Thomas Davis 4-11
St Sylvester’s 2-8
Thomas Davis were crowned Go Ahead Dublin Junior G Ladies Football champions after an entertaining encounter at St Margaret’s last Friday night.
In what was the first game of a double-header with the Junior G Final, Thomas Davis trailed by a point at the end of the opening quarter, but quickly found their rhythm.
The Kiltipper road side scored 2-1 unanswered handing them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish on the way to silverware.
In front of a large crowd, this game was played in ideal conditions, with the pitch in perfect shape as is usual at the St Margaret’s GAA Club.
The regular sound of planes flying low overhead didn’t deter from focussing on the high calibre of football produced by both sides which lent itself to an interesting spectacle.
Both sides were eager to make their mark early on, but it wasn’t until the fifth minute that we had the opening score – a Keela Farrell effort from play for a young St Sylvesters side (including a mix of U16 and Minor players), after a good passing move.
While getting scores on the board is important to any win, a good defence can certainly help a long way to securing a victory.
On numerous occasions over the hour Thomas Davis keeper Louise Carey stood firm for her side, and she pulled off her first major block from the first attack following Syl’s opening score.
It came after Sarah Scott fed Muireann Quirke, but the latter was denied by a well-placed Carey block.
Thomas Davis were under a lot of early pressure, but suddenly began to find their groove. Points inside a minute from Nicole Scott and Nicola Douch handing them the lead after eight minutes.
Syl’s responded with scores from Zoe Brennan and Sarah Scott before Thomas Davis had a chance to take the lead.
It came after Douch was dragged down, but her 11th minute place-kick came off the upright and bounced to safety. At the opposite end Syl’s immediately responded with their own goal opportunity, but Carey was equal to Zoe Brennan’s effort.
Thomas Davis responded with Douch equalising from a free, before two goals came inside a minute, with Nicole Scott and Sophie Palmer finding the net to put their side 2-3 to 0-3 in front.
Syl’s grabbed the next two points during an eight-minute spell where the wides began to mount for both sides.
A 29th minute sinbinning for Molly Bannon saw Syl’s reduced to 14 players before the break.
Thomas Davis finished the half strongly, and most importantly clinically as they extended their advantage to six points by the interval, with Nicole Scott and Georgia Plowman on target.
Syl’s introduced Isabel Kelly and Aine McParland after the break, and while both made an impact, it was Thomas Davis who made all the early in-roads on the restart.
Sophie Palmer grabbed her second goal 50 seconds after the restart, with a brace of Caitlin Staunton points opening up an 11-point lead.
Staunton had a chance to make it three-in-a-row but was wide of the target, before HT sub Kealy grabbed a much needed goal for Syl’s.
Sarah Scott followed up with a point to cut the gap, before Staunton responded with a score.
Syl’s were hungry and found the net for a second time in 43rd minute – this time from Keela Farrell.
Thomas Davis began to struggle for scores, and fired wide, while also being denied by the crossbar.
They persevered and found the net for the fourth time – Georgia Plowman grabbing a goal to push her side 4-8 to 2-6 in front.
From there until the finish the sides were well balanced, and Thomas Davis could even afford some missed chances, as they held out for a deserved win.
After the game Dublin LGFA Chairman Joe Keane presented the Cup to Thomas Davis Captain Rachel McHugh.
In her acceptance speech the Mayo native thanked St Sylvesters for giving them ‘the best game they had all year’! She also thanked all the match officials and supporters, along with the management team.
Thomas Davis forward Caitlin Staunton picked up the Go-Ahead Ireland Player of the Match Award.
Scorers for Thomas Davis: Sophie Palmer 2-0; Nicole Scott (2f) 1-3; Georgia Plowman 1-2; Caitlin Staunton (2f) 0-4; Nicola Douch (1f) 0-2.
Scorers for St. Sylvesters: Keela Farrell, Isabel Kelly 1-1 each; Sarah Scott (1f) 0-3; Zoe Donnelly 0-2; Ella Black 0-1.
THOMAS DAVIS: Louise Carey; Steph Gunn, Karin Sweeney, Destiny Ogbonna; Georgia Korean, Laura Brothwood, Hannah Prendergast; Karla Plowman, Rachel McHugh; Nicola Dough, Caitlin Staunton, Hollie Byrne; Sophie Palmer, Nicole Scott, Georgia Plowman. Subs used: Emma Lowth for Prendergast (43); Abbie Ferns for Gunn (54); Sinead Tyrell for McHugh (57); Ali Deasy for Plowman (60).
Panel: Emma Kennedy, Caoimhe Peggs, Kelly McKiernan, Alex Giglione, Robin Murphy, Louise O’Donoghue, Shauna White, Stacey Byrne, Emma Ferns.
ST SYLVESTERS: Amy Langton; Edel Griffith, Rebecca Aslett, Tanja Ajamal; Yvie Dever, Molly Bannon, Sophie Leonard; Eva McParland, Muireann Quirke; Keela Farrell, Sarah Scott, Ella Black; Jenny O’Sullivan, Zoe Donnelly, Emma Heary. Subs used: Isabel Kealy for Heary (HT); Aine McParland for Edel Griffith (HT); Olivia Grace for O’Sullivan (40); Aobh Geraghty for Ajmal (41); Sophia Curtis for Farrell (43).
Panel: Sophie Ella Scanlon, Louise Langton, Meadhbh Hoyne, Tara Dorian, Leah Whelan, Laoise Reilly, Roisin Newman Reid.
REFEREE: Nigel Petrie (Garristown)