Na Fianna 3-06
A creative, powerful O’Dwyer’s side led by prolific full forward Shannon Richardson dominated the Dublin Junior C final at Naomh Mearnog on Monday, the Balbriggan side putting on a show against Na Fianna.
An open start was a sign of things to come: both O’Dwyers and Na Fianna saw forwards through on goal in the opening minutes, with a weaving run from midfield by Aedin Caverly and a burst into space from Shauna O’Hara drawing sharp saves from Lauren Murphy and Aisling Daly respectively.
Na Fianna opened well, with a run of three points from neatly-won frees following a Shannon Richardson opener for O’Dwyer’s. With Na Fianna dominating territory early on, though, O’Dwyers proved more clinical.
Siobhan Roy’s cutting run – ending with her thrashing the ball just over the head of Daly to put O’Dwyer’s ahead 1-02 to 0-03 came after a couple of warning shots, and gave O’Dwyers a lead they would never relinquish.
For the rest of the half, O’Dwyers pressed
and Na Fianna struggled to get a firm hand on the ball. Richardson was the star, finding space between defenders as Katie McCabe and Lorna Sweetman made a nuisance of themselves from Na Fianna kicks outs and allowed O’Dwyer’s to dominate possession.
Richardson’s well-worked charge and smash over the head of Daly opened up a 2-03 to 0-04 lead, with Roy narrowly missing out on adding to the margin as she clipped another goal effort back off the Na Fianna crossbar.
O’Dwyer’s went in at halftime with a 2-09 to 0-05 lead.
Almost straight from kick off, Richardson
effectively put the game to bed, breaking down the right and bursting past a couple of Na Fianna defenders to chip across the face of Daly and into the bottom left corner.
A period of dominance followed, with O’Dwyer’s making sure of their title, as Richardson and Shauna O’Hara took advantage of another period in which Na Fianna struggled to get on the ball.
The fourth goal came midway through
the half with Richardson again breaking clear, her first shot saved brilliantly by Daly, who could only watch as Richardson grabbed the rebound, rounded her and tapped into an empty net.
Na Fianna, though, weren’t going to give up without a fight. First Shauna Halpin – who looked fantastic on the ball throughout despite limited opportunities – lashed a point attempt off the post, only to see it drop to Caverly, who restored some pride for the Glasnevin club.
The goal led to a lively late revival for Na Fianna, who promptly added two more. The first saw Katie Alcock neatly beat Lauren Murphy at her far post from within a crowded box, before the full forward conjured the goal of the game with the very last kick, launching a vicious effort from the left byline that landing just inside the post.
Pride restored, but having dominated both possession and territory with their clever hand-passing game, O’Dwyer’s were not to be denied. Their winning margin of 4-18 to 3-6 simply reflected their level of control.
S Richardson 3-11(1f) S O’Hara 0-03 S Roy 1-00 A Pollis 0-01 J Richardson 0-01 K McCabe 0-01
Na Fianna 3-06
K Alcock 2-02(1f) S Halpin 0-04(4f) A Caverly 1-00
Report: James Hendicott
Image Credit: GAApics.com