Delight for Dee Rangers after Leinster Win

Joint captains Aoife Conlon Briona Rowe


Full time: Dee Rangers 4 – 03 – Clane 2 – 06


Facebook was well and truly alive on Sunday night as many clubs from all around Meath congratulated the Dee Rangers ladies junior team on making their own history by becoming Leinster Champions.

Heading to Coralstown/Kinnegad GAA grounds on Sunday and up against a strong team from Clane (Kildare) Dee Rangers were heading into  unknown territory. But, if anyone in the big crowd thought that they were happy just to be part of the final they were sadly mistaken as they set about dismantling the team in white that stood between them and the Leinster crown.

Playing on an immaculate surface it was Clane that started the brighter but there is an old saying in football ‘take your points and the goals will come’. However the Dee Rangers ladies decided it was best to get the goals first and anything after that would be a bonus as they rattled the Clane net three times in eight minutes to leave their opponents reeling.  Firstly the impressive Rebecca Goodwin skipped through the Clane rearguard to hammer the ball into the roof of the net, a few minutes later Lisa Young found herself in front of the Clane goals and with a swing of her powerful left foot she gave the keeper no chance, and if that wasn’t hard enough for the Clane team and coaches to recover from, Kelly Farrelly moved onto a pass from Rebecca Goodwin to blast the ball low into the net for a third goal for Dee Rangers.  In fairness to Clane that would have knocked most teams for six but they battled bravely and even managed to score a cracking goal themselves followed by three well taken points but after Rebecca Goodwin was fouled near the half way line she quickly released the ball across the Clane backline to the inrushing Lisa Young who smashed the ball into the back of the net leaving the half time score Dee Rangers 4 – 00 (12) to Clane’s 1 – 03(6).

In the second half and with a strong cross field wind slightly favouring Dee Rangers it was they who started the more lively but as the half wore on it was Clane who started picking off the points and only for  a fantastic full back display from player of the match Orlaith Duff the outcome may have been different.  Orlaith was well supported on either side by her sister Áine and Sarah Halpenny.

In the half back line Shauna Rowe, Orlaith Sheehy and Sinead Carolan worked tirelessly to make sure that the forward line for Clane had to opt for points instead of goals.  In midfield Emma Rafferty and Lisa Young have a great understanding with each other and with Hannah Mulvany willing to run all over the pitch in order to make the space for hardworking forwards Aoife Conlon, Rebecca Goodwin, Kelly Farrelly and Samantha Martin this Dee Rangers team certainly know how to dig deep and grind out results.  Further points from Samantha Martin and Aoife Conlon helped steadied the ship as Clane threatened to spoil the party.

In goals Aoife Burke was solid as a rock and even though Dee Rangers lost Grace Malone early through injury her replacement Briona Rowe and the other sub used Ciara O Connell showed that this team have strength in depth both on and off the pitch.  The closing stages of the game were played out at a frantic pace but as the final whistle sounded the tears of joy started flowing as a year of hardworking ,  spirit and determination from the team, coaches, committee right down to the girls who hold the water on the sidelines and everyone in between looks as if its not over yet.  Final score Dee Rangers 4 – 03(15) Clane 2 – 06 (12).  Leinster Council President Marie Hickey presented the cup to joint captains Aoife Conlon and Briona Rowe. Marie also presented Orlaith Duff with the Player of the Match award.

Dee Rangers: Aoife Burke, Áine Duff,  Orlaith Duff,  Sarah Halpenny,  Sinead Carolan,  Shauna Rowe,  Orlaith Sheehy,  Aoife Conlan (0-1),  Emma Rafferty,  Hannah Mulvany,  Lisa Young (2-01),  Grace Malone,  Kelly Farrelly (1-0),  Rebecca Goodwin (1-0),  Samantha Martin(0-1). Subs: Orlaith Malone,  Ciara O’ Connell,  Aoife Traynor,  Maria Dardis,  Cody McEvoy,  Ellen Cassidy. Subs in:  Briona Rowe for Grace Malone and Ciara O ‘Connell for Aoife Conlan and Grace Malone for Kelly Farrelly

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