ST SYLVESTER’S ladies footballers completed their incredible ascent through the leagues since reforming four years ago as they landed the Division 2 title last week with a 6-12 to 2-6 win over St Maur’s.
It was an especially strong achievement for Sinead Aherne, Aimee-Louise Hazley, Sinead Treacy, Niamh McEvoy and Ann Clarke who have been involved all along since the club split from its dual-status with Naomh Mearnog. They gave the Malahide club a platform to bring on many fine players coming through the youth players with five players from the line-up eligible for next year’s minor side. They completed their campaign with seven wins out of seven in this eight team league, gaining promotion to the top tier to match their senior championship status. Syl’s showed their intent from the start with a goal in the first minute when McEvoy won the throw-in and broke clear, passed to Aherne who had made a run from full forward. Inch perfect The latter hit an inch perfect pass to Niamh Harney, making an intelligent move from corner-forward to the space in front of goal and, although the keeper parried her first shot, she got in for the rebound to score. Maur’s came back with an attack of their own and forced a penalty. Fortunately for Syl’s, the penalty was mis-hit, struck the upright and was cleared. Syl’s tightened up in defence after that early scare and held the opposition to just four points in the first half, while the forwards scored 2-7. In the second half, Maur’s withdrew their half forward line and played two up front with lots of space. They managed to get two goals via the early ball to the big full forward but Syl’s defence still held them to just four scores in the second half while the forwards put on a show, scoring 4-5 in the process. Nicole Owens ended up with a personal tally of 2-3 while Lisa Murphy also netted two goals with Dublin star Aherne on the mark with 1-5. This was an excellent team performance with every player playing her part. It augurs well for the future of this team that so many young players can play with so much confidence, intelligence and composure. While there are big challenges ahead for this team as they join the top ranks of Dublin Ladies football, the club will look to build on this year’s performance and hold their own at the new level in 2015.