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“Still So Clear In My Head”: Dublin Camogie's Anna Marie Durkan Reflects On Minor A Shield Triumph

“Still So Clear In My Head”: Dublin Camogie's Anna Marie Durkan Reflects On Minor A Shield Triumph
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Last month, Dublin and Wexford locked horns in the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor A Shield Final Replay in Netwatch Cullen Park. The two teams had already faced off twice in 2024, with a narrow win for Dublin in Round 1 of the Group Stage, and the shield final being an intense draw.

Anyone watching could see just how evenly matched both sides were. In an incredible contest, Dublin came out winners thanks to a clinically dispatched winner from Ella O’Connell. As the dust settles on May's replay, victorious captain Anna Marie Durkan of St. Jude’s is still letting the whole feeling sink in. 

“It’s honestly still so fresh in my mind. I can still remember everything that happened in the match and the moments after. It’s just weird being back now playing with the club and playing against the girls on the team. But everything about the final is still so clear in my head like it was yesterday.”

Dublin and Wexford had already faced off twice before the final replay commenced. With one game being a draw in the first final, and the other being a one point win for Dublin in Round 1 of the Group Stages. This deadlock between the teams was never more evident than in the first final that the sides had played, with the game ultimately finishing 1-9 to 2-6 in UPMC Nowlan Park, which led to replay needing to take place.


On a final day, a draw can often be the strangest of emotions, as Durkan can attest to. 

“Yeah, like I said to somebody after the first time that we had played them, it’s like we’re literally the same team in different jerseys. Like our players are so equally matched and it was all about individual battles on the day.”

“I actually thought we lost as the final whistle blew. I thought we were down by a point, so I was devastated. Then nobody was celebrating and nobody else was that upset, and I was like what is going on? Then I realised that it was a draw, but it was such a weird feeling because obviously everybody was out there, like buses had gone up from Dublin to watch the game and everybody was there and it was just, everything kind of stood still. Like it was a weird feeling. It’s so hard to describe because we had all prepared in our minds, like our last training session, we had this big thing in the dressing room before it was like, this is the last game. Then it was suddenly it wasn’t the last game. We had another week of training and anything anybody had planned. Girls who were going on holidays and stuff, like trips, all got cancelled. It was like that match now was the focus again. So it was a weird one.”

Electric Ireland Minor A Camogie Shield Final Replay, Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow 5/5/2024

Dublin vs Wexford
Gemma Connolly of Dublin
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Lawlor

In the replay, a goal in the first half from Emma Moran was crucial as the Dubs powered into a 1-11 to 0-7 lead at halftime. However, the Dubs were rattled by a brilliant comeback by Wexford which left the game on a knife edge heading into the final minutes, with Ella O’Connell ultimately nailing the winner for the Dubs. It was as dramatic a conclusion as you could have drawn up. 


“I was trying not to panic, to keep everybody else calm, but I was trying to keep myself, you know, telling people just to calm down, even though I probably wasn’t very calm myself. People were nervous, people were scared, people were excited. There was just so much going on in that moment, but we just had to keep it together to pull it through in the last minute. And you know, it came down to that final free that she had missed and that kind of, we knew after that, that it was over.”

The final whistle had been blown and Dublin were the Electric Ireland Minor A All Ireland Shield Champions, and it was the honour of Anna Marie Durkan to accept the shield on behalf of the victorious Dublin team. 

“Yeah, I tried to get the whole speech and everything out of my head before the game because I just wanted to focus on the match, and then I was on the pitch celebrating with everyone and I was told I had to go up to give that speech that I had completely pushed to the side because of the game. But you know, it was easy to thank everybody because they'd all done so much. It was just obvious what I had to say.”


It was a special day for Dublin Camogie, and with Dublin’s senior side continuing to make strides in the Senior Camogie Championships, it is a good sign for the Dubs that they have some stars coming through the ranks ready to make their impact in the future.



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Brought to you by Electric Ireland

This article was brought to you by Electric Ireland, sponsor of the Camogie & GAA Minor Championships. #ThisIsMajor

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