May 18

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Katelyn Peer put St Finian’s to the sword in Newcastle

Ladies Cup v St Finians Newcastle 17052017 (1)The decision, in 2012, by the St Brendan’s GAA Club committee to establish a Ladies Football team has been, without doubt, the biggest success story of the Club in the 2010’s. In the team’s 1st season in 2013, team manager Eugene Cunningham’s biggest concern was whether or not he would have a team, as he struggled for numbers until practically the end of that season. But with help, he kept the show on the road until finally the recruitment of new players and the improvement of team performances was capped off with the team’s first trophy during last season.

Nowadays, the only thing concerning Eugene Cunningham is not “will WE have a team”, but “will THEY have a team”. Unfortunately on May 10th Ballyboden conceded the game giving St Brendan’s their second walkover of the year and the full 3 points.

Thankfully this Wednesday, the 17th, the answer to the question was YES and the St Brendan’s Ladies Football team, sponsored by McGowans of Phibsborough, travelled to Newcastle (South of Lucan, not the North East of England) for the Division 9 Cup match against St Finian’s.

What? St Finian’s? In Newcastle? Sure isn’t there a St Finian’s in Swords? Yes there are TWO GAA Clubs in Dublin called St Finian’s, one in Swords, which the Mens team played in the Junior C Championship last Sunday and a St Finian’s in Newcastle whom the Female Dark Force played this evening.

The heavens opened during the warm up and continued for the opening four minutes, but the rain eased off as Michelle Dolan opened the scoring. Christine Dilworth doubled the lead after collecting a rebounded ball after Julie Fox’s shot hit the crossbar.

St Finian’s Newcastle took the lead momentarily with a goal, after Anne Marie Riney was initially fouled but was deemed to have made a handling error while trying to break up field. From the resulting kick-out, Karen O’Connell found Sinead Reilly who passed to Fox.  Fox went tearing down the field with a glorious solo run and found herself in a dead-end surrounded by defenders, but Katelyn Peer was on hand to collect the pass and score her first ever goal for the Female Dark Force.

Reilly then made it 1-03 to 1-00 after Dilworth played a free into the square, where the Cavan lady collected, turned and kicked the ball over the bar. After opening the scoring, Michelle Dolan added a goal to her tally, following a Dilworth shot which bounced off the upright and fell to Reilly, who passed to the Dromahair Dodger who slotted a low shot to the net.

Katelyn Peer was desperate for a second goal but her shot was saved and pushed out for a 45. Dilworth’s 45 went to Peer, whose shot was blocked, was recovered by Helen Lenihan whose shot was also blocked, and finally was recovered by the Knocknagree Knight who was fouled in the process. Up she stepped to put the free over the bar.

Dilworth then went for a second score from play but had her jersey tugged as she kicked, and despite the ball going over the bar the referee called back the play. Dilworth coolly slotted over from 20 meters.

Andrea Curley then made an excursion up the field, played a neat one two with Helen Lenihan, took her shot and rattled the back of  the net for the last move of the half.


Half Time Score: St Brendan’s 3-05 to 1-00 St Finian’s


24 seconds into the second half and the home side managed to beat Karen O’Connell with a goal for the second time. But St Brendan’s got a point back thanks to Katelyn Peer in a move which started with a turnover ball from Eimear McKenna. Michelle Dolan then supplied the final pass to the Toronto Raptor to make it 3-06 to 2-00.

After a brief spell on the subs bench, Julie Fox scored her first goal of the evening after Katie Lavelle made a swashbuckling solo run but almost ran out of space, but Fox was there at the right time to crash the ball in the net. Christine Dilworth made it a personal tally of 0-3 with a free-in after she herself was fouled.

Katie Lavelle won a Finian’s kick-out and passed to Fox, who passed to fellow Limerick lady Lenihan who made a good solo run and passed back to the Ballylanders Bullet for another point. Another Dilworth point from a free followed, after Lavelle was pushed in the back while attempting another raid into attack. Katelyn Peer was substituted to a standing ovation, and Kate Redden took over.

After many solo runs Katie Lavelle finally got the goal she craved and deserved, when Lenihan won possession and made a dash for the goal line, and found the Achill Island lady who made no mistake. 5-09 to 2-00.

The Sneem Supreme Anne Marie then turned defence into attack with a solo run to midfield, Eimear McKenna and Augustina Lazzarini were also on hand and it was Fox again for her second and St Brendan’s 6th goal. A goal described by the injured Inés Rubio Alcalá-Galiano as ‘A Julie Fox Special™’ (© 2017 Inés Rubio Alcalá-Galiano)

Not content with a 1-01, and despite the hint of a high tackle from a Finian’s player, Katie Lavelle showed the stern stuff that is produced in Achill Island by continuing and making her tally 1-02 with another fine score.

Christine Dilworth then pointed her fourth free and fifth overall with ten minutes to go. But in a rare attack, St Finian’s scored a third goal of the evening. The St Brendan’s backs were determined not to concede any more scores and the entire  backline stood on the goal line for the next Finian free, but the ball sailed wide.

Christine Dilworth then pointed her fifth free and her sixth overall with four minutes to go. After substitute Lavina McGloin got fouled, Dilworth went for glory, but went for placement rather than power and her shot, intended for the bottom left hand corner of the net, hit the butt of the post and wide. Surprisingly this was only the third second half wide for St Brendan’s!

It mattered little in the end as the referee blew  the final whistle and the St Brendan’s Ladies had booked a semi-final slot in the Division 8 Cup. The team face St Monica’s in the final round of Cup fixtures on June 21st to determine who gets home advantage in the semi-finals. Back to the League next Wednesday and a home tie against Na Gaeil Óga.

Final Score form Newcastle, St Brendan’s 6-12(30) St Finian’s Newcastle 3-00(09).


St Brendans: Karen O’Connell, Shona Daly (Michelle Ryan), AnneMarie Riney, Helen Macklin (Agustina Lazzarini), Eimear McKenna, Catherine Twomney, Andrea Curley 1-00 (Laura O’Connor), Shauna Fitzpatrick, Katie Lavelle 1-01, Helen Lenihan, Christine Dilworth 0-07, Michelle Dolan 1-01 (Claire Gallagher), Katelyn Peer 1-01 (Lavina McGloin), Julie Fox 2-01 (Kate Reddan), Sinead Reilly 0-02,( (Sinead McCauley).




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