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Late, Late Show Sees St. Brigids Crowned Champions

Late, Late Show Sees St. Brigids Crowned Champions.
St. Brigids 2-14 Garda 0-13.

St. Brigids emerged victorious as Dublin Intermediate champions after a titanic struggle with Garda at Parnell Park on Friday night last. The result was in doubt right up to the fifty-ninth minute when St. Brigids right half back, Colleen Barrett, gained possession from a poor kick-out and set up captain, Elaine Kelly who ghosted past her marker and blasted the ball to the back of the net. Into injury time and full forward, Noelle Healy put the icing on the cake when she bundled the ball over the line when her first effort was well saved by Garda goalkeeper, Denise Kane. The final score-line doesn’t do justice to Garda’s efforts on the night. They made a superb start to the game and were three points up after eight minutes with two from Louise McMahon including one free and another free from Orla Brennan. McMahon was a very influential figure for Garda early on giving her marker Colleen Barrett plenty to think about. She was ably helped by Niamh Bonar, Michelle Stafford and Gillian Morris.
As Barrett grew into the game so did St. Brigids. She was ably assisted by full forward, Healy who played as an extra midfielder and like Barrett, ran at the opposition defence at every opportunity. Having just two inside forwards suited St. Brigids as they plenty of pace in there. Over the course of the next ten minutes the Blanchardstown side put seven points on the board to Garda’s one. Five of these came from Elaine Kelly who was in lethal form on the night. She had six on the scoreboard by half time. Barrett’s surges from defence were causing major problems for the Garda defence and Kelly’s running both with and off the ball was top class. After twenty-eight minutes St. Brigids held a four-point lead but a late surge before half time saw it reduced to two by the interval. The final point before the break was a superb one involving six Garda players and was well finished by midfielder, Tara Corrigan. St. Brigids right half forward, Katie Murphy, contributed two valuable points during the first thirty minutes and brought a good save out of Kane in goals. The goalkeeper also saved another goal bound effort from Healy shortly afterwards. Even though St. Brigids were playing the better football they couldn’t pull away from Garda who would have been quite happy with the score at half time and a deficit only two points.

The first four scores of the second half all came from frees, three to Garda and one to Brigids leaving the sides level after eleven minutes. During that time Ciara Lowry in goals had made a point blank save from a close in volley by Garda centre forward, Gillian Morris. A goal for Garda at that point might have changed the momentum of the game, so, the save was crucial. Dublin midfielder, Sorcha Furlong who was beginning to exert influence at midfield was yellow-carded for dragging down Louise McMahon after six minutes of the second half. One would have expected Garda to take the game by the scruff of the neck and build up a lead but as is often the case it was the team with fourteen who drove on with points from Kelly and Murphy. By the time Furlong returned to the pitch St Brigids held a one point lead, one which they were not going to concede. And then came the ‘Kilkenny effect’ with two quick goals in close succession at the end which secured a precious victory and made them Intermediate champions for 2009.
Colleen Barrett was chosen as Player of the Match for her non-stop running and major influence on the play throughout but she must have been run very close by Elaine Kelly whose accurate finishing was crucial to her side’s victory. She finishe dwith 1-8 of her side’s total.
St. Brigids – C. Lowry, H. Nestor, S. Barrett, C. Donohoe, C. Barrett, (0-1), A. Molloy, A. McKenna, R. Kelly, S. Furlong, K. Murphy, (0-4), E. Kelly, capt., (1-8, 3 frees), Á. Burke, O. Brennan, N. Healy, (1-0), A. Kelly, (0-1).
Subs – P. Bruen for A. Molloy, S. Fay for A. Kelly and J. Weldon for R. Kelly.

Garda – D. Kane, S. Connolly, G. O’Boyle, G. Casserly, B. Tighe, N. Bonar, M. Doran, N. Hopkins, T. Corrigan, (0-1), M. Stafford, (0-1), G. Morris, (0-1, free), L. McMahon, (0-5, 3 frees), M. Doyle, (0-4. all frees), G. Coyne, K. White, (0-1).
Subs – L. Keogh for L. McMahon and T. Walsh for G. Coyne.

Referee – Paul Flanagan, St. James Gaels.

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