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Aug 17

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Garristown prove simply superior for gallant Female Dark Force

Ladies League v Garristown 16082017 (1)Wednesday 16 August 2017 – And so it all comes down to this, two undefeated teams, go head to head in a winner takes all battle. St. Brendan’s (15-0) and Garristown (13-0) clash in a match that will, in essence, decide the Division 8 League title.

As I said in an earlier report, this match was due to take place on July 5th but was put back due to players on both sides getting married, Garristown however lost home advantage and therefore the match this evening was played in Man o’War.

At 7.05pm, both St. Brendan’s (sponsored by McGowans of Phibsborough) and Garristown were ready for the throw-up in this massive, massive game. Julie Fox had the opening effort for the Female Dark Force but her effort fell short. Sinead Reilly got a push in the back and Sinead Morrissey played the free-in short to Fox but her shot tailed to the left and wide.

Garristown, with 1983 All Ireland Football Medallist Barney Rock having two daughters playing, opened the scoring and could have got a goal but the ball fell short to Karen O’Connell. A free-in to Garristown was turner-over by Catherine Twomey, Shauna ‘Jet’ Fitzpatrick and Michelle Dolan were also involved in the build-up which led to Morrissey equalising the game with a great point from the middle of the D.

Garristown retook the lead after 15 minutes. Julie O’Neill played a great ball to Morrissey and beat the Garristown defence but the Skibbereen Skyrocket put too much wellie into the kick-pass and the ball went over the end-line before the Mullingar Dynamo could make it.

St. Brendan’s managed another equalising score when Sinead ‘Dangermouse’ Reilly got pushed in the back when in a good position. Morrissey duly converted the free. A Dolan free in, after  Fitzpatrick was fouled, was turned-over and moved up field. Garristown won a free kick and the free taker judged the wind absolutely spot on with a point that an All-Ireland winning player would be proud of.

It was all Garristown in the final 15 minutes of the first half, with the team opening up a 6 point to 2 lead, despite a hint of steps in the 5th of those points. In between Reilly saw a shot deflected out for a 45 which Erin Fadian took. The ball was won by Shauna ‘Jet’ Fitzpatrick who scooped up the ball but being under pressure, she saw her shot go wide. Claire Owens made a timely interception on the 45 meter line and passed to Reilly who got fouled. Once again, Sinead Morrissey, with her parents watching, converted.

Reilly was well marshalled after collecting a Fox pass and was forced wide, which was the last action in a low scoring defensive first half.

 

Half Time Score: St. Brendan’s 0-03 to Garristown 0-06

 

Garristown started the second half with an all-out attack, which showed when they scored the opening point and then won Karen O’Connell’s next kick-out to rattle the net. The management trio of Cunningham, McGinley and Conroy took immediate action by introducing both Christine Dilworth and Katelyn Peer into the action. The Toronto Argonaut almost making an immediate impact but saw her shot go narrowly wide.

It was the Knocknagree Knight who made the bigger impact by collecting a Peer pass and shooting over the bar to make it 1-07 to 0-04. Garristown could have ended the game as a contest with a shot on goal, but The Fresh Prince of Kells was in the right place at the right time to save. Another turnover ensued and Garristown managed to convert a consolation point.

Christine Dilworth kept the game in the balance by scoring an absolute cracker of a goal after collecting the most delicate of passes from Julie Fox.  1-08 to 1-04.

St. Brendan’s then received a double blow when Katelyn Peer was sin-binned for a high tackle and Garristown converted the resulting free-in. 12 minutes to go and Dilworth had it back to four points, following a pass from Sinead Morrissey with the ball creeping over the bar.

The immortal words of Marty Morrissey ‘The Tension was Palpable’ rang with both teams making many handling errors and having many turnovers. One of these turnovers resulted in Garristown’s 10th point. Sinead Morrissey restored the four point deficit with a point from a free-in after Michelle Dolan was fouled. Peer came back onto the field after serving her 10 minutes and Ciara Gallagher was also introduced.

Another substitute, Deirdre Holland, was fouled when in a good position and Dilworth again pointed the free-in to make it 1-10 to 1-07.

Could St. Brendan’s Ladies snatch victory, knowing a draw was not good enough giving Garristown’s superior scoring difference in the league?

Morrissey had a good chance to make it a two point game but her shot went wide. A minute later, it was Garristown who converted on the other side. Ciara Gallagher made a timely turnover but at the end Katelyn Peer’s shot went wide.

Garristown showed why they have made scoring returns of 9-15, 8-19, 7-18 and 6-22 by finishing strongly with a brace of points to lead by six. St Brendan’s had another chance of a goal when Deirdre Holland’s goal bound shot was deflected for a 45. Erin Fadian’s 45 dropped short and was cleared by Garristown. The final whistle blew with loud celebrations from the Garristown faithful.

The League title may be gone but there is still plenty for The St. Brendan’s Ladies to play for and they have 7 days to get over this psychological disappointment with a Junior F Semi Final at home to St. James Gaels. With a Final rematch against St. Monica’s on the cards should both teams prevail.

 

Final Score from Man O’War: St. Brendan’s 1-07 to 1-13 Garristown

 

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