Goals in either half from Julia Buckley and Cassie Sultan were decisive at Parnell Park on Friday night as Kilmacud Crokes made history by claiming the Go Ahead Dublin Senior Ladies Football Championship crown for the very first time.
Coming up against maiden senior finalists in Thomas Davis, Crokes were forced to dig deep before adding their name to the Michael Murphy Cup.
Meadhbh Deeney and Ciara McGuigan flew the flag for Davis’, but with Sultan shaking the back of the net deep into second half stoppage-time, it was the Stillorgan women who ultimately prevailed in the end.
Incredibly, this was the fifth competitive meeting between these two teams in 2022 alone. In the group stages of the championship at Pairc de Burca on August 31, Crokes came away with a comprehensive 3-9 to 0-4 victory.
The Stillorgan club also triumphed over Davis’ in a Division One league clash at the same venue on April 27, before losing out in a Division One Cup rematch at Kiltipper Road a little under two months later. However, Crokes subsequently gained revenge on their fellow southsiders by defeating them on a scoreline of 4-11 to 4-7 in a Cup decider in Kiltipper on July 13.
There were several past and present inter-county players on show for both sides, with current Sky Blues stars Lauren Magee, Aoife Kane and Kate McDaid all included in Crokes’ starting line-up. Molly Lamb, Eabha Rutledge and Michelle Davoren have also represented Dublin at senior level in the past, while goalkeeper Dearbhla Gower was a member of the Galway panel as recently as 2021.
Although Tammy Quinn Corbally was the only active Dublin footballer in the Davis’ side, team captain Siobhan McGrath, Olwen Carey and Ciara McGuigan previously represented the Jackies with great distinction. Joining McGuigan in the Tallaght outfit’s full-forward line was Wicklow attacker Deeney.
One of their star performers in last week’s semi-final win over St Sylvester’s, Davoren got the ball rolling for Crokes with a superb point on the turn inside the opening 10 seconds of the action.
Heading into the second-quarter, Buckley was the only member of the Crokes inside line who hadn’t added her name to the scoresheet. That changed dramatically in the 17th-minute, when the former Dublin camogie player cut in from the right-wing to score an outstanding solo goal.
Crokes went in 1-7 to 0-4 ahead at the interval, and remained firmly in the ascendancy heading into the third quarter..
Then, in the space of just two minutes, Deeney, Sinead Deegan and full-forward Rachel Newell all raised white flags to suddenly leave just two points between the teams (1-8 to 0-9).
A Laura Kane single on 48 minutes helped the Crokes tension but Davis’ simply refused to give in and another Ciara McGuigan point left the tie delicately poised.
Crokes were reduced to 14 during a tense finale, however, with Aoife Kane receiving a yellow card. Ciara McGuigan added two more points to her individual haul, but the crucial score of the game was squeezed in between her brace.
After she was picked close to the Davis’ posts, Crokes substitute Sultan powerfully drilled a shot beyond the reach of Caitlin Staunton to seal a famous win for the southside club.
There was a last-gasp opportunity for Thomas Davis to force the game into extra-time, but Carey palmed agonisingly wide off McGoldrick’s crossfield delivery.
Caption: Kilmacud Crokes celebrate their first Ladies Dublin Senior Club
Football Championship win ever, and (right) Kilmacud captain Emer Sweeney with the Michael Murphy Cup after her side’s win over Thomas Davis on Friday night
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