Six teams played for the re-invented O’Mhaolagain Cup in DkIT today. This was played in a Blitz format with two groups of 3. The top two groups played in the cup semi finals and the third team in each group played in the shield final.
In Group A, DkIT played Froebel, which was a lively affair which saw DkIT edge out the Dublin side. Froebel then played GMIT in the next match of this group which eventually saw the Galway side pull away. This left GMIT to play DkIT in the last round game. DkIT started against the wind but put in a spirited performance and the experience of soaring star Aine Keogh proved crucial to ending the first half just ahead of GMIT. Wind assisted in the second half gave DkIT the advantage they needed to finish strong and top group A.
Group A, started precedings with Coleraine taking on Limerick IT. The Derry side battled hard but Limerick ran out convincing winners. Coleraine had little time to recover as they started straight into their second match against Marino. Marino were helped greatly with the services of Galway start Tara Ruttledge, put Coleraine to the sword and had too much for the Derry side. This left LIT and Marino in the last round match which proved to be a close encounter. Marino finished strong and claimed top place in group B.
This left DkIT to play LIT in the first cup semi-final and Marino to GMIT in the second. DkIT started well against the wind and with experienced players such as Elaine Finn and Lisa Smyth they too a hold of the match and earned a deserved place in the final. The second semi final saw Marino and GMIT do battle. This was a very closely contested match which eventually ended with GMIT in front and a place against DkIT in the final.
The O’Mhaolagain Shield final was contested by Froebel and Coleraine. A Karen Jones inspired Froebel started well. Coleraine battled hard but Froebel finished the stronger picking up the inaugural O’Mhaolagain Shield.
Dundalk IT started the final with a strong breeze and made it count and did all the hard work in the opening half with fine scores from Emma Smyth, Shauna Finnerty and Elaine Finn. GMIT did not lie down and fought back hard in the second half with Galway ace Ann Marie Starr leading the charge. Niamh O'Brien was always a threat up front with Sharon Lee working tirelessly. However with Alison McEvoy on song at full back DkIT weathered the storm and ran out eventual winners. This is the first time since the reformation of the Dundalk IT camogie team to win silverware. Aine Keogh was delighted to accept the O’Mhaolagain Cup on behalf of the Dundalk side and thanked all for an enjoyable day. Aine made a special mention to Bridin and Aidan O’Mhaolagain. She wished Aidan a speedy recovery for his recent operation which saw the Bridin and Aidan miss the event and their first Ashbourne weekend in over 50 years.