Dooley goal sends Kildare into TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate decider

TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship

Kildare 1-4


Wexford 0-2


By Daire Walsh


Neasa Dooley struck a 53rd minute goal at Parnell Park on Sunday as Kildare got the better of Wexford in a low-scoring affair to advance into the final of the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Football Championship.


The Lilywhites claimed the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup seven years ago with a narrow victory over Clare at Croke Park and it is the Banner County who will once again stand in their way at GAA HQ.


When Kildare defeated Wexford in the Leinster IFC decider back in May, Sarsfields star Roisin Byrne amassed an impressive tally of 1-7. She got the ball rolling in this game with a second-minute point and Lilies midfielder Aoife Rattigan then doubled their advantage with a similar effort.


Wexford did open their account with five minutes on the clock through Amy Walsh’s well-taken score and they eventually restored parity via a perfectly-executed Chloe Foxe free in the second-quarter.


The Slaneysiders now looked primed to edge into the ascendancy for the first time and Kildare received a let-off when Foxe and Walsh both fired wide off scoreable opportunities.


They were left to rue these misses to a certain extent as Lara Curran split the uprights to end a long barren spell in front of goal for Kildare and consequently offer them a 0-3 to 0-2 buffer at the break.


Diane O’Hora’s charges largely dominated possession in the early stages of the second half and when the play was called back for a foul on substitute Grainne Kenneally, Byrne comfortably stroked over a close-in free.


Yet every score in this tie was a hard-earned one and Kildare held onto this 0-4 to 0-2 cushion moving into the closing-quarter of a tense battle. The Slaneysiders were still very much in the reckoning for a third successive appearance in an intermediate final, but were ultimately rocked by the concession of a goal with seven minutes remaining.


After blocking an attempted hand pass out of defence, Dooley spotted that Wexford netminder Sophie Lenehan was out of position and she hammered the ball to the net in ruthless style.


Wexford defender Sarah Harding Kenny and Kildare wing-forward Claire Sullivan were both yellow carded in the closing moments, but the latter’s team-mates made sure that she will have an All-Ireland showpiece to look forward to in a fortnight.


Scorers – Kildare: N Dooley 1-0, R Byrne 0-2 (1f), A Rattigan, L Curran 0-1 each.

Wexford: C Foxe (f), A Walsh 0-1 each.


KILDARE: M Hulgraine; L Burke, L Lenehan, A Clifford; L Gilbert, R Sargent, L Murtagh; G Clifford, A Rattigan; T Duggan, N Dooley, C Sullivan; E Dowling, R Byrne, L Curran. Subs: G Kenneally for Dowling (27), M Doherty for Duggan (h-t), S Munnelly for Gilbert (33-52, blood), O Sullivan for Rattigan (48).


WEXFORD: S Lenehan; A Halligan, S Murphy, S Harding Kenny; B Breen, R Murphy, C Donnelly; A Walsh, C Banville; A Murphy, C Murray, A Cullen; K English, C Foxe, A Lacey. Subs: E Tomkins for Banville (33-38, blood), Tomkins for Walsh (44), M Byrne for Lacey (48), B McDonald for Cullen, O Byrne for Murray (both 54), C Ni Nuallain for Banville (59).


Ref: Philip Conway (Armagh).

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