ORLA Cullen’s 37th minute goal proved vital as Na Fianna claimed their third ladies football senior championship in six seasons, withstanding Foxrock Cabinteely’s bid for a second title at Lawless Park last Friday night.
It put five points between the sides and while Foxrock stormed back into the tie in the closing phases, the Glasnevin side’s ability to control the ball was enough to hold on for the win.
The southsiders were delighted to have Dublin skipper Sinead Goldrick back in their ranks having missed their semi-final win over St Sylvester’s with a knee injury and she made an instant impact, scoring the first point of the night. She also played her part in midfield partner Sarah Brophy landing a second to counteract Orlagh Egan’s early free.
Indeed, Foxrock made a decent amount of the early running with the lively Amy Connolly landing their third score. They were grateful, though, to a stunning Carol Manning penalty save from Nadine Doherty – diving to her right to palm away – in the 16th minute when Claire O’Hara had been felled.
Ann-Marie Murphy’s point extended Foxrock’s lead out to 0-4 to 0-2 in the 22nd minute before Na Fianna hit one of a couple of purple patches. Egan was their central protagonist in pulling the strings while Doherty landed a classy point and Lucy Collins equalised.
They were feverish in attack at this stage and huge pressure opened the door for O’Hara to put Na Fianna in front for the first time and Egan’s third point made it 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.
Amy Ring swapped the lead back two minutes into the second half with a super goal, working the ball from defence to attack in no time but three Na Fianna points swung it back their way in jig-time.
And when Cullen hit the net with a rasping, swerving effort that deceived Manning, it was 1-9 to 1-5.
Two more Egan points stretched the lead out further but, going into the final 10 minutes, Foxrock summoned a big fightback.
They scored three unanswered points with Ring and Connolly lively but Murphy’s goal bound effort was blocked to deny them a dramatic comeback.