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Tuesday 18 December 2018

Camogie: Blues’ bubble burst by Tipp

DENIS MURPHY asked the Dublin girls to compete. They didn’t let him down.

Top photographer Ray McManus was in the house. The RTÉ Sport All-Ireland Championship was on air. Dublin’s All-Ireland journey had begun.

They lost to Tipperary at Portmarnock on Saturday by 3-12 to 0-12. That didn’t paint the true picture. Dublin could, and should, have been closer.

Tipp were delayed in arriving. They had hardly time for a warm-up. Dublin began in a sprint. Two points in the blink of an eye from Ciara Burgess and Aine Fanning.

And the most encouraging thing of all was that Dublin finished on the up. Tipp’s third goal came so deep in injury time that Ryan Tubridy’s autograph was all over the sliotar.

EXCELLED

Dublin’s centre half-back, Alison Maguire, excelled, especially in the first half. Sarah Ryan also did much noble work at the back.

Late on, Sarah made several storming bursts towards the Tipp kitchen.

Home goalkeeper Helen Cosgrave was safe, as was her Jude’s team-mate, full-back Tara Corrigan. And, once again, the inspirational skipper, Catríona Power, led by example.

The brilliant Burgess displayed industry and accuracy at midfield, while alongside her Emer McCarthy’s efforts also drew applause.

The crowd was small enough. There was a stiff breeze. It blew down the pitch from the clubhouse end. Dublin had it in the first half. Tipp led at the turn, 1-5 to 0-7.

Yet the hosts had reasons to be cheerful. But it was the Tipp spurt in the opening chapter of the second period that put the label on the jar.

It was the talented Sarah Fryday who came in through a side-door out on the left to nick the visitor’s first goal 11 minutes into the tie.

And it was also the 11th minute – this time in the second half – when she arrowed in her second. Tipp hit six unanswered points after the interval to lead by 2-10 to 0-7 in the 44th minute.

It was Jill Horan who got the last of them. She’s a majestic midfielder. All but two of Tipp’s overall tally came from play. They hit just one wide. That came in the 57th minute. Dublin had four wides, three before the tea. Horan collected four points, one before the break. Louise O’Hara’s free from wide on the right was the last and best score of the opening half. On target for the Dubs in that first period were Burgess (2), Fanning, Amy Murphy, O’Hara (2) and McCarthy.

It was Fanning’s splendid point that got Dublin up and running again in the 46th minute, and late on they hit four points without reply from O’Hara (3) and Burgess.

Dublin were enjoying a harvest of possession. Tipp were forced to scramble the ball away from the mantelpiece on a few occasions.

But with 68 minutes on the watch, the Premier burst a few blue balloons when they swept down the field to enable Noreen Flanagan to find the sack.

But if they can keep on repeating the conviction they showed here, Dublin will be blowing a few bubbles of their own this summer.

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