Westmeath are All-Ireland premier junior camogie champions, after holding off a Dublin revival in Croke Park this afternoon.
Johnny Greville’s troops led 1-8 to 0-2 at the break, but the Metropolitans bounced back after notching an early goal in the second half.
The Dubs made the better start to the game, leading by two points early on before a point from St Munna’s starlet Sheila McGrath settled the Lake County’s nerves (12 minutes).
Westmeath, benefiting from a large travelling support, kicked on from there and kept Dublin scoreless for the rest of the half.
Clonkill’s Dinah Loughlin and Raharney’s Hannah Core were among the scorers, but the key flag was raised on 26 minutes, when Denise McGrath (Delvin) buried the sliothar past Dublin ‘keeper Aishling Spillane.
With one hand on the Kay Mills Cup, Westmeath began the second half nervously, and conceded 1-2 without reply, with Dublin’s Róisín Baker finding the net moments after the restart.
Dublin kept chipping away with points from Aoife Bolger, but Westmeath kept their resolve, and scores from Pamela Greville and Aoife Higgins made sure that Lake County captain Fiona Leavy collected the cup at full time.
Lough Lene Gaels’ Caoimhe McCrossan was named the player of the match after the final whistle.
The win brings to an end a tremendous year for Westmeath Camogie. The girls bounced back from a heavy league defeat against Cork to put in a creditable Division 2 campaign, before beating Wexford and Kilkenny en route to a Leinster intermediate camogie final, where they lost out to Laois.
When the All-Ireland campaign kicked off, they notched up easy wins against the likes of Wicklow, Wexford and Offaly, before edging Dublin their final group game. They then saw off Armagh in the semi-finals.
For the Westmeath girls and the Kay Mills Cup, it’s back to Mullingar this evening (6.30pm), for a homecoming at the Greville Arms Hotel.