Aug 15

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Helen Lenihan gives Female Darkest Force their own Miracle Match

Wed 14th Aug 2019 – With the Ladies Division 4 team training ahead of next Wednesdays Junior C Semi Final against Naomh Olaf of Balally, the St Brendan’s Ladies Division 8 team were in action against St Jude’s in the Division 8 Cup.
The task confronting the Female Darkest Force was a herculean one, as they needed to win the game by 27 points or more in order to get into the semi-finals of the cup competition. Missing a number of key players, sickness and work caused the absence of others late in the day.
From the beginning, the miracle looked like it was very much on, when Emma Duffy crashed the ball into the St Jude’s net twice inside the first five minutes. Marina Kilduff supplied the final pass for both goals. In fact for the first goal, Kilduff had a shot that was half blocked down, but the excellent Duffy scored from the rebound.
However, St Jude’s settled down and scored four consecutive points from the next four attacks. Duffy’s bid for a first quarter hat trick were thwarted when her shot rattled the crossbar, but she made amends by closing down an out coming St Jude’s defender, which lead to her over-carrying. Duffy kicked the free in herself. Another St Jude’s attack yielded a point to leave the score as St Brendan’s 2-01 to St Jude’s 0-05.
Duffy remained St Brendan’s scorer in chief and increased her tally to 2-02 with a point from play after a pass from Helen Macklin. Sabrina Fleming donned the goalkeepers gloves for the evening but was unlucky not to stop a St Jude’s shot from going into the net. However, St Brendan’s responded immediately with a third goal. This time Duffy was the provider for Kilduff. Helen Macklin then made it 3-03 with a close range point.
With six minutes to go in the first half, a turnover from Niamh Byrne started a move that lead to Kilduff scoring her second goal. This made the score 4-04 to 1-05. Then Tanya Brennan got her name on the score sheet with a point following a good turnover from Anne Marie Riney.
In the closing stages of the first half and Kilduff added another point following good work from Geraldine Cleary, a brace of St Jude’s points ensured a half time lead for Sr Brendan’s.

Half Time Score: St Brendan’s 4-06 (18) to 1-7 (10) St Jude’s.

It was a first half that was full of running and end to end action. One where the Female Darkest Force were playing into a very strong wind as they defended the city end. So with an eight point lead could St Brendan’s get the scores necessary to get into the semi finals?
As the second half threw in, St Jude’s made the task a lot more onerous by scoring a goal in the opening minute. Sabrina Fleming’s kick-out was won by Geraldine Cleary and onto Kilduff for a point to make it a six point game. Six became nine with Kilduff netting her hat-trick, after a move involving Emma Duffy and Helen Macklin 5-07 to 2-07.
Indeed nine became twelve with Kilduff netting her fourth goal after Enya Cody intervened, to ensure that Fleming wasn’t beaten for a third time, with a super turnover. Kilduff could have got a fifth goal but had to settle for a point after some great work by Duffy. This made the score 6-08 to 2-07.

The Female Darkest Force then hit a hot purple patch with points inside a minute from Helen Macklin and Siobhan Maloney. Michael Connolly ordered his side to really go for it and they did with another point to Brennan despite tigerish defence by St Jude’s. 6-11 to 2-07
Niamh Nestor then came on as substitute in place of Kilduff, who got a standing ovation for her fine efforts. Nestor however got in the scoresheet after only a minute on the field with a point. Brennan, Cleary and Maloney won St Jude’s kick outs with catches and all score wind assisted points to make it 6-16 to 2-07, a 21 point lead, but will they get the 6 more points needed to prevail?
Helen Lenihan was doing fine work in midfield and St Brendan’s continued to push on and a succession of points from the two Helen’s, Macklin with one and Lenihan with two made it 6-19, Tanya Brennan then added to her tally with a point following a turnover from Romy Madden. 6-20 to 2-7, a 25 point lead
Emma Duffy got the first and second goals and almost got her hat trick in the 15th minute, unfazed the unselfish Duffy assisted well as Marina Kilduff scored four goals. But deservedly, Duffy finally got het hat trick with a tremendous strike, now there was a 28 point lead.
However, in a rare attack, St Jude’s pegged a point back and St Brendan’s needed to get one more point to overhaul Na Gaeil Oga’s points difference in the Cup table. St Brendan’s pushed back on again to get another point from Siobhan Maloney.
With only minutes to go and it was local lady, Mairead Scollan, who rounded off the scoring. The referee in the fading daylight blew the final whistle.
So like the many St Brendan’s teams of the past, The Ladies Division 8 team showed great spirit and have their very own miracle result. They can look forward to a Cup Semi Final but before that, there is a Junior H Championship Semi-Final to be played against St Brigid’s on August 28th.
For the 1st team, it’s a Junior C Championship away to Naomh Olaf next on the horizon on Wednesday the 21st, away in Balally (@7.30pm).

Final score from Longmeadows: St Brendan’s 7-22 (43) to 2-08 (14) St Jude’s.



Permanent link to this article: http://www.stbrendansgaa.org/helen-lenihan-gives-female-darkest-force-their-own-miracle-match/

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