Davis make massive senior breakthrough

by James Hendicott

Thomas Davis held their nerve to see off Na Fianna and progress to their first ever Dublin senior ladies football semi-final on Saturday night, as an injury-time point proved the difference in the tightest of contests.

Na Fianna had been on top early on as the game ebbed and flowed, with Westmeath county player Laura Walsh doing the damage for the Glasnevin club in the opening exchanges as they scored the first three points.

Thomas Davis hit back still harder, scoring the next five points, including a goal from Sinead Egan, to lead 1-2 to 0-3, before things were leveled up before half time, with Na Fianna finishing the half strongly.

Davis pushed on again in a frantic, pacey second half, but Na Fianna leveled up before a very late point saw the Tallaght side come out on top by a single point margin at 2-11 to 1-13.

Manager Liam McGuigan admits his side are big underdogs going into the last four, as they await a draw that will see them face serious opposition no matter what the outcome.

“We’d prefer to avoid Foxrock Cabinteely, who are obviously the standard bearer for ladies football in Dublin at the moment,” McGuigan said of the semi-final, which will take place only once the Dublin senior ladies’ campaign to maintain their All Ireland is over.

“We’d be underdogs against St Brigid’s or Crokes, too, though. We’ve been building our youth section for the last few years, and this is the result of that.

“It’s really starting to pay off. A lot of our young players are still playing minors, and maybe eight of them will be next year, too.

“This is a side for the future, one that’s been sat just outside the top few in Dublin. We’ll see what we can do this year, but we’re looking to the the long term. This is just our first time in the quarter finals”

McGuigan’s side will be joined by Kilmacud Crokes in the county semi-final, with the Stillorgan side also considered a strong, rising, youth-led outfit.

They saw off regular finalists Ballyboden St Enda’s by a surprisingly comfortable 1-16 to 0-10 that bodes well for their title challenge.

Other possible opponents for the Tallaght side are the two Dublin ladies’ football big guns of recent years, three-times consecutive title winners Foxrock Cabinteely, and their traditionally strongest challengers (and ferociously on-form) St Brigid’s. The draw will take place in the coming week.

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