Fingallians crusade comes to hard end

by Gazette Reporter

A FOUR-goal blitz just before half-time ultimately ended Fingallians run in the Leinster senior ladies football championship last weekend against Laois champions Sarsfields in Mountmellick on Saturday.

Twelve points separated the sides in the final reckoning, but just one was between the teams when Eimear Ni Heafa was sin-binned in the 24th minute.

Sarsfields scored from the subsequent penalty and the Laois women went on to score four goals in quick succession to transform a narrow 0-6 to 1-4 scoreline into a 5-6 to 0-6 half-time advantage.

From there, there was not much possibility of a comeback, despite Fins winning the second period by three points, a stop-start affair in which neither side was able to get much momentum.

The omens were not good from the start as throw-in was delayed by 45 minutes due to an earlier crash on the N7 that caused lengthy tailbacks.

But Fins started reasonably well, with Lyndsey Davey kicking the first point of the tie following a great run by Niamh Rickard. They did, however, fall back to a 1-4 to 0-2 deficit before a run of four consecutive points had them within one by the 20 minute mark.

That was the prelude to the side’s capitulation as Ni Heafa’s sin-binning for what looked a brave block on Ciara Burke opened the door for Sarsfields, and they took full advantage.

With five goals conceded, there was never any way back and while Fingallians did rally, it was to prove the end of an otherwise epic season in which the Dublin SFC was annexed for the first time, as well as capturing the league title. Their one blip came against main rivals Na Fianna in the cup.

The championship, though, was the jewel in the crown, Fins eventually winning out after a stunning fightback in the first outing, earning a replay against Na Fianna before claiming the crown in thrilling style.

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