build-up to this game of bottling the hurt from the four county final losses. And she said the same about defeat by Mullagh.

You can be sure the criticism was stored as well. They were not a beaten docket. They would create a legacy for the ages.

Make no mistake now. Milford are the club of their generation and with the likes of 16-year-old Laura Stack now making her way through into the team, having taken part in the half-time solo race when the initial breakthrough was made exactly three years ago, there is a fresh impetus.

Crucial to this victory over Killimor, who were also victims in 2013, was the manner in which they burst out of the blocks, scoring three points in six minutes and adding a fourth soon after. It was 0-6 to 0-0 at half time and that type of advantage was something they really aimed to achieve, according to Stack.

“We had a good plan going in and were well prepared” said Stack. “A few times throughout the year we got caught with a bad start. On the other hand, when we got a good start on teams we pulled away from them easily so that’s what we tried to do. Luckily we got a good few points in the first few minutes and thank God we did it.”

The entire full-forward line was on the board in that rip-roaring opening, Emer Watson slotting an early free before Marie O’Neill and Maria Watson followed up.

Emer Watson made it two from two placed balls soon after but as the half wore on, Killimor’s policy of clogging the middle slowed the Milford advance. The Galwegians were wasteful though and paid the price when the Watsons slotted a point each from play approaching half time.

Killimor got a perfect start to the second half with an excellent goal from Claire Conroy and after Ashling Thompson replied with a point, Ann Marie Starr was just about to dispatch the sliothar beyond Rebecca Finn when referee Alan Lagrue blew his whistle. The Kildare official certainly had blown before the Killimor captain took her shot.

Conroy scored a point soon after but Milford heeded the warning and a brilliant 45th minute goal by Maria Watson, after good work by Anna Geary (named player of the match) and O’Neill, opened up a six-point gap once more.

Seven minutes later, Stack showed excellent instincts to gather the loose ball when Emer Watson’s free was batted out by Helen Campbell and she found the net to enable the celebrations to begin in earnest.

Milford manager, John Brudair – who only made the second half, having been on duty in his role as manager of the Limerick footballers in Newbridge earlier – revealed that they had worked on registering more three-pointers.

“We’ve been scoring a lot of goals this year and have worked hard in training on that. Goals are vital in camogie because you don’t see 20 points scored. If you can score two or three goals in a game it’s a big leg up.”

The quietly-spoken Dromcollogher man cut a contented air but his admiration for this group of players was very evident. And he confirmed that they had turned adversity into a positive.

“Sometimes you have to suffer the hard losses and they did that for the three or four years when they didn’t win the county, and that kind of builds an inner drive to make sure that when you do get that purple patch you make the most of it” said Brudair.

“They probably should have four All-Irelands in a row. I wasn’t at the (semi-final against Mullagh) last year but from what I’ve seen this year, they’re well capable of beating anybody.

“The girls are fairly battle-hardened now at this stage. They know the key times in games, when things aren’t going your way, to dig in and make sure you don’t give away anything soft. That showed in the defending in the second half, when they made sure not to leave them in for an easy goal.

“I’m delighted. They’re a good bunch. They know how to win games and knowing how to win is a great trait.” Don’t expect it to end anytime soon.

Scorers: Milford: Maria Watson 1-3; Emer Watson 0-3 (2fs); Laura Stack 1-0; Ashling Thompson, Marie O’Neill 0-1 each.

Killimor: Claire Conroy 1-2 (0-1f); Susan Keane 0-1


Rebecca Finn; Deirdre Hayes, Maria Walsh, Lisa Healy; Elaine O’Riordan, Áine Watson, Anna Geary; Orlaith O’Mahony, Ashling Thompson; Laura Stack, Deirdre O’Reilly, Christine O’Connor, Emer Watson, Marie O’Neill, Maria Watson.

Subs: Bríd Flanagan for Hayes (55), Eimear O’Friel for O’Connor (58), Katie Galvin for Healy (59), Geraldine O’Connor for M Watson (60+5), Aoife Dillon for Thompson inj (60+5)


Helen Campbell; Serna Brien, Karen Brien, Sinéad Fahy, Aisling Brehony, Anne Marie Hayes, Maolica Callagy; Emer Haverty, Anne Marie Starr; Denise Starr, Martina Conroy, Serena Brehony; Claire Conroy, Brenda Hanney, Susan Keane.

Subs: Helen Quinn for S Brehony (HT), Emer Porter for Haverty (57), Sinéad O’Hara for A Brehony (60+1)


: Alan Lagrue, Kildare.