AFTER a great showing by Camogie Britain at the GAA World Games in Dublin, in which four London clubs and an All-Britain native team took part, we now look forward to the newly structured All-Britain Senior Championship, which commences on Saturday, September 3.
It will consist of five teams. Croydon and Tara, being the two regular senior teams, will be joined by Fr Murphy’s, as the highest placed Intermediate team, and Thomas McCurtains, as the Junior Champions, along with Shire Gaels, an amalgamated team made up from the midland and northern clubs.
Tara have won seven titles in a row – the last six London Senior Championships and the inaugural All-Britain Senior Championship last year – and having gone close to All-Ireland glory in the past, they will be very determined this year.
Having already played in Croke Park in the World Games final, they would dearly love to go through to another All-Ireland Club Championship.
Croydon also played in the World Games, losing a pulsating shield final to New York, this along with winning the All-Britain Intermediate Championship and reaching the final of the mixed league, which will give them great confidence and belief for the forthcoming championship, although they have not won a Senior Championship since 2005.
Fr Murphy’s have endured a few lean years, since the glory days of winning back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008, but they have some very good new players and have Darren Howlin back
managing the team.
They have done well so far this year, winning the mixed league in style and just going under to Croydon in the Intermediate Championship final after making a tremendous start.
The club also participated in the GAA World Games, entering a camogie and a ladies’ football team, with many girls playing both codes.
Thomas McCurtains, meanwhile, have had an amazing year. They only formed at the beginning of the year but have already won the All-Britain Junior League and Championship, beating Brother’s Pearse in the final, as well as performing very creditably at the World Games.
They have a few strong players, but a lot of their team have only just taken up the game. They train together and stick to a rigid team plan and are more than capable of creating a few upsets in this championship.
The final team in the championship is Shire Gaels, who last year finished runners up in this Championship. They are made up of players from John Mitchel’s and Erin go Bragh from
Birmingham, Fullen Gaels from Manchester and Wolfe Tones from Liverpool.
Their big difficulty is with the distances they have to travel, especially trying to get girls together for training, but in spite of this they have some very good players and on their day can challenge anyone.
It has all the makings of a close and exciting championship, with past glories counting for nothing. Any one of the five teams are capable of challenging for the trophy.
The Championship opens on Saturday, September 3, with Thomas McCurtains entertaining Croydon in Goodmayes at 11am, whilst Tara travel to Pairc na hEireann to take on Shire Gaels at
Fr Murphy’s receive a bye in round one and further rounds of group games are scheduled for Spetember 11, 18 and 24, while October 2 has also been pencilled in, with the semi-finals on October 8 and final on October 15.
The winners will then progress to the All-Ireland Club quarter-final, which is scheduled for October 30.