Breathtaking Brigid’s back in county semis

by James Hendicott

St Brigid’s will feel they’re overdue a first Dublin ladies’ senior football title having lost three finals to date, including two in the last three years.

If their quarter final performance against St Maur’s at the weekend – nothing short of a demolition – is anything to go by, they’re on course to throw a stick in the spokes of Foxrock Cabinteely’s attempt at a fourth consecutive win.

Maur’s rose from the intermediate level of Dublin football last year and Brigid’s had little idea what to expect from the north county side, who they haven’t faced in either championship or league in recent years.

“We decided to just play our game and see what happened,” manager Derek Molloy said of the contest. “We played to the best of our ability, and it took us five or ten minutes to get to grips with a couple of really strong players they had in their midfield, who seemed to be key to their gameplan.

“Once we’d worked out how to neutralise them, they didn’t offer too much of a threat.” Molloy isn’t exaggerating.

Brigid’s have been particularly goal-hungry in their progress through the Championship this season, but few would have anticipated a 10-16 to 0-5 demolition, showing a gulf in class between the two sides.

Leah Mullins hit a hat trick with Louise Riley and Amy Fitzpatrick getting two each, while Dublin star Noelle Healy was a key playmaker throughout.

“There’s a hunger about the team this year,” Molloy told the Dublin Gazette. “I can feel it around the team. Obviously we’d prefer to avoid Foxrock Cabinteely until the final as everyone does.

“There are no easy games now, though. Both Crokes and Thomas Davis are great teams.

“We beat Thomas Davis earlier in the championship, but I think they could be a bit of a wounded animal.

“I think we’re stronger than the last couple of seasons, though. Before, we were relying on a couple of players to get most of the points.

“There’s much more variety in our scoring now, with some good young players coming through.

“Goals win games in ladies football, and of course we have Ciara [Trant, Dublin goalkeeper], in nets, and I think a few people are reluctant to shoot against her, as she’s such a good shot stopper.”

Having twice been defeated by Foxrock Cabinteely in finals, Brigid’s will be hoping this run of form that’s seen them sweep into the semi-finals will finally break that Dublin Senior title duck.

The draw takes place this week, but semi-finals won’t be played until late in the summer.

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