Killeen class puts paid to brave Cuala fightback

by Gazette Reporter
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Cuala struggled to contain a Siobhan Killeen scoring masterclass as Clontarf saw off their brave efforts to become New Ireland Assurance Dublin Ladies Intermediate Champions for 2018 at Lawless Park.

Tarf came into this tie having lost the previous three Intermediate finals but, right from the throw in they displayed a real drive and although Cuala did mount a comeback in the second half, three goals in the last ten minutes made for an emphatic scoreline.

Two scores in the opening two minutes from Caoimhe O’Connor and Fiona Skelly set the tone. They could have been further ahead but Clodagh Sheehan’s good hands allowed Cuala to settle and get their first two scores thanks to two composed frees from Jennifer Dunne.

A further prolonged spell of pressure from Clontarf and a flurry of scores in quick succession including a Killeen goal and a long distance point had the northsiders in front 1-4 to 0-2 with 15 minutes gone.

The urgency of play from the Clontarf players right across the pitch meant that Cuala were having to work extra hard for possession. An exchange of points between Sinead Wylde and Fiona Skelly at either end left the score at 1-6 to 0-4 before another burst of scores from the clinical Killeen and a cool finish to the net from Aoibhe Bell left the half time score at 2-10 to 0-5.

Cuala had it all to do and they came out of the blocks on a mission. Goals in the opening seven minutes from Eimear Loughlin and Wylde brought them within five points of Clontarf but the leaders kept chipping away with one or two points in response any time Cuala scored.

They knew goals would kill off the contest and they swung the day with two scores from Killeen with the green flag being raised for Sinead Quigley and Caoimhe O’Connor.

Amazingly four of the last six scores on the night were goals with both sides really going for it in the closing stages.

A further 1-2 for Siobhan Killeen and the final score of the game from Caoimhe O’Connor gave Clontarf a memorable and well deserved victory on the night.

by Brendan Graham

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