Dublin ladies junior ‘b’ club football championship final: Crokes see off Brendan’s to land junior title

by Cóilín Duffy
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Kilmacud Crokes withstood a determined challenge from St. Brendan’s to take honours in the Go Ahead Dublin Junior ‘B’ Championship decider at St Margaret’s last week.

Both sides had periods of dominance in the scoring stakes, but ultimately the Stillorgan outfit had that extra edge, with injury-time points from Deirdre Duke and Simone Cotter cementing a seven-point win.

Irish International Hockey player Duke, and her attacking comrade Emma Kane caused huge problems for the Brendan’s defence throughout this game, but were made work hard for their haul over the course of the hour.

Kane’s nine point haul helped her claim the ‘Player of the Match award’, while Duke grabbed Crokes lone goal midway through the opening half.

Both sides came storming out of the blocks, but neither team made their opportunities count in the initial moments of this game.

It fell to Kilmacud Crokes corner forward Kane to open the scoring in the fifth minute, as she cut through the middle to send a fine effort between the posts.

It kick-started a dominant spell in the scoring stakes for her side, who managed to hold Brendan’s scoreless until early in the second half. 

However, the scoreboard didn’t tell the full story, as Brendan’s really caused huge problems for Crokes throughout the opening half.

The yellow and black clad side had numerous scoring chances in the first half, with the likes of their captain Sinead Morrissey, and Ellis Nic Leannain piling on pressure.

However, their efforts proved fruitless; but at the opposite end there was solid work also from goalkeeper Karen O’Connell, along with both back lines, who often kept the hungry Crokes forwards at bay.

Crokes kept the scoreboard ticking over, with Kane scoring all six points of their first half tally, and Duke delivering their lone goal, after Kane’s initial goal shot came off the post.

St Brendan’s kept on the pressure, and put together some fine moves, but were unlucky on their final execution.

Christine Dilworth came close to a goal late in the half, but had her effort blocked, before Duke grabbed the final score on the half to ensure a 1-6 to 0-0 interval lead for Kilmacud Crokes.

On the restart Brendan’s began to find their shooting boots, and they really dominated the third quarter.

Sinead Morrissey broke their scoring duck, with a 32nd minute pointed free to much cheers from her side.

The full-forward doubled her sides tally two minutes later, before a 39th minute goal from half-time substitute Aisling Newton really brought her side to life.

Brendan’s were unlucky not to get a second goal soon after after Kilmacud keeper Kate O’Hogan safely cleared a dipping shot.

Crokes Alannah Jones with Junior B trophy

Dilworth cut the gap to three points by the 44th minute, but this was as good as it got for her side as Crokes began to find their scoring range once more.

Kane got their first score of the second half in the 48th minute, and added twice more to their tally to ensure a 1-9 to 1-3 score-line as injury-time approached.

St Brendan’s kept motoring, with a Cara Hennessy score cutting the gap, but Crokes finished strong to take silverware.

After the game, Kilmacud Crokes captain Alannah Jones accepted the cup, paying special tribute to Dara Lyndon, a member of their management team who had sadly passed away during the year.

KILMACUD CROKES: Kate O’Hogan; Claire Young, Ava Clancy, Aoife Doran; Sinead O’Driscoll, Alannah Jones, Alex Bedford; Meabh Ryan, Emer Muldoon; Anna Condon, Rachel Gallagher, Eimear Mairtin; Evie Lehane, Deirdre Duke (1-1), Emma Kane (0-9, 4f). Subs: Michaela Fitzpatrick for Mairtin (34); Simone Cotter (0-1) for Bedford (59).

ST BRENDAN’S: Karen O’Connell; Aoife Brennan, Eimear Kelly, Muireann Breathnach; Sophie Freeman, Katie McKay, Faye Kearney; Jane O’Donoghue, Cara Hennessy (0-1); Kate Moore, Eilis Nic Leannain, Sinead McKenna; Christine Dilworth (0-1), Sinead Morrissey (0-2,, 2f), Vivienne Bond. Subs: Sinead Reilly for McKenna (21); Aoife Boyle for Brennan (23); Aisling Newton (1-0) for Bond (HT); Rebecca McLoughlin for Reilly (63); Louise Browne for Moore (63).

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