Prendergast’s perfect precision

by Gazette Reporter
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St James Gaels claimed the New Ireland Assurance Junior G Ladies Football Championship title with an injury time converted free from Joanne Prendergast on Friday evening in St Margaret’s.

Isles had looked to have brought the game to extra time with a stunning goal from Jade Callery in stoppage time but were left devastated at the final whistle.

The Gaels got off to the perfect start when a shot by Joanne Prendergast cannoned off the crossbar into the hands of Leanne Byrne who smashed to the top right-hand corner.

Catriona Fitzgerald added a point soon after to continue their strong star but Isles had a goal back by the seventh minute when a speculative shot from Emma Quinn ended up in the bottom left of the goal.

The Finglas outfit had their tails up and Megan Thomas converted a free and the sides were level, preceding a 16-minute spell without another score.

Isles finally broke the scoreless passage, Callery turning inside her marker to pick out Thomas; she hit a lovely pass inside to Katie Duggan who split the post with an excellent strike.

But a brilliant Catriona Fitzgerald run and score gave St James Gaels a one point lead at the break, 1-3 to 1-2.

O’Sullivan added to the lead in the second half with a smart point and Joanne Prendergast, in the 40th minute, pushed the Gaels lead out to three.

A stunning Tia Nulty point pegged it back to two with six minutes remaining and, seconds later, a nice point from Samantha Jameson put the minimum between the sides.

Hannah Kavanagh nudged Isles a bit further ahead and O’Sullivan made it three in the difference once more going into injury time.

Callery, though, stormed back as she unleashed a rocket which nestled into the top right corner. Extra time looked to be on the cards but there was just enough time for one more piece of drama.

St James Gaels swept back down the field and as Aishling Whelan entered the scoring zone she was fouled.

That gave Prendergast the opportunity to put her team back in front and she held her nerve to swing the free over the bar.

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