Five-star Kelly holds nerve as Boden prevail

by Stephen Findlater

DLGFA Junior B Final
Ballyboden St Enda’s 0-11
St Peregrine’s 2-3

BALLYBODEN St Enda’s held off a spirited second half display from St Peregrine’s to claim the Dublin Junior B Ladies Football Championship title at Lawless Park on Sunday.

Despite enduring a 25-minute barren spell in front of the posts, Orla Scollard and Louise Kelly pointed late on to seal the deal. The inside duo proved influential throughout, their combined tally of 0-8 helping Boden to get the better of their Blakestown opponents.

Goals in either half, courtesy of Lisa Sweeney and Aoife Deegan, kept Peregrine’s within touching distance.

But they often struggled to break through a stubborn Boden rearguard despite the efforts of inspirational midfielder Rachel Brennan.

Peregrines did get off to a dream start when they rattled the back of the ‘Boden net with just under two minutes gone on the clock. Although Brennan had a shot blocked down, full-forward Sweeney was on hand to fire the resulting rebound beyond the reach of netminder Danielle Aylmer.

Boden responded in clinical style. Having missed an earlier effort at an awkward angle, Kelly split the uprights from a close-range free.

In a significant reshuffle to their starting line-up, Cathy O’Neill deputised for full-back Roisin Ryan.

With Joanne O’Sullivan, Grace Walsh and Eimear Duffy all dropping into deeper roles, O’Neill was selected on the ’40’ alongside Shauna Maher and Aine Duffy. After receiving a looped pass off Laura Basquel, she cut the gap to the minimum on seven minutes.

This was quickly supplemented by an equalising score from Scollard and O’Neill got in for a well-worked point.

Maher joined her on the scoresheet after a Kelly free had dropped short.

The Firhouse Road club, though, needed to still be wary. Brennan was beginning to grow into the game and Sweeney was a livewire presence for her side.

But they could not make that tell on the scoreboard and Scollard’s second point guided Boden towards a 0-6 to 1-0 interval cushion.

Kelly added three frees in as many minutes on the resumption for a six-point lead before Peregrine’s found their scoring mojo.

Sweeney halted their lengthy drought by kicking over at a tight angle. Brennan’s successful free on 45 minutes was an additional boost to their prospects.

And their second goal made it a real contest. Deegan’s industry was a feature and, at the end of a memorable surge, her speculative shot found its way into the top left-hand corner of the goal.

Within a single point, Peregrine’s sensed momentum was on their side but Boden held firm in a tension-filled finale.

A superb Kelly pass released Scollard for her third point and even though Brennan replied, Kelly’s fifth free was the insurance score for Ballyboden in the end.

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