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2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

LONDON 2-10 WICKLOW 0-5

TG4 Junior all Ireland Championship semi-final

LONDON 2-10 WICKLOW 0-5

London cruised to a comfortable win over an under par Wicklow side on Saturday last to book their place in the Junior all Ireland final in Croke Park for the second year in succession. On September the 28th next they will face Derry, Derry were victors against Antrim (4-15 to 0-8) in the second semi-final played in Mullaghabawn on Sunday last .
For Wicklow it was a case of what, if, or maybe, and while they never really kicked into top gear they were still in touch at the break, with only four points separating the sides 0-3 to 0-7 in Londons favour.
Wicklow needed to hit the ground running from the restart if they were to have any chance of putting a rampant London side on the back foot. But before the Garden county could make any impression on Londons lead, the exiles number nine Monica Jordan hit the back of Emer Mileys net thirty seconds into the third quarter followed by a second goal from the boot of Claire Towey in the eleventh minute to open an eleven point gap, to put last years beaten finalists firmly in command. London came into this game well drilled and super fit and gave an excellent display of the short hand passing game and used it to the full to expose the Wicklow side.
London chairperson Larry O’Leary commented that “the London mentors were well aware that Wicklow’s forwards had a preference for goals rather than taking points, so, over the past number of weeks the London backs have been concentrating on quickly closing down attacking forwards”, and it was a tactic that worked for London on this occasion.
Through out the game Wicklow struggled to convert scorable chances, notching up at least ten wides that should have raised the white flag. London tagged on two goals and three points in the second half while Wicklow only managing to register two points in the same period, courtesy of Aimie Byrne and Aisling O’hAnnaidh. Unfortunately for the Wicklow side near miss’s do not count, as Laurie Ahern and Aisling O’hAnnaidh were also denied three sure goals in the first half by the London cross bar and a very disciplined London back line.
London put on an excellent display of football from their back line right through to their hard working forward line of Claire Towey, Linda Lodge, Hannah Noonan, Deirdre O’Riordan and Shauna Keogh, Keogh opened Londons account in the second minute of the game notching up her first point of four, and less than a minute later Keogh’s accurate pass found player of the match, Natalie O’Conner in space, O’Connor converted to put two points between the sides.
Wicklow’s Geraldine Norton pulled one back from a free in the fourth minute, after Monica Lynch was fouled by O’Connor, Wicklow continued to press as Aisling O’hAnnaidh watched in disbelief as her rocket like shot skimmed off Rosie Cusacks cross bar to safety.
Wicklows Laurie Ahern was next in line to attempt to raise the green flag, Ahern picked the ball up fifty metres out on the right hand side, pressed on the accelerator driving past Roisin McEvoy to fire the ball across the square to O’hAnnaidh, but the Bray Emmets player was once again denied a goal, this time it was Londons number two Ann Murphy who got in a brave block to keep her side one point in front (0-1 to 0-2).
Although the Wicklow players were struggling to put scores on the board, they were working hard to get a foothold in the game, in particular the girls protecting Emer Mileys goal, Nicky Donohue, Jill Heatley, Lisa Brady, Aoife Heffernan and midfielder Katherine Kavanagh put in excellent performances as they shadowed Londons full forward line of Shauna Keogh, Linda Lodge, Hannah Noonan, Anne-Marie Mohan and Claire Towey, Towey was Londons top scorer with a personal tally of 1-3 before she was replaced by Anne McGillycuddy in the final quarter of the game.
Probably the most interesting duel was between Wicklows Caitriona Byrne and Londons Deirdre O’Riordan, and while O’Riordan can be an elusive player, Byrne was equal to the challenge, keeping O’Riordans scoring tally to a single point for the game, O’Riordan played with Kilbrides senior ladies football club in West Wicklow over the past number of seasons and won a National football league winners medal with Wicklow in 2005 before transferring to the Parnells GAA club in London, and winning her place on the present London Junior team.
Geraldine Norton slotted over her second points from a free and Caoilfhionn Deeney tapped over Wicklows final score of the half after excellent work involving Julie Fitzmaurice, Mikaela Shelly and Aoife Heffernan.
The turning point in the game came early in the second period, when Wicklow lost the services of Aisling O’Hannaidh, O’hAnnaidh was shown the yellow card by referee Eileen Jones and dispatched to the cooler (Sin-bin) for ten minutes for a foul on Shauna Keogh.
Londons number nine Monica Jordon took full advantage, hitting a low shot to the right of Emer Miley to opened the flood gates for the London side as they came forward in waves adding a further goal and two points from Claire Towey, with Shauna Keogh adding her fourth and final score of the game, to kill off any hope Wicklow may have had of closing the gap as the game went into the final ten minutes.
While Wicklow never stopped chasing, but London played the possession game to run down the clock and book their place in this years final where they will meet a strong Derry side, on September the 28th in Croke Park.
President of the ladies Gaelic association Geraldine Giles presented a delighted Natalie O’Connor with the player of the match award.
London: Rosie Cusack (Halloway Gaels), Anne Murphy(Tara), Sinead Daly (Capt. Fr. Murphy’s), Roisin McEvoy (Kingdom-Kerry Gaels), Linda Tighe(Fr. Murphy’s), Niamh Keane (Fr. Murphy’s), Bree White (Tara), Natalie O’Connor (Fr. Murphy’s 0-2), Monica Jordan (Parnells 1-0) Claire Towey (Fr. Murphy’s 1-3), Hannah Noonan (Parnells ) Anne Marie Mohan (Parnells), Dierdre O’Riordan(Parnells), Linda Lodge(Tara), Shauna Keogh (Fr. Murphy’s 0-4 (1f), Anna McGillycuddy (Parnells).
Wicklow: Emer Miley ( capt.Blessington), Nicky Donohue(Kilbride), Jill Heatley (Blessington), Aoife Heffernan (Bray Emmets), Lorna Fusciardi (Eire Og), Caitriona Byrne(AGB), Lisa Brady (Bray Emmets), Katherine Kavanagh (Vcalleymount), Julie Fitzmaurice(Blessington), Monica Lynch (An Tochar), Caoilfhionn Deeney(Eire Og 0-1), Mikaela Shelly (Bray Emmets), Laurie Ahern (Eire Og), Gerldine Norton (Baltinglass 0-2f), Aisling O’hAnnaidh(Bray Emmets 0-1), Aimie Byrne (An Tochar 0-1), Caitriona McKeown(Kilbride), Aine Byrne(AGB), Helen Hurley(AGB),Niamh Coleman (Bray Emmets).

Referee: Eileen Jones (Tyrone).

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