Dublin U-14 & U-16 Ladies reach Leinster Final.

Dublin U-14 & U-16 Ladies reach Leinster Final.

Dublin Ladies Football had just cause for a double celebration this weekend, as both their Under-14 and Under-16 teams secured their respective places in, what is already building up to a thrilling double-header against old rivals, Meath in the 2003 Leinster Ladies Football Finals on Saturday 24th May.

Dublin U-16’s left nothing to chance with their early departure from the Capital on Saturday morning, taking lunch in a relaxed atmosphere in Newbridge, arriving in Allenwood, with well over an hour to spare before the 3.00 pm throw-in. Having prepared well, Dublin were totally focused and were certainly not in any mood to allow Kildare clinch a Leinster Semi-Final.

Kildare were the only team in the Leinster Championship to have beaten Dublin a short few weeks earlier, and indeed on that occasion, by the narrowest of margins -a single point. If determination coupled with excellent preparation were the only ingredients required for success, Dublin certainly had both qualities in abundance. The team were relaxed and confident in the dressing room, minutes before the throw-in. Of the two teams, it must be said, Dublin were in the better position, and whilst on paper it would suggest Kildare were marginally favoured to secure victory, Dublin knew they had the capability of clinching this one also.

Dublin made an excellent start, securing possession from the throw-in and, against the strong wind and driving rain, advanced the ball right up to the corner-forward, Orla Cotter (Naomh Olaf) who accurately found target, with the opening point, 5 minutes into the game. Dublin had an excellent first half with accurate passing and superb teamwork by all 6 Dublin forwards. Remarkably, Dublin were denied 3 potential scores in the first half as the ball rebounded off the woodwork on 3 consecutive occasions. However, Dublin’s corner-forward, Amy McGuinness (Fingallian’s) put the ball over the bar, with clinical accuracy, as Dublin were leading Kildare by a margin of 3 points to no score.

Kildare’s opening, and indeed only score of the first period, came in the form of a goal to level the sides. Fortunately the Dublin goalkeeper, Lynsey Flood (Castleknock), through a magnificent save, denied Kildare a second goal opportunity. Undeterred, Dublin forged ahead in the face of a strong wind, with McGuinness securing a point within 5 minutes, which was to put Dublin ahead once again. However, Dublin needed a more comfortable margin if they were to sustain their lead going into the second period. McGuinness duly obliged and registered a superb goal and a point to round off the first half with a 5 point margin.

Half-Time Score: Dublin:1-5; Kildare: 1-0.

The opening point within the first minute of the second half was to be a major psychological boost for Dublin as McGuinness, once again found target with Lorna Hillery (Castleknock) yet again setting up the sequence from the centre-half domain. Kildare replied with three points in a nine minute period early in the second half. Whilst Dublin’s margin was reduced to 3 points, there followed a 12 minute period where Kildare failed to score.

The calibre and determination of the Dublin defence deserves full credit. The Dublin defence was like a wall through which Kildare could not penetrate. The Dublin half-back line of, Andrea Bowe (Round Tower), with the Fingallian’s duo of Sinead Finnegan and Karen Hudson ensured the Kildare ball never got past the Dublin half-back line. Just in case there were to be a stray Kildare ball to filter through, Hannah Coen (Naomh Olaf), Aoife Greene (Fingallian’s) and the outstanding Dublin corner-back, Aoife Kilkenny (St. Brigid’s) were on guard to intercept and return. Dublin kept their heads up throughout and were certainly not prepared to let anything slip, unlike the final 10 minutes of their previous encounter with Kildare. With excellent kick-outs from Dublin’s goalkeeper, Lynsey Flood (Castleknock), the Dublin midfield duo of Ciara Kilpatrick (Naomh Olaf) and Laura Walsh (Kilmacud Crokes) were in a position to effectively distribute ball to the Dublin forwards. Amy Mc Guinness yet again found target with a point from a free, bringing her overall scoring tally on the day to 1-6. Dublin’s full-forward, Kathy Whyte (Naomh Olaf) put the game beyond Kildare’s reach as her point went over the Kildare goalkeeper’s crossbar. With an excellent pass engineered by Lorna Hillery (Castleknock), a scoring opportunity was once again set up and this time it was Grace O’Neill (Foxrock) who secured the coveted prize of a superb goal.

Full-Time Score: Dublin: (2-8); Kildare:(1-4)

Dublin Team: (1) Lynsey Flood (Castleknock) (2) Siobhan McGrath (Thomas Davis) (3) Aoife Greene (Fingallian’s) (4) Aoife Kilkenny (St. Brigid’s) (5) Andrea Bowe (Round Tower) (6) Sinead Finnegan (Fingallian’s) (7) Karen Hudson (Fingallian’s) (8) Ciara Kilpatrick (Naomh Olaf) (9) Laura Walsh (Kilmacud Crokes) (10) Michelle Dunne (St. Brigid’s) (11) Lorna Hillery (Castleknock) (12) Grace O’Neill (Foxrock) (13) Amy McGuinness (Fingallian’s) (14) Kathy Whyte (Naomh Olaf) (15) Orla Cotter (Naomh Olaf)

Substitutions: (Last 8 minutes): Anna Conlan (Kilmacud Crokes) for Laura Walsh Hannah Coen (Naomh Olaf) for Siobhan McGrath Caoilfhionn Ni Leidhin (Kilmacud Crokes for Orla Cotter.

Dublin Panel: Emma Bates (Castleknock) Natasha Barnwall (Fingal Ravens) Karina Connolly (Round Tower) Jennifer Cook (Fingallian’s) Catherine Cotter (Naomh Olaf) Clodagh Fitzgerald (Kilmacud Crokes) Aisling Kelly (Kilmacud Crokes) Fiona Merriman (Kilmacud Crokes) Aimee Molloy (St. Brigid’s) Adrienne Moore (Man-O-War) Orla Sadlier (Fingallian’s) Sinead Tucker (Round Tower) Orla Vallely (Cabinteely)

Team Management: John Hillery (Castleknock) Team Manager Camillus Kilpatrick (Naomh Olaf) Trainer/Coach Gerry Greene (Fingallian’s) Trainer/Coach Padraig Kelly (Kilmacud Crokes) Trainer/Coach Mary McGuinness (Fingallian’s) Team Selector.

Leinster Under 14 Championship – Semi-Final Dublin 4:6 Westmeath 1:3

Dublin under 14 ladies progressed to the Leinster Final, with a comprehensive win over Westmeath last Saturday in Swords. Both teams are to be commended for putting on such a great display of football in such wet and windy conditions. Dublin had wind advantage in the first half and started well, scoring 2:5 to Westmeath’s 1:1. Aoife McGovern (Cuala) and Vivienne Lee (St Sylvester’s) were prominent in midfield and supplied some great ball into the forwards who really tested the Westmeath defence. Catriona McGilp (Cabinteely), Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps) and Ciara Murphy (Cabinteely) were particularly good on the day.

In the second half Westmeath, as expected, used the wind to good advantage, applying much pressure on the Dublin back line. However, we saw one of the best displays yet from this unit, with all six defenders putting in tremendous displays. The fielding and accurate clearances of Amy Murphy (St Marks) was quite exceptional, as was the defensive display of Karen McGlynn (Skerries Harps) and Fiona Hudson (Fingallians) at wing back and corner back respectively. Dublin added two goals and a point while Westmeath scored two further points in the second half, leaving the final score at Dublin 4:6 Westmeath 1:3.

There was relief mixed with joy at the final whistle, with Dublin yet again reaching the Leinster Final. The girls now face Meath in the decider, in what promises to be a tremendous game.

Dublin Under 14 Team: 1 Charlene McKenna (Ballyboden St Endas) 2 Fiona Hudson (Fingallians) 3 Sinéad O Mahony (Clanna Mhuire) 4 Amy Murphy (St Marks) 5 Karen McGlynn (Skerries Harps) 6 Aoife Dunne (Fingallians) 7 Denise McKenna (Fingallians) 8 Aoife McGovern (Cuala) 9 Vivienne Lee (St Sylvesters) 10 Jemma Quinn (O Tooles) 11 Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps) 12 Ciara Murphy (Cabinteely) 13 Tara Carolan (St Brigids) 14 Leann Mahon (Croi Ro Naofa) 15 Catriona McGilp (Cabinteely)

Substitutions: Emma Reilly (Croi Ro Naofa) for Vivienne Lee (St Sylvesters) Vivienne Lee (St Sylvesters) for Tara Carolan (St Brigids)

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