Hurling and camogie

Allstar Jane Adams selects her Camogie Top 15

Antrim after beating Tipperary in the 2003 Intermediate Camogie Final:
Back row: Ciara McKinley, Fiona Hasson, Danielle Clarke, Siobhán Doherty, Mairead Graham, Sinead Lagan, Gráinne Connolly, Edel Mason, Anne McKee, Oonagh Elliot, Chrissy Doherty, Eilis McCormick, Madeline O'Neill (Antrim chairperson);
Middle row: Brenda Clarke, Cait Doherty, Roisin Duffin, Noelle McCarry, Maureen Duffin, Siobhán McCloskey, Jane Adams, Carla Doherty, Orlagh Donelly, Elaine Dowds, Helena Connolly;
Front row: Ciara McGinley, Ursula Hassan, Louise Connolly.
Pic by John McIlwaine
Séamas McAleenan

JANE Adams was the last player from Ulster to collect a full camogie All-star in 2008, her performances as captain and top-scorer in Rossa’s ground-breaking run to a first All-Ireland club title for Ulster.

She scored 2-11 in the semi-final win over Ballyboden St Enda’s and followed that up with 2-9 when Rossa beat Drum & Inch from Tipperary 2-15 to 1-9 in the final.

But Jane Adams was well known in camogie long before Rossa crossed the line for Ulster club camogie. The Belfast club won their first county title in 2000 and their tenth and last in 2013 and Jane turned in high-scoring totals in each victory.

At county level she was a non-playing sub as Antrim won the 1997 All-Ireland Junior title having earlier in the season captained her county to the Ulster under 16 title, her second medal at that grade.

Jane was Player of the Match in 2001 when Antrim defeated Derry in Casement Park to win the All-Ireland Intermediate title for the first time and she won a second medal two years later.

She made her debut for Ulster at 17 winning a Gael Linn Junior title in 1998. Promoted to the senior team the following year Ulster lost finals in 2000, 2002 and 2003 before collecting the senior crown for just the second time ever in 2007 and 40 years on from the first. Jane scored 2-5 in that final against Leinster.

In total she collected six Ulster senior medals with the Saffrons, most of those while operating at midfield.

As Jane’s career developed managers at all levels pushed her into their forward lines. There they tried to isolate her and feed ball where her pace and skill unlocked those defences and delivered goals. This worked particularly well at club level and eventually delivered the breakthrough All-Ireland title in 2008.

“It has taken me a while to get this team down on paper, but it is made up of the very bestplayers I have played with and against in Ulster over the 20 years I played.

“I started with the forward line because I knew how forwards think and any time I played on teams with the other five forwards we immediately jelled. We played the game similarly and I know defenders hated marking the others as much as they hated marking me.

“Defence was harder because you had to look at good player-markers and also good ball-players.

“You can also see leadership qualities throughout the team and almost all of them had careers as long as my own.

1. Karen Coyles (Cushendall, Ballycastle & Antrim)

She could score points from the opposite goals when we played 12 a-side. When I came on to the county scene at the start she was one of the older heads around. She was an excellent player with a lot of great qualities on and off the field.

2. Clare Doherty (Slaughtneil & Derry)

Claire captained that Gael Linn winning team. She was a hard working player and it was easy to see why she was Derry captain. She was a real leader and all the girls listened to her.

3. Sinead McMullan (Dunloy& Antrim)

In 1997, when I was 15 on the county panel, we got to the All-Ireland Junior final. This was the first time I realised what it took to be a great captain and how much the role of captain was needed. Sinead was the first real leader I came across in my career and a great full back to top it off.

4. Theresa Adams (Rossa & Antrim)

A quick tight marker and as tough as nails. I have to say Theresa was my hardest opponent as there was sister rivalry and I think that is what made it even harder. I loved marking her as I knew I'd get it tough. I'd pick Theresa to be on my team every time, she would do anything for her team-mates.

5. Grainne McGoldrick (Eoghan Rua& Derry)

I played with Gráinnefor UUJ. I always classed myself a fast runner, but Gráinne was either beside me or infrontin any drills. Playing with her you could see the skill she had and knew she had all the ingredients to become the player she still is.

6. Maureen Barry (Rossa & Antrim)

Mo Barry was gifted with great skill and for a number of years in Rossa she had to mark me. Lets say that it wasn't always pretty between us. In those years Rossa and Antrim had a player who could grace any team in Ireland.

7. FionnualaCarr (Clonduff& Down)

I also played with Finn in university teams. She was one to watch coming through the ranks. She had perfected the slide tackle move in camogie and always ended up with the ball. A character on and off the field and it was always a pleasure to play along side her

8. Catherine McGourty (Ballycran& Down)

Yet another university team mate. I got lucky I know. Strong on and off the ball, she had a hand that could out-catch anyone. She and Fionnuala won Ulster senior medals last year. Still class players.

9. Edel Mason (Portaferry & Down, Dunloy& Antrim)

Edel was a brilliant player with all the skills who had a successful career with Down before moving to Dunloy and helping Antrim reach the top during the early part of my career.

10. Máirín McAleenan (LiatroimFontenoys& Down)

In my eyes one of the best players in the country over many seasons. Had all the skill and what I admired most of all was her determination and her commitment to her sport.

11. Gráinne Connolly (Rossa & Antrim)

I loved playing on the same team as Gráinne. Once she got the ball she had one thing only on her mind and that was the posts. I would have Gráinne on any team. We had a great understanding. Another great worker.

12. Grace McMullan (Loughgiel, Eoghan Rua and Antrim)

Grace was so skilful and stylish. She was an amazing player. I was once called Grace's under-study and I thought I had made it. Another great leader on the field.

13. Paula McAtamney (Swatragh and Derry)

Another great skilful, team player. She was a great reader of the game and it was a pleasure playing on the same team as Paula whenever the chance arose. She always knew where I was and she had a great eye for a goal.

14. Jane Adams (Rossa & Antrim)

15. Katie McAuley (Castledawson, Cargin and Derry)

When I first saw her, I remember thinking who is the thoroughbred race-horse breaking though the middle of our defence. She was unstoppable at the peak of her career, a terror to play against, a delight to play alongside.

Substitutes :All the players below would have to be on my panel as they are team players through and through that would do anything for the team. Players with their attitude and commitment mean that Rossa became the first Ulster team to win All-Ireland club medals

Colleen Doherty

Natalie McGuiness

Laura Adams

Ciara Nelson

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Hurling and camogie