St Jude’s 2-11
BY NIGEL MCCARTHY
Late goals secured the Go-Ahead Dublin Intermediate title for Fingallians in what was a highly competitive final in Clann Mhuire.
The Swords outfit just couldn’t shake off a St Judes side who refused to go away, till late in the game.
Despite scoring three first half goals Fingallians only took a slender one point lead with them into the break with Judes keeping the scoreboard ticking over throughout the first half.
It was still anyone’s game heading into the closing stages but two late goals sealed the deal for the Swords outfit.
Fingallians headed into today’s final with a 100% record in the Intermediate championship.
The side from Swords secured wins over Clann Mhuire by 7-14 to 1-05, Clanna Gael Fontenoy by 8-15 to 3-03, Skerries Harps by 5-14 to 0-09 and they rounded off the group stages with a 2-14 to 1-06 win fellow finalists St Judes to top Group B.
St Judes opened up their campaign with a 5-18 to 2-14 victory over Skerries Harps, a second win followed in a high scoring game against Clann Mhuire which finished 6-15 to 6-06 and the Templeogue side banished their defeat to Fingallians with a comprehensive 5-23 to 0-6 win over Clanna Gael Fontenoy in their final Group game.
Fingallians faced off against O’Dwyers in the semi-final with the Balbriggan side providing David Conway’s side their sternest test to date. After a titanic battle Fingallians prevailed by the narrowest of margins with the final score 2-7 to 1-9.
In the other semi final St Judes came up against an unbeaten St Maurs side who had topped Group A.
Former Junior All Ireland champions St Maurs are a formidable opponent on their day, but a disciplined defensive display from St Jude’s kept the St Maur’s attack, which had notched 14 goals in the group stage at bay and three majors at the opposite end secured the Templeogue sides final spot on a scoreline of 3-06 to 0-08
Fingallians raced into a five point lead inside the opening three minutes, Emma Colgan swung over a point from the first attack of the game. Sarah Power won the ball from the kickout and fed the ball to player of the match Niamh Rickard who ran through the centre of the Judes defence and finished to the net and seconds later Niamh Coleman added a further point.
The response though from St Judes was superb with three quick points from Sarah Delahunt, Lauren Kearney and Caoimhe French who impressed throughout.
Disaster struck though moments later when Judes goalkeeper Sarah Thomas misplaced a kickout straight to Niamh Rickard who finished coolly past the stranded keeper into an empty net.
Again Judes responded with the next three points, two from Eimear Kehoe and a successful free attempt from Ellie Young to reduce the deficit back to two points.
Emma Colgan picked out Emma McCormack with a pass and the half forward broke up through the middle of the Judes defence to swing over a fine point.
St Jude’s corner forward Eimear Kehoe had a goal effort saved at the midway point of the first half, midfielder Sarah Delahunt grabbed her second point of the game after some patient build up play from the Templeogue side. Judes were enjoying plenty of possession and Aoife Keyes was unlucky to see her shot at goal just whistle past the right hand upright.
But the Judes pressure finally told with ten minutes to go to the break, Hannah Hegarty intercepted from the kick out and played in Lisa Morris for Jude’s opening goal of the final. Caoimhe French added a point to give John Conlon’s side a two point lead.
Fingallians Niamh Rickard then went on a mazy run, worked the ball inside to Leona Barry who blasted the ball to the top right hand corner of the net to regain the lead.
St Judes carved out another goal chance just before the halftime whistle, but they had to settle going in a the break a point down with the score 3-03 to 1-08.
Fingallians worked the ball down the right hand wing on the resumption and Leona Barry popped over the first score of the second half. Niamh Coleman added another moments later to stretch the lead out to three.
The lead was back down to the bare minimum thanks to two points from Ellie Young, one from a free and one from play.
Niamh Rickard who was causing havoc with her pace and ball carrying ability popped over a fine point in the 37th minute. The Swords side looked to have given themselves some breathing space at the end of the third quarter, Niamh Crowley went on a powerful run down the left hand side and played in Emma Colgan who finished to the net.
St Jude’s though came roaring back, they moved the ball from defence to attack down the left side, the ball was worked inside, there was a foul inside the square but the ball squirmed into the path of Aisling Gannon, just as she was about to shoot the referee blew the whistle for the foul, Gannon’s shot flew into the back of the net, but to the disgust of the Judes management and players it didn’t count.
Luckily Sarah Delahunt held her nerve from the spot kick and blasted the ball past Emer Ní Éafa in the Fingallians goal.
Rickard added another point in the 53rd minute to put three between the sides. An Ellie Young free with five minutes of normal time remaining proved to be St Judes final score of the final.
A mistake in the Judes defence was pounced upon by Emma Colgan who played the ball out to the left to Leona Barry who cut inside and unleashed a powerful finish to the net. Niamh Rickard added two more points, one from play the other from a free as Fingallians pushed for home. And deep into injury Leona Barry grabbed her sides sixth goal of the final after a scramble for possession.
- Well known faces support the Breast Cancer Ireland Christmas Lunch
- Post-Party: “A good idea can be spontaneous and romantic”
- Your chance to become a part of the ‘Forever Young Festival’ owners
- ‘Grafton Street Lights’ by Aimée wins Kildare Village Christmas FM Song Contest 2023
- Tributes flow in for the late Jonathan Irwin, co-founder of The Jack and Jill Foundation