Sep 07

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Simply, CHAMPIONS!!!!

Ladies Champo Final v St Monicas 06092017(6)Wednesday 06 Sep 2017. In a repeat of last year Junior G Final, St. Brendan’s Ladies Footballers Sponsored by McGowans of Phibsborough and St. Monica’s battled it out in the final of the New Ireland Assurance Junior F Championship, played in superb conditions at St. Margaret’s.

St. Brendan’s got to the final courtesy of a 3-18 to 1-4 victory at home against St. James’ Gaels played on August 23rd and on the same night St. Monica’s hit 11-11 against Ballyboden St. Enda’s.

It was the Monettes who drew first blood with a point after only one minute.  Sinead Morrissey was fouled while in a good position, composed herself, took the free and equalised the match. Morrissey also had a chance to give the Female Dark Force the lead but her shot was smothered for a 45. The 45 was broken down by Monica’s, but was subsequently turned over by Kate Redden who passed to Julie O’Neill and onto Andrea Curley for a point.

The next Monica’s kick-out was won by Christine Dilworth and passed to Julie Fox and the Ballylanders Bullet’s bullet hit the St. Monica’s net for a dream start for St. Brendan’s. But St. Monica’s exposed some vulnerability in the backs by scoring a goal a minute later to make it 1-02 to 1-01.

The Monettes equalised the match before an injury break halted their charge. A second Monica’s goal was thwarted by the shoulder of Anne Marie Riney and cleared by Julie O’Neill. The passing sequence continued to the other end, where Fox had a chance for goal number two, but was dragged down outside the penalty area. Up stepped Morrissey, and with her parents watching on scored the free to give Brendan’s the lead. St. Monica’s levelled things with a skimming shot over the crossbar.

Claire Owens passed to Christine Dilworth, played a diagonal ball to Morrissey and despite having Fox in support the Mullingar Dynamo ran along the end line and kicked over the bar. Fox had another goal chance saved by the Monica’s goalkeeper.

St. Brendan’s opened a two point lead thanks to a point from Shauna ‘Jet’ Fitzpatrick in which Catherine Twomey started the move with a turnover. Morrissey showed some great smart thinking when finding Dilworth in open space but the Knocknagree Knight saw her shot go wide. But Dilworth did manage to get her name on the scoresheet when a pass from Morrissey to Fox was broken down, but only as far as Inés-Rubio Alcalá-Galiano who found Dilworth and her shot crept over the bar.

Karen O’Connell kept St Brendan’s in front before half time with a tremendous save. At the end of the half St. Brendan’s won two 45s the first, taken by Alcala Galiano, went towards Andrea Curley, who took a shot knowing that she had advantage after a foul. Unfortunately the free was hit wide.

The second 45 occurred after a Fox goal bound shot came off a Monica’s foot and out. Again The Basque Superstar took the 45, played a one-two with Morrissey but her shot went wide, for the last action of the first half.


Half-Time Score: St. Brendan’s 1-06 to 1-03 St Monica’s


Like in the first half St. Monica’s opened the scoring in the second half with a free in as the St. Margaret’s floodlights were switched on. Sinead Morrissey ensured the three point lead again after Julie Fox was tripped up on the 20 meter line.

But the lead was back to two when the Monettes full forward with pace to burn, beat Anne Marie Riney and drove her shot high and over the bar. That lead was cut to one and in a matter of minutes the sides were level at 1-07 each with the equalising score coming from a free in.

The Brendan’s management trio of Eugene Cunningham, Thomas Conroy and James McGinley were feeling a sense of déjà vu especially when their side saw three shots all fall short.

There was also some penalty area pinball as St. Brendan’s tried to get a second goal, but the Monettes goal keeper got her boot to it to clear, but only as far as Ines Rubio Alcala Galiano who saw her shot go wide.

St. Brendan’s took the lead with 18 minutes to go thanks to another Julie Fox point following a pass from Sinead Morrissey. A hop ball was won by Inés Rubio Alcalá-Galiano after Dilworth and her marker struggled for possession.  After winning the hop ball, Galiano passed to Shauna Fitzpatrick for her second point of the evening which doubled St. Brendan’s lead.

The tension in St. Margaret’s was palpable but the Female Dark Force began to believe and with last year’s Junior G Final still hurting them, the team upped their game. A Fitzpatrick free in found Julie Fox for a point and a three point lead.

At the other end Karen O’Connell produced a super save to keep the three point lead. St. Brendan’s were still goal hungry and Morrissey was pushed off the ball when completing a pass to Michelle Dolan. Up stepped Morrissey to convert the free and gain a semi-comfortable four point lead.

Five minutes to go and Achill’s Strongest Woman Ciara Gallagher came on in place of an exhausted Catherine Twomey who was practically carried off the field (to the rapturous applause of several of the St. Brendan’s mens team who were watching proceedings). A shot from St. Monica’s went wide and the team could breathe again.

The Sneem Supreme Anne Marie Riney won a crucial turnover. Michelle Dolan saw a goal shot go across the face of goal, Sinead Reilly kept the ball in play and passed to Shauna ‘Jet’ Fitzpatrick and then towards Julie Fox to hit another point and a five point game 1-12 to 1-07.

Ciara Gallagher used her brute Achill Island strength to win possession and passed onto Andrea Curley who was then fouled. The Creggs Crusader played to ball to Sinead ‘Danger Mouse’ Reilly whose shot hit the upright and it was The Dromahair Dodger Michelle Dolan who was the first to react by winning possession and kicking over the bar for a six point lead with two minutes to go.

A free for Monica’s was turned over by Erin Fadian who clattered into her marker whilst playing the ball to Sinead Reilly, the referee then stopped play. There was a three minute break in play as Fadian and her marker got treatment but The Pied Piper of Achill was not injured badly and was able to continue. The ref awarded an indirect free to Brendan’s and indicated that there were 35 seconds to go.

Sinead Morrissey played the free towards Christine Dilworth who put her head down despite having eight players between her and the goal, her 20 meter low shot rattled the back of the St. Monica’s net to send the St. Brendan’s faithful into sporting nirvana.

St. Monica’s held possession of the ball when the referee blew for full time and all the players, those who played and unused substitutes (12 of them) ran onto the centre of the field to celebrate the ladies first ever Championship and the club’s first championship win since 1993.

Despite their defeat St. Monica’s were very upbeat and had a cause to celebrate when their goalkeeper won The Player of the Match accolade. The Chairperson of the Dublin LGFA presented the cup to team captain Inés Rubio Alcalá-Galiano. In her acceptance speech she thanked the Monettes for a good tough game and gave the customary three cheers. Inés also thanked the St. Brendan’s Management trio and the sponsors McGowans of Phibsborough, where the party continued well into the wee small hours.


Final score from St. Margaret’s: St. Brendan’s 2-13 to 1-07 St. Monica’s






Permanent link to this article: http://www.stbrendansgaa.org/simply-champions/

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