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Camogie History

Glenealy were in a Class Apart

By Tommy Glynn


Most camogie fans will agree that Glenealy were in a class apart on the Wicklow scene. They had a record nine players on the county team on a few occasions and they were rarely beaten over a period of 13 years ranging roughly from 1944 to 1957, when some of their star players retired. They had at least three players who were out of the top drawer — May Kavanagh, Agnes Kavanagh and Kathleen Douglas. May was one of the best full backs in the country and played in all of Leinster's games up to the time she re­tired in 1957. She won two
Inter-Provincial medals with Leinster in 1956 and 1957 and never failed to make the headlines when playing for the province. Aggie Kavanagh and Kathleen Douglas each won one Provincial medal with Leinster. I think it's correct to say that all the principal Glenealy players played for Wicklow at one time or other and most of them were top class camogie players.
The list of championships won is uncertain, because there were years when there were no championships played, but it is fair to say they were the dominant side for a decade and a half. The first Glenealy team we came across was back in 1922. They were beaten by Avondale on June 22, 1922, and the list was as follows: Nellie O'Neill, Kathleen Doyle, Winnie Porter, Nellie Glynn, Julia Glynn, Lucy Porter, Lizzie and Sally Byrne, Kate O'Neill, May Doyle, Ciss Dunne and Bridie Glynn (captain). The Kavanagh sisters hadn't joined Glenealy when they beat Wicklow 4-2 to 4-0 in the O'Byrne Cup final in 1943. The team then was Ada and Martha Ryan, M. and S. Byrne, K. Glynn, Mary, Ita and E. Cooney, K. Kirwan, K. O'Neill, K. and S. Douglas.

It is interesting to compare that team with a team beaten by Ballyrichard 13 years later on March 4, 1956. That league game was played at Glenealy and the visitors won by 1-1 to 1-0. Glenealy team: R. Murnane (goal), M. Kavanagh (captain), M. Byrne, A. Kavanagh, P. O'Neill, Mary Kavanagh, E. Porter, G. Neill, S. Douglas, F. Byrne, K. Douglas, U. Doyle. A year earlier they had beaten Donard at Glenealy, 8-3 to 3-0, with the following team: M. Ryan, M., A. and M. Kavanagh, P. and J. O'Neill, K. and S. Douglas, E. Porter, R. Murnane, F. and M. Byrne. We can confirm that when Glenealy won the J. T. O'Byrne Cup in 1954 they were winning it for the eleventh time. They beat Arklow in Avoca on a Friday evening in June by 5-7 to nil and the team was as follows: Martha Ryan, May Kavanagh, Annie and Eileen Porter, Agnes, Kathleen and Mary Kavanagh, Peg and Jean O'Neill, Kathleen and Sadie Douglas and Bridie Doyle. Glenealy got a real fright in 1952 when they were held to a draw — 5 goals each — by Arklow. They led at one time by 5 goals to nil, but with Nancy Quinn starring, Arklow came back in style and Breda Byrne had the levelling goal in the last moment of play.

In 1954 when Leinster played a special game against Ulster to celebrate the Jubilee year there were three Glenealy girls — Kathleen Douglas, May and Aggie Kavanagh on the Leinster team. Leinster won that game 8-3 to 5-3 and it was played at Navan on September 19, 1954. On September 16, 1945, Dublin defeated Wicklow on the Murrough in the Leinster Senior camogie final. Eight girls from Glenealy — Ada Ryan, M. Kavanagh, S. Byrne, K. Kirwan, M. Cooney, S. and K. Douglas and Ita Cooney were on that Wicklow team. In 1946 when Dublin defeated Wicklow at the same venue (10-11-'46) there were also eight from Glenealy. Aggie Kavanagh instead of S. Byrne was the change from the previous year.
Glenealy defeated Ballyrichard in the 1950 and 1956 O'Byrne Cup finals, 8-3 to 0-1 and 4-3 to nil. When Glenealy beat Ballyrichard in the 1950 O'Byrne Cup final they hail the following team on duty - - K. Merrigan, M. Kavanagh, M. Ryan, A. Kavanagh, S. Byrne, M. Morley, K. Kavanagh, N. Cafferty, K. Douglas, M. Doyle, S. Douglas, B. Doyle. Seven years later when they beat Ballyrichard in a league final at Ballyrichard they lined out like this - - M. Ryan, A. Kavanagh, M. Kavanagh, A. Ryan, P. O'Neill, Mary Kavanagh, E. Porter, Jean Neill, S. Douglas, K. Kavanagh, B. Manly, K. Douglas.


1999 will go down as one of the most successful in the history of the club. Glenealy Camogie Club fielded a total of five teams at U-12, U-13, U-14, U-16 and senior level. A total of 6 titles were won by the club at underage level, with a further two competitions at the final stages. The club won an unprecedented total of three championships at underage taking all the underage championships in the county, and also won the U-13 Féile competition earning the right to represent Wicklow in the 2000 Féile na nGael.

Intermediate Camogie Final 2003

20th July Glenealy 4-09, Donard 2-02

Glenealy were crowned Intermediate Champions when they beat Donard and have moved up to the Senior ranks for 2004. Glenealy controlled this game right from the throw in with some fine displays of camogie by both sides. Donard never gave up and continued battling to try and regain Glenealy's lead of 1-07 to 1-01 at halftime, but were unable to make any gain on them. Glenealy are back in the Senior ranks at the first attempt and no doubt this young Donard team will be back next year. Nicola Newsome; Stacey O'Connor; Natasha and Vicky O'Gara were best for the winners. For Donard Geraldine Norton, Karen Walsh and Lynscy Walsh were best. Glenealy Team: Chris Doyle, Kayleigh Povey, Michelle Conrad, Lisa Devlin, Stacey O'Connor, Ann Maire Manning, Elaine Doyle, Sharon Downey, Tara O'Connor, Nicola Newsome, Hazel Byrne, Vicky O'Gara, Mary Dunne, Kathorina Kavanagh, Natasha O'Gara, Patrice O'Gorman, Kelly Cullen, Katie Cullen, Anna O'Neill, Hayley Doyle, Deirdre McDermott, Hazel Byrne, Sarah Byrne, and Mary Mealia. Donard Team: Sue Whelan, Mary Whelan, Clare Harney, Collette Walsh, Roisin Toomey, Claire Whelan, Dawn Whyte, Karen Walsh, Maeve O'Reilly, Nora O'Neill, Lyndsey Quinlan, Amanda Butler, Lyndsey Walsh, Gemma O'Neill, Geraldine Norton, Eve Whyte, Mary O'Neill, Carmel Whelan, Breda Walsh, Sabrina Mills, Julie Ann Healy, Mary Lynott and Breda O'Keeffe.

Referee: John Fender, Kildare

Féile na nGael 2006

Last year 14 of this years Féile Team won League, Championship and Shield at under 12 level. This years Team Manager is Anna Manley, Anna to date holds a total of 5 Senior Championship medals and one Leinster Club Cham­pionship Medal. Ms Amy Beale will be this year's Féile Captain. Amy was part of last year's team that did so well at under 12 level. Amy's mother Rosemary played on the Abbey Community College Team who lifted the Junior Title in 1991, so needless to said that Camogie is one of Amy's passions.


Féile na nGael

This under 14 team began their journey in 2004. In 2005 the girls won the county under 12 championship, league and shield. Their success contin­ued in 2006 when they won the under 14 County Championship and the county Féile na nGael titles. This dedicated team are proud to represent their County once again in the Féile na nGael. The team is greatful to mentors Ann Hogan, Suzanne O'Brien and Anna Manley for their continued hard work.

Team Manager: Anna Manley

Clean Camogie Sweep for U-14 Girls

Glenealy U-14 Camogie Team deservingly made a clean sweep winning all four County titles in 2007:

U-14 County Championship (captain Lisa Hogan);

U-14 County League (captain Aoibheann Barnaville);

U-14 County Shield (captain Niamh OBrien);

U-14 County Féile (captain Laura Manley)

This dedicated team trained very hard all year continuously developing their teamwork and skills. This team spells commitment and passion!

Panel: Niamh ODonoghue, Sophie Byrne, Gina Byrne, Hayley Jameson, Caoimhe Byrne, Laura Manley, Lisa Hogan, Aimee Beale, Orfhlaith ODonoghue, Niamh OBrien, April Dickenson, Aoibheann Barnaville

Subs: Marianne Anderson, Ruth Reynolds, Stacey ONeill, Lottie Cullen, Tara Quinn, Grace Byrne

Team Manager: Anna Byrne

Team Selectors: Ann Hogan & Suzanne OBrien

Glenealy U-16 Girls win County shield

Glenealy U-16s won the U-16 County shield final against the hot favourites Kiltegan in a very exciting game. Glenealy had played hard fought games against Ballinacor and Knockananna in the build up to this final. This match could have gone either way with a mere point separating the teams at one stage. However at the later stage of the game, Glenealy defended bravely preventing a Kiltegan score and finished off the game in style scoring to ensure victory. This was a team performance with great defensive work from Gina Byrne, Sophie Byrne, Hayley Jameson and Naomi OLoughlin, Midfielders Laura Manley, Lisa Hogan and Aimee Beale continued their staunch work both defending and attacking bravely and tirelessly, forwards Aoibheann Barnaville, April Dickenson, Kerri ONeill and Niamh OBrien prowled the Kiltegan defence with Niamh OBrien scoring an impressive 6 goals. Team work was the magic solution. The future is bright for this young U-16 team as 10 of the girls on the actual team were members of this years U-14 team! Captain Naomi OLoughlin was presented the cup by Chairman Dave Murray.

Scorers were Niamh OBrien 6-0, Laura Manley 0-3, April Dickenson 0-1, and Aoibheann Barnaville 0-1

Panel: Niamh ODonoghue, Sophie Byrne, Gina Byrne, Hayley Jameson, Naomi OLoughlin, Caoimhe Byrne, Laura Manley, Lisa Hogan, Aimee Beale, Kerri ONeill, Niamh OBrien, April Dickenson, Aoibheann Barnaville

Subs: Ruth Reynolds, Sinéad Copeland, Tara Quinn

Team Manager: Anna Byrne

Team Selectors: Ann Hogan & Suzanne OBrien


U-14 Team

This year proved a milestone in Glenealy U-14 camogie. Three successive years of League, Shield, Championship and Féile titles must rank up there with the best of Glenealy teams. This Glenealy team simply blew all opposition away, a fact all the more incredible given the strength and competitiveness of camogie at this level in the County.

The National Féile competition held in June in the Laois/Offaly area was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the club. Shinrone Camogie Club from Offaly hosted Glenealy and they proved to be a most hospitable and obliging club. The girls will certainly never forget their epic final match encounter with Four Roads of Roscommon, which certainly ranked as one of the matches of the entire competition. Glenealy came home from Offaly without any trophies but the new friends they had come to know over that wet and windy weekend more than compensated for this.

2008 proved a highly enjoyable and ultimately successful year for Glenealy U-12s. With a panel of only thirteen players, the majority of whom had not played competitively before; the prospects at the beginning of the year had not been good. However, after a strong league campaign, by the time Championship came round confidence was high in the team, this despite the fact that we were pitted against a fancied Avondale team in our first match. As it was, a single score saw Avondale through and Glenealy into the first round of the B Championship.

First up were a much-improved Bray side and matters were very tight for the first 10 minutes until Glenealy took a firm grip on midfield and dominated from there. Scores were at a premium but a much-improved forward line eventually found their range and fired in 4-2 without reply.

Annacurra were the opponents in the final and it took Glenealy a full 10 minutes to find their feet and in that period Annacurra managed to score the first goal of the game. Glenealy gradually settled and began to get the upper hand at midfield. Despite numerous chances, Glenealy only managed a single goal from Zoe Devlin just before the break. Shauna Marah who rattled the Annacurra net no less than 5 times and assisted Michaela Drumgoole register her first goal of the day to round off a 7-0 to 1-0 victory.


U-16 Team

U-16 girls proudly won all 3 County Titles in 2009 - U-16 Champi­onship, Shield & League. All 2009 matches were played with skill, passion and commitment with the average score per match being 5-13 demonstrating their level of hurling skill.

U-16 Championship Captain: Laura Manley

U-16 Shield Captain: Lisa Hogan

U-16 League Captain: Niamh OBrien

Panel: Ruth Reynolds, Stacey ONeill, Hayley Jameson, Gina Byrne, Niamh OBrien, Aimee Beale, Laura Manley, Lisa Hogan, Shauna Marah, Lottie Cullen, Holly Neary, April Dickenson, Danielle Doyle, Jenny Higgins

Manager: Anna Manley

Mentors: Ann Hogan & Sue OBrien

Intermediate Team

Congratulations to the Glenealy Camogie Intermediate Team who won the County Championship against Avondale on Satur­day, 5th September 2009 in Baltinglass. This game was played at champion­ship fever with all the girls dis­playing heart and skill - final score was 5-12 to 1-3. This successful team were also awarded the Intermedi­ate League Cup having reached the top of the league table. Nicola Newsome was the proud captain for this great squad of girls!

Panel: Nicola Newsome (captain), Niamh OBrien, Annemarie Manning, Aimee Beale, Courtney Cullen, Lisa Hogan, Gina Byrne, Hayley Jameson, Laura Manley, Katriona Kavanagh, Pamela Maher, Vicky OGara, Kelly Cullen, Orla Redmond, Patrice OGorman, Tara OConnor, Kerri ONeill, April Dick­enson, Audrey Bermingham, Stacy ONeill, Ruth Reynolds, Lottie Cullen, Kayleigh Povey

Manag­er: Anna Manley

Men­tors: Ann Hogan & Sue OBrien


U-14 Team

Glenealy reached the Championship final by virtue of victories over Ballinacor in the first round and Annacurra in the second round. Both were comfort­able victories and set up a final showdown with the in-form team of the grade, Knockananna. Glenealy put in a spirited performance on the day, but were always playing a game of catch-up after a poor opening ten minutes. The final score, which saw the team from the west run out a comfortable 18 point victory, hardly reflected the improvement in form shown by Glenealy over the course of the season.

Panel: Jessica Driver, Nikita Dempsey, Michaela Drumgoole, Amie Doyle, Chelsea Boyle, Fionnuala McDermott, Alicia ORourke, Lucy Cullen, Zoe Devlin, Shauna Marah, Michaela Dunne, Katie Boucher, Erin OBrien, Charlie OConnor, Emily ODowd, Sarah Gleeson

U-16 Team

Glenealy U-16s capped a memorable season when they captured the Championship title for a third consecutive year. The first round of the Championship saw Glenealy face stiff op­position in the form of a determined Avondale side and despite scraping home with a slender 2 goal margin on a score line of 5-2 to 3-2, Glenealy were always comfortably in control of midfield, just lacking a polished touch in front of goal. The semi-final threw up a rapidly improving Aughrim side that had tested the girls mettle during the League campaign and all the indications were that this would be a potentially difficult hurdle. As events transpired Glenealy were approaching the peak of their form and brushed aside the Aughrim challenge with consummate ease, rattling the net no less than fourteen times and in the process setting up a finals showdown with an unbeaten Knockananna side.

. The pattern of this match became evident as soon as Con Keddy tossed in the first ball of the night, a strong Knockananna midfield trio of Rachel Byrne, Ciara Byrne and Áine OKeefe winning repeated possession and directly taking on the Glenealy defence. Glenealy adopted a long ball approach, preferring to bypass the Knockananna half-back line and utilise their potent inside forward line to lethal effect. After 5 minutes of sustained Knockananna pressure it was Glenealy that struck first, an aforementioned long ball into corner forward Katie Bouchier that was dispatched to the top corner of the net from all of 25 metres, the first of five goals that were to come off the same players stick. Knockananna opted to start without star centre forward Áine Byrne and this gamble appeared to have paid off as they pegged Glenealy back over the next ten minutes and opened up a four point lead following a tally of 2-1 without response. Her introduction after fifteen minutes should have pushed Knockananna further ahead, however a tighter Glenealy defensive performance than of late saw the teams evenly trade 1-2 over the remaining ten minutes to leave Knockananna leading by 3-4 to 2-3 at the break.

Glenealy opened the second period with a renewed sense of vigour and were rewarded almost immediately with two quick goals that turned this match on its head. Lottie Cullen and April Dickinson gradually got the measure of their three midfield counterparts, a decisive development that allowed fellow midfielder Stacy ONeill the freedom to deliver the sort of service that the Glenealy forward line required. By the time Katie Bouchiers fifth goal arrived Glenealy had stretched out their lead to a comprehensive six points. A shrewd switch of Áine Byrne back to midfield by the Knockananna manage­ment saw them regain some amount of momentum and a total of eight points before the end; however a goal and a point from Stacy ONeill and April Dickinson respectively ensured that the team in red hung on for a tense, but well deserved two point victory on a score line of 6-5 to 5-6.

Panel: Michaela Dunne, Nikita Dempsey, Jenny Higgins, Amie Doyle, Lucy Cullen, Stacy ONeill, Lottie Cullen, April Dickinson, Danielle Doyle, Shauna Marah, Katie Bouchier, Emily Stephenson, Charmaine Higgins, Aoife Gaffney, Holly Neary, Jade OConnor, Michaela Drumgoole, Chelsea Boyle, Fionnuala McDermott, Charlie OConnor

U-12 Team

The U-12 team also put in great performances this year which saw them winning the league and shield finals.

U-10 Team