Fantastic young Foxes

by Stephen Findlater
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FOXROCK Cabinteely produced a superb second half performance to see off Kilkerrin/Clonberne in the All-Ireland Division 1 Feile final, completing an incredibly rare back-to-back set of titles.

They were crowed a year ago in dramatic fashion, overcoming a series of group stage play-offs and miscounted scorelines but this year’s success was more clear-cut.
The Kilbogget Park club picked up strong group stage wins in Galway against eventual final opponents Kilkerrin as well as St Rynagh’s and host club Corofin all with at least six-points to spare.
Dunboyne were ousted 3-2 to no score in the quarter-finals while Cork champions Glanmire were next to be swept aside 3-10 to 0-3 in the semi-finals.
Manager Paul Hamill described it as an “awesome performance” and laid the foundation for the final success.
“To beat the Cork champions by that score was some achievement and was probably the best we played over the weekend,” he said.
Kilkerrin had made their way through the knock-out phases too, aiming to exact revenge for their 2-5 to 1-2 in the initial group game.
But the final was a much keener affair. Roisin McGovern’s goal gave Foxrock the initial impetus only for the Galway side to reply quickly and tie things up at 1-2 each at half-time.
But a supreme second half performance saw Foxrock fire four points without response with Christina Hamill ending with three points in addition to scores from Sophie McDonnell and Sarah Kelly.
“It was cagey and took both sides a bit of time to settle because we had a five-hour gap from the semi-finals. It was nip and tuck, they got a goal straight after us. The second half we got on top in midfield and took four really good points in a row and they didn’t score in the second half.
“Our experience told. Seven of the girls who played in last year’s national winning Feile team were back and had that experience to help us in the second half and we definitely got on top.”
In so doing, they became the first Dublin side to win back-to-back All-Ireland ladies football titles, emulating feat achieved by Claregalway and South Kerry and is the third time – the other came in 2005 – the club have been on this rostrum.
“This team has been very successful through the age groups in its own right so we have stuck with the kids we have been using all along and have been together for a number of years.
“We have a couple of kids now who have three Dublin Division 1 Feile medals and two national medals which is a fair achievement – Eve Reidy and Christina Hamill.
“Most of these kids have been together since the academy and nursery in the club – we have had a team of mentors who are very committed while the players train hard and work hard. There is a great bond between them as a group and they seem to rise to the occasion every time.
“When you got on a pedestal like that, everyone is trying to knock you down but, in fairness, to this group, they have held their own and risen to all the challenges. They are just a very cohesive bunch who get on very well together.”

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