Fingallians’ ladies senior football coach, Packie Barnwell, was full of praise for his charges after they secured the 2013 Dublin Division 1 title at Knocklyon last week against Ballyboden St Enda’s.
The undefeated league campaign came to a close with victory against Fingallians’ nearest rivals for the title.
The final score of 2-17 to 0-11 was not necessarily reflective of a full-blooded and even match that turned, in Barnwell’s opinion, on Enda’s Ciara Ruddy failing to net with a strike early in the first half.
“If they had scored that goal, they would have been ahead and it might have been a different outcome,” said Barnwell. “Thankfully, they hit the crossbar and the ball came back out. It was a huge turning point in the game.”
“It was an excellent team performance. It was fever pitch throughout. We were so involved, we were not aware that we were so far in the lead. They were always dangerous, but our backs defended like never before. The defence of Fiona Hudson, Sinead Finnegan and Laura McGann really excelled.”
The quality of this side that has led to their excellent record and league success has been down to a number of factors which Barnwell reflected upon.
“In the last few seasons, with work and college and so on, players have not been avialable, but they are here for this season.
“We also have three players from Skerries Harps, as they were not able to field a senior ladies team this season, and James Costello’s influence as a coach has also been huge in terms of fitness and tactics.
“The experience that some of the players have had at intercounty level has been a huge help to us. They are at a different level, fully fit and ready to go.
“Three Dublin minors in the panel – Eimear ni Heafa, Niamh Rickard and Rachel Brogan – were all excellent. They are playing in the All-Ireland final and hopefully everything will go well for them there.”
The season continues next week when the sides meet again in the championship, and they will also be facing off again in the cup when that time comes. In any event, Barnwell says that his side will gather confidence and belief after this victory.
“For nine years, we have struggled to beat Ballyboden at any level or grade, and finally now we have. We will be kicking on, and in that semi-final, we will try to produce the same standard we saw in this match.
“Boden will have a sting in their tail, however, but we will be ready.”