Roisin McGovern is fast becoming an attacking super-sub for Foxrock Cabinteely.
McGovern added to her Leinster final heroics with a match-winning, late goal against Donaghmoyne that saw Foxrock Cabinteely into their second All-Ireland ladies senior final on Sunday.
Foxrock have been there or thereabouts for some time in their pursuit of national club glory. In fact, even the semi-neutral venue for this contest – Bray Emmets – has become a familiar haunt to Dublin’s now dominant club.
Donaghmoyne are almost as familiar. A Foxcab side that have looked relatively in control in taking four consecutive Leinster titles since 2015 have nonetheless crashed out to the Monaghan side at national level on two of those occasions in the 2015 semi-final and in losing the 2016 final.
This looked to be a familiar tale for some time. Amy Ring had found the net early on, putting Foxcab in front but Donaghmoyne responded quickly, adapting well to an injury to Hazel Kingham that also hit the Ulster team inside the first five minutes.
From then on, the first half was very much Donaghmoyne’s. Cathriona McConnell’s consistent frees kept closing the gap, while Amy Garland also took a couple from play.
The Foxcab goal was cancelled out when Cora Courtney found the net for the Monaghan side, who went in with a 1-6 to 1-4 lead that might have felt painfully familiar to Foxcab.
In truth, both sides were having slightly off games in front of the posts at times. While Amy Connolly hit an important point for Foxcab shortly after the break, both teams were seeing a few wides start to add to the nervous tension.
Both Aisling Tarpey in the Foxcab goal and Linda Martin at the other end were forced into goal-denying saves along the way.
Donaghmoyne were once again edging in front, however, and led by three after finally finding their range.
Ring’s captain’s innings continued as she helped level things up (she finished with a vital 1-4), and Foxcab began to look to the strength of their bench, with Jodi Egan and McGovern both influential coming off the sideline.
Impressive Donaghmoyne goalscorer Courtney was sent to the touchline with a yellow card a few minutes from full time but, with the sides level, Donaghmoyne almost pulled the cat out of the bag.
A late free might well have been enough to secure passage to the finale.
Instead, with almost the last play of the game and extra time looming, Foxrock Cabinteely broke downfield, a move ending with McGovern repeating her goalscoring antics and punching home.
The late smash left Donaghmoyne no time to respond.
The reaction amongst the team – behind for much of the match – was exuberant.
Foxcab have been the nearly side of ladies senior football over the last four years, and will see the final against Mourneabbey – another familiar opponent – as a chance to put that right. The Cork side comfortably overcame Kilkerrin-Clonberne from Ballinasloe in the other semifinal.
Both sides have been close to taking All Ireland titles in recent years, but like Foxcab, Mourneabbey are yet to get over the line. A new ladies senior champion will be crowned on December 8.