Na Gaeil crush fairy tale ending for Connolly’s

Na Gaeil 2-27     Dunedin Connollys 1-5


Na Gaeil of Tralee crushed any thoughts there may have been of a Fairy-tale ending for Dunedin Connolly’s. To many the surprise of the year was the emergence of the Scottish club team making it all the way to the All-Ireland club final but in Crettyard a far superior Na Gaeil ensured that the wait will continue for a little while longer for the Edinburgh outfit.

From the word go Na Gaeil got into their stride and while Dunedin were happy to adopt open tactics and did not employ any sweeper systems Na Gaeil used the open spaces to clinical advantage.

They were 0-8 up inside the first ten minutes with Marie Quirke, Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh and Sarah Cunningham all finding white flags with relative ease.

Kate Anne O’Connor got the game’s opening goal after Ref Mag’s Doherty decided to leave her goal stand after she had been pulled down in the box. This seemed to knock the confidence further out of the Scottish girls and the Na Gaeil girls added a further 1-6 to lead 2-14 to 0-0 after only twenty minutes. The goal this time coming from Emily Brick. Rosanna Heeney converted a 21M free for Dunedin on the 24th minute and Dunedin were up and running. Indeed, they doubled their score a minute later when Anne-Marie Lenehan pointed. Na Gaeil with a Marie Quirke point ended the first half with Na Gaeil leading 2-15 to 0-2.

The second half needed to start with, a Dunedin burst but as is often the case, it is the team in control get all the breaks. Na Gaeil put on another five unanswered points mostly from frees as Dunedin certainly put up more of a stubborn resistance. Hannah Donegan pointed for Connolly’s on the 45th minute and this spurred on their best spell in the game. Na Gaeil lost Ciara Murphy to a yellow card and in her absence Caoilfhionn added a goal and a point but it was all a little academic as the final whistle brought a 9-year wait for a Kerry club to win an All-Ireland Junior club final.

Riona Ni Chinnedie accepted the cup from LGFA president Pat Quill who was warm in his praise for the Munster outfit.

In truth Na Gaeil were too strong all over the pitch and while many felt that Dunedin might well put up a challenge the blistering start of the Kerry side knocked all that on its head. Sarah Cunningham, Marie Quirke and Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh contributed a massive 24 points between them. Ciara Murphy, Brid O’Connor and Riona Ni Chinnede were also outstanding. For Dunedin, it may well have been a tough day at the office but the display of Sinead Loftus in goal was certainly noteworthy and she was on hand to make 2-point blank saves in the second half. Sue O’ Sullivan and Rosanna Heeney battled away throughout and despite the close marking of Caoilfhionn Deeney she did enough to ask questions at time of the Na Gaeil defence.





Na Gaeil

L Fitzgerald, N Moriarty, B O’Connor, M O’Connor, S Roche, R Ni Chinneide, C Murphy, M Doody, E O’Connor 0-1, M Quirke 0-7, L Ni Mhuircheartaigh 0-9 (4F), D Kearney, S Cunningham 0-8 (1F), E Brick 1-1, K A O’Connor 1-1

Subs: S Heaslip for E O’Connor (38), A Roche for M Doody (52) S Prendergast for N Moriarty (55) M Barry for D Kearney (57) N Hannifin for S Roche (58)


Dunedin Connolly’s

A Loftus, H Keenan, K Mohan, A Roche, A Kavanagh, N Morrisson, A Hicks, S O’Sullivan, R Heeney 0-1, A M Lenehan 0-1, C Deeney 1-1(0-1F), S O’Connell, C Hannon 0-1, D Shiel, H Donnegan0-1 (0-1F)

Subs: C O’Driscoil for S O’Connell (11) M Callaghan for A Kavanagh (56) J Pimbert for A Roche (56) S McWilliams for C O’Driscoil (56)

Ref: Mags Doherty (Wexford)


Report by Donal Barry

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