Alison's arrow proves priceless
A NEAT stand in Newmarket on Fergus. The atmosphere crackled. The camogie did too.
Clare manager, Colm Honan, the former county hurler, made every tackle. As did Dublin's Shane O'Brien.
Both sides craved a win in Saturday's Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship tie.
Both left the field with half the cake, and with a standing ovation ringing in their ears.
And when the great debate ended, the draw was just about right. The two teams had emptied the purse.
It was close and compelling throughout. Both sides had spells in the cockpit.
In the end, Dublin had to get off the canvas to get the result - 1-8 each. And they showed spirit in doing so.
Dublin defended well. And they faced one of the finest forwards in the country in Chloe Morey, a sister of the county hurler, Seadna, who was on duty in Thurles.
She got all the home scores, seven points from the placed ball.
Ali Maguire had another excellent match for the Dubs. She is enjoying a flourishing campaign.
She brought much energy to the stage. And her ball striking belongs at St Andrews.
Ali was playing at midfield. She is also comfortable at centre half-back.
Dublin's centre half-forward, Sarah O'Donovan, has added much to the team.
And she was denied a goal just before the interval by the save-of-the-match from Denise Lynch.
The Blues began brightly. They were on their toes and they went in for the tea 1-4 to 0-6 to the good. Laoise Quinn had struck the first score of the day. Dublin's goal came midway through the half.
A long distance delivery from Louise O'Hara opened the door for Aoife Bugler.
There was an extra sharpness to the hosts following the break. Morey converted a quick free. And then she produced a goal, pushing Clare into a two points lead, 1-6 to 1-4.
Two tidy strikes from play from Emma Flanagan levelled the tie on 1-6 apiece.
Two Morey points, from play and a free, nudged the Banner two points clear once more.
The clock was ticking quickly. Dublin were digging deep.
Miriam Twomey arrowed over a crucial score. The game was now in injury-time.
People were on their feet in the stand. The players were out on theirs.
Dublin piled on the pressure. They forced a 45. A county held its breath. Up stepped the master Maguire. And over she sailed.
The whistle blew. The applause rang out. The managers shook hands.
The players had their showers, and the grub. And all agreed they'd sleep well tonight.