All Ireland club camogie champions Sarsfields feature strongly in this season's AIB Camogie Club Championship Team of the Year.
The team features six players from Sarsfields, six from Ulster champions and All-Ireland runners-up Slaughtneil, two from Clare’s Scariff-Ogonelloe, and one player from St Vincent's of Dublin.
The Sarfields sextet are Laura Glynn, Laura Ward, Maria Cooney, and the McGrath sisters, Niamh, Orlaith, and Siobhan.
The youngest of the four McGrath sisters, 19-years-old Siobhán, was also named the Provincial Player of the Year for Connacht. The star forward scored the winning goal in the 61st minute to ensure the trophy came west, denying favourites Slaughtneil their fouirth title in a row.
Aoife Ní Chaiside of Slaughtneil, Niamh Hetherton of Leinster and St Vincent's, Mairéad Scanlan from Munster champions Scariff-Ogonelloe are the other provincial winners, and all four are now in the running for the prestigious AIB Camogie Club Player of the Year Award, with the winner to be announced on AIB GAA social channels on Friday.
The ceremony to celebrate the announcement of the 2019/2020 AIB Camogie Club Player Team and Player of the Year has been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19.
The team of the year is:
Laura Glynn, Sarsfields (Galway ), Céat McEldowney, Slaughtneil (Derry ), Laura Ward, Sarsfields (Galway ), Susan Vaughan, Scariff-Ogonnelloe (Clare ), Aoife Ní Chaiside, Slaughtneil (Derry ), Maria Cooney, Sarsfields (Galway ), Shannon Graham, Slaughtneil (Derry ), Mairáad Scanlan, Scariff-Ogonnelloe (Clare ), Niamh McGrath, Sarsfields (Galway ), Siobhán Bradley, Slaughtneil (Derry ), Orlaith McGrath, Sarsfields (Galway ), Tina Bradley, Slaughtneil (Derry ), Louise Dougan, Slaughtneil (Derry ), Siobhán McGrath, Sarsfields (Galway ), Niamh Hetherton, St Vincents (Dublin ).
Laura Glynn, goalkeeper. A position that demands safe hands and an assured touch, Sarsfields have the right player standing underneath the crossbar. Glynn made crucial interventions in the AIB All-Ireland Camogie Club Championship Semi-Final win over St Vincent’s, and crucially kept a clean sheet in the final against Slaughtneil. Steady as a rock.
Laura Ward, defender. A star in defence, and a good thing too because new leaders were required this season in the absence of Tara Kenny, who suffered a dreaded cruciate knee injury. Ward often picked up the opposition’s key attacker, and rarely looked flustered.
Maria Cooney, defender. There had been concerns that Cooney would miss the club semi-final win over St Vincent’s, but she overcame an ankle injury to play a key part. A fearless performer in front of the full-back line, she dominated so many games during the campaign, and was a defiant force in the All-Ireland final when facing the might of the three-in-a-row champion
Niamh McGrath, midfielder. Contributed so well, whether it from long-range frees, scoring from play, or her fantastic ability to win possession. An inspirational figure out around the middle of the field.
Orlaith McGrath, forward. Outstanding performance in the final at Croke Park, best exhibited in how her searing run through three defenders allowed sister Siobhan to score the game-clinching goal. A constant menace in a final where she finished with 0-3 from play.
Siobhán McGrath, forward. When the need is greatest, the big players step up. A point behind three-in-a-row champions Slaughtneil as the clock slipped into injury time, McGrath took a pass from her sister Orlaith, spun, and rattled the net to snatch the AIB All-Ireland Camogie Club crown for Sarsfields. Having already been named player of the match in the semi-final win over St Vincent’s, nailing 1-4 of 1-8 at Croke Park would drive Sars to a maiden club title. A class act.
The AIB All-Ireland Camogie Club Championship Team of the Year was selected by a judging panel made up of members from the Camogie Association, the provincial Camogie Councils, and AIB, with the winning players picked based on performances across the 2019/2020 championships.