Aug 10

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Ciara Gallagher guides Female Dark Force to a home Championship semi final

Ladies Champo v Robert Emmets 09082017 (2)

Wednesday 09 August 2017 – After last Wednesday’s performance against Na Gaeil Oga, The St. Brendan’s Ladies Footballers sponsored by McGowans of Phibsborough travelled to Perrystown, south of Crumlin to face Robert Emmets in Round 3 of the Junior F Championship, St. Brendan’s were lucky last April to come out with a 2 point victory when the two sides met in the league. The Female Dark Force travelled to Perrystown without Karen O’Connell and Erin Fadian who were both away on holiday.

The opening score went to Michelle Dolan following a turnover by Catherine Twomey , who passed to Julie O’Neill , then to Sinead Morrissey and finally to the Dromahair Dodger who put a shot from 25 meters straight between the posts.

Robert Emmets equalised moments later. Dolan had The Female Dark Force back in front with her second point following a line-ball from Claire Owens. The Emmets kick-out went straight over the side-line and Owens again took the line-ball which she passed to Shauna ‘Jet’ Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick found Julie O’Neill and the Skibbereen Skyrocket made it a two point game with a rasping shot over the bar.

Shona Daly donned the goalkeeper’s gloves this evening but couldn’t stop an Emmet’s goal which allowed them to take the lead momentarily. An Emmet’s player managed to get a fingertip to a Julie Fox shot and a 45 was awarded. Morrissey played the ball to Fox who was fouled and the Mullingar Dynamo scored the resulting free-kick to equalise the match. A chance by Emmets to retake the lead ended when Ciara Gallagher brilliantly provoked her marker into over-carrying.

St. Brendan’s retook the lead following a 40 yard solo-run by Fitzpatrick and a shot which hit the upright and over the bar. Another Emmet’s kick-out went over the sideline. Dolan took the line-ball to Fox and the Ballylander’s Bullet opened her account with a tremendous strike 0-06 to 1-01.

Another Emmets point followed and the home side had a chance to level matters with a free-in but the shot was low and cleared by Fitzpatrick who was fouled in the process. On the other side of the field a free-out was given, but that free out went straight to Fitzpatrick who once again drew the foul. Sinead Morrissey, as calm and as reliable as ever, converted the free. Another Morrissey free followed after the referee adjudged that Fox’s jersey had been tugged.

A third Emmets point followed and Ciara Gallagher ensured St. Brendan’s stayed in the lead at the half time interval with a sublime goal mouth clearance.


Half-Time Score: St. Brendan’s 0-08 to 1-03 Robert Emmets


Robert Emmets were given a life-line early in the second half when the referee spotted a foul by Anne Marie Riney and a penalty was awarded to the home side. Shona Daly managed to get her shin to the ball for the save, the ball was cleared by Catherine Twomey and Claire Owens was also involved in a move which ended with Julie Fox burying the ball with an excellent finish low into the back of net on the other side of the field. A perfectly timed morale boost for the Brendan’s team.

Despite a Fox wide on the next play, Christine Dilworth won the next kick-out and did the work herself to kick over the bar. Dilworth won the next kick-out as well and passed to Sinead Morrissey for the second St. Brendan’s goal of the evening. 2-09 to 1-03. However Emmets had Daly beaten for goal for the second time, despite pulling off a super save with her left foot, Daly could only watch as the ball took a nasty spin and rolled over the goal line.

The Female Dark force would go 18 minutes in the second half without scoring, a period which saw Emmets claw the deficit back to three points 2-09 to 2-06. Also in that period both sides were penalised twice for over-carrying, Christine Dilworth was on the wrong side of one of those decisions just as she was about to pull the trigger for a goal.

The tension was palpable in Perrystown as St. Brendan’s were seeking a win in order to set-up a home Championship semi-final, while the home side were playing for pride after losing their two matches in the Group. Julie O’Neill won Shona Daly’s kick-out and passed onto Kate Reddan who played a diagonal ball to Dilworth then onto Shauna ‘Jet’ Fitzpatrick and finally to the onrushing Julie Fox. From a tight angle Fox managed to score her second and St. Brendan’s third goal of the evening to significantly ease the tension in Perrystown.

But not for long!

In a second half which had more twists and turns than a rattlesnake with a hernia, Robert Emmets scored their third goal and added to the tension going into the closing stages. Christine Dilworth played a great ball into Michelle Dolan and her first time snapshot off the ground was superbly struck into the back of the net for a 4th St. Brendan’s goal.

That would be the end of the scoring but Ciara Gallagher, with her mother Nora watching on, along with the resilient Brendan’s defence made six turnovers in the final quarter to ensure that Shona Daly was not beaten for goal again as the game petered out, and a home Championship semi-final for Brendan’s was ensured.

The only question left is who would St Brendan’s play in the semi final?

In Group A St. Monica’s, St. James Gaels and Lucan Sarsfields all had two wins and a loss. St Monica’s 13-12 to 1-03 victory over Cuala was enough to top the group, Leaving St James’ Gaels and Lucan Sarsfields battling it out for the second semi-final spot and it was the ladies from the Crumlin Road who prevailed on a 4-14 to 1-07 score-line and who now must travel to Longmeadows on August 23rd.

But for St. Brendan’s on Wednesday next, it’s the big winner takes all League showdown with Garristown , also undefeated in all competitions this year. Someone’s 0 must go.


Final Score from Perrystown: St. Brendan’s 4-09(21) to 3-06(15) Robert Emmets


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