Valentine’s day for loved up Wanderers in Junior E

by Gazette Reporter
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DLGFA Junior E Final
Wanderers 2-8
Templeogue Synge Street 2-7
By Daire Walsh

DANIELLE Valentine struck deep into second-half stoppage-time at Blunden Drive to give Wanderers a dramatic triumph in the Dublin Junior ‘E’ Ladies Football Championship final.

Their opponents, Templeogue Synge Street, looked set to prevail when Lucy O’Donovan’s 1-1 salvo helped them establish a two-point buffer (2-7 to 1-8) in the dying moments.

It was a stunning late riposte for the Ballyboden club who had lost their group stage meeting 4-13 to 5-6 in May against the same opposition.

Wanderers did get off to a flyer with the excellent Caroline Conway kicking a point, in the opening minute, before an Emma Murphy free doubled their advantage.

Templeogue eventually settled with a pointed free from the influential Sophie Quinn. But Wanderers were peppering their goal, drawing netminder Roisin O’Reilly into an excellent double save from Mary Gaynor.

Gaynor did raise white flags either side of another point courtesy of Conway and this increased their lead to five points (0-6 to 0-1) after 20 minutes.

Templeogue came storming back, however, as they got on top of possession around the middle-third.

Lucy O’Donovan’s first point got them up and running. She subsequently turned creator for Quinn’s goal on 26 minutes, firing a shot through the fingertips of Nicola Doran.

They wiped out the Wanderers cushion with an outstanding Rachel Dunne point.

An injury to Wanderers centre-forward Maria Redmond held up play towards the end of the half but, when play resumed, an O’Donovan free meant Templeogue were 1-4 to 0-6 up at the interval.

O’Donovan was turning into a reliable source for scores and her third point boosted Templeogue’s prospects three minutes after the restart.

Wanderers remained in the reckoning and Murphy converted a 25-metre free to cut the gap back to one. Her effort was matched by O’Donovan and, moving into the final-quarter, Quinn rattled the bottom of the Wanderers’ post from a tight right-hand angle.

Having survived this scare, they turned the tables on Barry Quinn’s side at the opposite end.

Conway was again the instigator and after linking up to good effect with Cassidy, it was left for Valentine to clinically find the bottom right-hand corner.

Wanderers suddenly found themselves within touching distance of the title and Murphy’s third free followed.

The tension ramped up as the final whistle approached and a resilient Templeogue displayed their mettle with a second goal on 55 minutes.

Quinn burst forward into enemy territory and laid off for O’Donovan to smash home. TSS suddenly had the title in their sights once more.

And when O’Donovan claimed a point two minutes into time added on, it seemed like it might be enough.

Wanderers and Valentine had other ideas, though – the elusive inside forward finding room inside to plant a precise finish into the back of the net.

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