2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Maynooth 5-9 HWH Bunclody 3-4

VHI Leinster Junior club Championship Final
Maynooth 5-9 HWH Bunclody 3-4

Maynooths Simone Gilabert was in unstoppable form on Sunday last in the VHI Leinster junior championship final against HWH Bunclody in Geraldine Park, Athy.
Gilabert proved too hot to handle for the Bunclody defence on the day, as she contributed three goals and three points to ensure that Maynooth collected the VHI Leinster junior championship title.
Weather conditions were not ideal, but both sides gave an excellent display of ladies football, and although the wind blew diagonally across the pitch, at times it seemed to change direction during the game and favour the team playing into the club house end.
HWH Bunclody stayed in touch for the first twenty minutes ( 1-1 to 1-2), but two quick goals from Gilabert and Zoe Dunbar in the twentieth and twenty third minute of the first half, put the Wexford club on the back foot, and in fairness to Bunclody they were well aware that they were not playing to their own high standard in the first period of the game.
Fiona Kavanagh had a golden chance to raise the green just before the break, but unfortunately for Kavanagh her shot clipped over the Maynooth cross bar to register a point, Maynooth went in at the break with a commanding 3-6 to 1-3 lead.
Six minutes into the third quarter Maynooths Gilabert twisted the knife further, after weaving her way through the Bunclody’s defence, she crashed the ball to the back of Eimear Nolans net to open a 4-6 to 1-3 gap.
Both sides stepped up a gear over the next fifteen minutes, Maynooths midfield pair of Fiona Bradley and Siobhan McCourt worked tirelessly in the centre of the park supporting their half forward line of Roisin Murray, Simone Gilabert and Hazel Mulligan.
Bunclody never gave up the chase, their forward line of Fiona Kavanagh, Claire Finn and Tracey Nolan all continued to battle hard to try and reel in the Kildare champions. Nolan fired home her second goal of the game for the model county side, and Maynooth moved their number fifteen Zoe Dunbar into the left corner back position to add support to the hard working Maynooth back line of Sinead Murray, Ann Marie Farrell, Catriona Dolan, Louise Walsh and Michelle Kearney.
The light at the end of the Bunclody tunnel glowed a little brighter when they were awarded a 13m free eight minutes from the end, Kelly Anne Murphy stepped up knowing that a goal was the only option at this stage of the game, Maynooth packed their goal mouth and there seemed no way through, however Murphy’s laser guided rocket like shot hit the top of Rachel Tallons net to the delight of all the Bunclody supporters. Unfortunately for the Bunclody side, the cheers were quickly silenced when Maynooth’s Roisin Murray and Simone Gilabert tagged on a point and goal respectively, to put the Kildare side out of reach with just seconds left in the game.
Maynooth brought the game to an end with their final point of the game, to run out comfortable winners with the score board reading 5-9 to 3-4.
Leinster president Bill Daly was on hand to congratulated both sets of players and mentors for all their efforts through out the season, and Bill thanked all those involved and especially VHI for their continued support of ladies gaelic football.
Maynooth captain Catriona Doolan stepped up to collect the VHI Leinster Junior trophy from Bill Daly, Doolan went on to thank Bunclody for a very sporting game.
While Maynooth’s number eleven Simone Gilabert received the player of the match award from Bill.
Maynooth: Rachel Tallon, Louise Walsh, Aisling Farrell, AnneMarie Farrell, Sinead Murray, Catriona Doolan (C), Michelle Kearney, Fiona Bradley, Siobhan McCourt, Roisin Murray (2-2), Simone Gilabert (3-3), Hazel Mulligan (0-1), Eimear Connolly (0-1), Aodhin McBride (0-1), Zoe Dunbar (1-0). Subs: Anto Mooney, Sarah Quinn, Heather McAree, Roisin Kearney, Orla canning, Aisling Rodgers.
Bunclody: Eimear Nolan Joanne Kearns, Suzie Keogh, Lisa O’Neill, Elizabeth Kelly ( C ), Denise Kearns, Anne-Marie Tallon, Eileen Hanrick, Orla Donohoe, Leanne Kehoe, Fiona Kavanagh (0-2), Maura Kenny, Kelly Anne Murphy (1-0), Claire Finn (0-1), Tracey Nolan (2-1). Subs: Lauren Athinson, Ciara Nolan, Sarah Murphy, Aisling Donohoe, Betsy O’Connor, Eimear Kelly.
Referee: Fran Mullins (Carlow).
( Mick Forde Leinster pro)

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