Trant makes Davis pay the penalty

by James Hendicott

St Brigid’s saw off Thomas Davis at Lawless Park on Saturday night, doing enough to control a bitty encounter that was largely dominated by the two sides’ rugged defences.

It sees the Russell Park side set up a final date with Foxrock Cabinteely after they got the best of their southside rivals Kilmacud Crokes.

The two teams cancelled each other out in a scrappy opening, both defences getting the better of their counterparts. It was Brigid’s who found the mark first, Amy Fitzpatrick and Emma Sherwood both hitting points from play after bursts into the Thomas Davis backline.

So it remained until the 15th minute though, in the process, Ciara McGuigan fired a shot across the bows of Ciara Trant’s goal, and Thomas Davis looked marginally the better side. Brigid’s, however, were markedly more clinical, and doubled their lead to 0-4 to 0-0 after 20 minutes through Noelle Healy and another Sherwood effort.

Soon, Brigid’s were starting to play the ball around and while defences were still on top, momentum slowly swung their way largely thanks to their midfielders getting into gaps, with Thomas Davis penned back.

A scrappy half without too much between the teams ended with Sherwood adding another point.

A pull in the Davis defence with the ball in play behind goalkeeper Caitlin Staunton, the game’s defining moment occurred, giving Trant the chance to score one of her trademark goalkeeper’s penalties.

Orlagh McGuigan’s late point ensured Davis’ didn’t draw a first half blank, but St Brigid’s went in 1-5 to 0-1 in front.

The scrappiness continued into the second half with both sides hitting early wides in increasingly frosty conditions.

McGuigan dropped over a free for Thomas Davis six minutes in and Kate Fitzsimmons clipped high on the Brigid’s post shortly afterwards.

Davis were growing into the game and Sinead Deegan’s point from wide on the left gave them confidence. The scoreboard still showed a two-goal margin, though Ciara McGuigan’s free, clawed out from under her bar by Dublin ‘keeper Trant, was nearly scrambled into the Brigid’s goal on the rebound.

A pair of Ciara McGuigan frees for Thomas Davis closed the gap to four points with ten minutes remaining as they took control.

The Tallaght side did have to scramble the ball out from close to their goalline with five minutes left on the clock but came within a goal late on, even smashing the crossbar with their final play. They had won the second half by four points.

Ultimately, though, it was St Brigid’s ability to create chances from open play that proved the difference.

For the third time in four years, they’ll play Foxrock Cabinteely in the Dublin senior football final.

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