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On Monday our u11 & 12 girls took to the road with their coaches, mentors and supporters. Even with the early start everyone was bright eyed and bushy tailed. There was a sense of pure excitement on the bus as we made our way to the capital. For anyone involved with our native sports the chance to walk on the hallowed turf of Croke Park is a huge ambition but to be given the chance to play on it and represent your club and county is a momentous honour. This fact wasn't lost on the girls and their nervous chatter and laughter was infectious. We arrived at 12.15 and our bus was parked under the Cussack Stand like any competing team bus on All Ireland Day. The team and coaches were led in through the team entrance and greeted by the familiar face of Killeagh's Mary O'Connor, Director of Camogie Development. Mary welcomed the girls and gave them a pep talk before showing them to the dressing rooms used by the teams before the big games staged here. Next it was a meeting with The Camogie President, Katherine Neary where the girls had their photo taken in front of the pitch. We were then reunited with our supporters in the stands where the girls got a chance to relax and have some lunch and prepare for their first match. We travelled with 19 girls in total consisting of under 11s and 12s. Also in our entourage was u15 Ciara Leahy who would act as referee for two of our matches. For each match we had 12 girls line out with 3 subs on the sideline so each girl in the squad would get to play in two of our three matches. Our first opponents were Ballinasloe from Co. Galway. They proved a formidable team and gave us a great test for our opener. After a short break we took to the field again, this time to play Clarecastle from Co. Clare. Again another competitive side and an evenly contested game. Last up was Adare from Co. Limerick who gave us a great game with lots of scores. The spectators in the stands really added to the day and gave the girls a great sense of achievement. When all our games were played we made way for the next wave of teams to take to the field. Back on the bus with all the gear stowed safely off we set again for the return journey. The Golden Arches beckoned for a well deserved refuelling stop on the way and we arrived back in Castlemartyr again 12 hours after we left. Thank you to Donal and Helena, to our magnificent girls and to our wonderful supporters for a truly memorable day.

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