Maur’s final freedom

by James Hendicott
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EADAOIN McGuinness says her St Maur’s side are playing a new-found sense of freedom as Rush side St Maur’s overcame Latton O’Rahilly of Monaghan in a replay after a dramatic period of extra time on Saturday.
Maur’s and Latton needed two games and two periods of extra time to finally separate them with the Fingal side taking control with a powerful late performance to snatch an All-Ireland junior final place by a margin of 1-15 to 2-8.
For Maur’s, though, the shackles came off when they finally won promotion from junior football, winning the final against Castleknock back in September, having suffered three defeats at the same stage in recent years.
“This is massive for the club,” McGuinness told GazetteSport. “The women’s section is relatively new so to get this recognition so early on is a big thing.
“We’ve never won anything in any section at Leinster level within the club, so to win Leinster would be a huge thing. Then we’ll be looking to be competitive in intermediate next year.
“Latton are extremely well organised, young, a really good side. Their style is a lot like ourselves. We felt that we didn’t really turn up on the day with the first game. But we showed what we have by never giving up. We held our heads.”
McGuinness also emphasised that despite the strength of Dublin star Olivia Leonard in the forward line – “she’s fantastic, a huge presence” – she feels the side don’t have weak links. “We have every confidence in each other, we trust each other to do what we have to do,” she explained.
“We’ve seen in recent years that the sides that have gone up to intermediate have done really well. We lost to Skerries and St Sylvester’s in the Dublin junior final in recent years, and both have been really competitive at intermediate level.
“It seems like the teams that go up can hold their own. St Sylvester’s went on to be a senior club. We’d hope to use going up to achieve more, at least to be competitive at intermediate level.”
St Maur’s junior journey has included the unusual experience of heading out to Scotland to face Glasgow Gaels, who they dispatched 4-14 to 1-7.
“They had decent footballers but probably haven’t had the competition we’ve had over the season. It was a great experience playing abroad. That doesn’t happen often in ladies’ football. We feel like the shackles have come off since we finally got past the Dublin final, and we’re really just playing the way we want to now,” McGuinness concluded.
St Maur’s will play Cork club Kinsale in the All-Ireland junior final at Dr Cullen Park in Carlow next Saturday, December 3, with the game set to throw in at 1pm.

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