St Jude’s celebrate their first ever senior championships of any code. Picture: ilivephotos.com

St Jude’s claimed their first senior championship title in any code on the 40th Anniversary of the Club, as they dug deep to deliver the We Are Dublin Senior Camogie Championship after an extra-time win over Na Fianna, before an attendance of over 1,000 spectators at a sunny Blakestown on Sunday.

Donie Fox’s charges conceded the first point in extra-time but went on to score four points unanswered on the way to a historic success.

“I stood on the line for the whole year, and they had all the work done themselves,” Fox told the Dublin Gazette after the game.

“They set the standard themselves, set the goals themselves. It was self-driven within the squad and that I think was what made the difference today.”

Jude’s made a powerful opening to this contest and led by 0-5 to 0-1 after 18 and a half minutes, after conceding the opening score from Niamh Rock.

The Templeogue side replied with five unanswered scores, with Niamh Gannon, Caragh Dawson, Sinead Nolan and Hannah Begley among those on target.

Na Fianna began to come into their own, thanks to the free-taking accuracy of both Rock and Orla Gray as they cut the gap to the minimum.

The Mobhí Road side could have taken the lead in the 27th minute, after the ball was in the Jude’s net, when Rock flicked the ball into Elaine O’Meara, but O’Meara was deemed to be in the square.

Judes’ again pressed hard, and won a penalty which was sent out for a 45’ which Sinead Nolan converted, as the half ended with her side holding a 0-6 to 0-4 lead.

Na Fianna levelled by the 38th minute with scores from Zoe O’Donoghue and half-time subsititute Emma Deeley, but Judes fought back to take a 0-9 to 0-6 lead entering the final quarter.

Na Fianna were right back in the game in the 46th minute, when O’Meara was on the end of a long-range ball to level the tie.

A Nolan free put Jude’s back in front, before Rock levelled.

Two minutes into injury-time it looked like Faye McCarthy had fired a winner for Jude’s, but after Player of the Match Leah Butler was punished for overplaying the ball, Rock stepped up in the 63rd minute to force extra-time.

Rock edged her side ahead in the second minute of extra-time, before a strong Judes’ performance.

Nolan, Caragh Dawson and Aoife Walsh scores giving them a 0-14 to 1-9 half-time lead, before McCarthy added their only point after the restart.

There were wild scenes of celebration after the game, before team captain Maria Noone lifted the Cup, and gave a fine speech deserving of the occasion, and her sides inaugural championship success.

It was St Jude’s second title of the day, after picking up the Junior 2 title earlier at the same venue, following a 2-12 to 2-4 win over Commercials.

Tara Corrigan fired an impressive 1-9 for the winners, with Ciara Clohessy (1-2) and Adelita Graf netting the Commercials goals, while Noelle Comyn (0-2) was also on target for the Rathcoole side.

The St Jude’s Senior team now face current provincial title holders Thomastown in the Leinster Senior semi-final next Sunday in Thomastown at 2pm.

 

by CÓILÍN DUFFY

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