The 2020 Senior Club Championship Final is a repeat of last years decider
Today sees the biggest day in ladies club football in the Capital as the 2020 Dublin LGFA Senior Club Championship Final takes place in Lawless Park in Swords.
This years final will be a repeat of last years decider as reigning champions Foxrock Cabinteely take on last years finalists Kilmacud Crokes at 4pm.
Due to the current restrictions there will be no supporters in attendance at today’s final. But you won’t miss a minute of the action as the full game will be streamed live on the Dublin LGFA’s YouTube channel.
The commentary for today’s game will be provided by FM 104’s Declan Drake and joining Declan in the commentary box will be Dublin Ladies football legend Lyndsey Davey.
If today’s final is anything close to last years meeting between same two sides in the county final then viewers will be in for an engrossing match in Lawless Park.
Last years final went all the way to extra-time as Kilmacud Crokes made sure they made the most of their maiden senior final and goals from Eabha Rutledge and two converted penalties, one in each half of normal time from Molly Lamb pushed Foxrock all the way.
But with the game looking like it was heading for a draw, two late converted frees from Amy Connolly secured Foxrock Cabinteely a fifth title in a row.
Foxrock are chasing a sixth title on the spin and are appearing in their seventh final in a row. They arrive into this years decider with a 100% record, they topped Division 1 of the senior championship and beat Ballyboden St Endas in the semi finals.
Thomas Davis were the first opponents up for Fox-Cab in round one of the championship back in late July and the defending champions sent out a resounding message that they were in no mood of relinquishing their title as the brushed aside Davis by 6-15 to 0-07.
In round two Foxrock made the journey to Mobhi Road to take on Na Fianna and secured their second win of their campaign with the final score in the game 1-14 to 0-11.
Another away trip in round three and Fox-Cab were given a stern test by their hosts Clontarf. Heading into the final minute of that game the sides were all square, but a late goal snatched the win for the Kilboggett Park outfit and a place in the semi finals with the final score 1-14 to 1-11.
Foxrock’s round 4 game was conceded by relegated threatened St Sylvesters and with those points awarded it brought their total to 12 points and a ecured top spot in group.
An all southside meeting against Ballyboden St Endas awaited in the semi finals. Boden got off to a flying start with two goals inside the opening five minutes.
But Fox-Cab don’t do panic and hit back with two goals of their own from Sinead Loughran and Andrea Murphy as they settled into the game.
Further goals before the break from Aisling Murphy and a second from Sinead Loughran put Foxrock in control of the semi final and in the end they ran out winners by 4-15 to 2-11.
Kilmacud Crokes have looked impressive in their run to the final. They started off their campaign with a resounding round one victory over Clanna Gael Fontenoy by 4-19 to 1-09.
Fingallians were the round two opponents for a home tie in Pairc De Burca and Crokes flexed their muscles again to claim a thirteen point win on a scoreline of 1-18 to 0-08.
A trip to Russell Park and a meeting with St Brigids in round three and yet another impressive performance from Kilmacud as they powered to a third win in a row by 4-14 to 1-07 and guaranteed their place in the semi finals.
A local derby with rivals Ballyboden St Endas in round four awaited. Both sides had accumulated nine points each from their opening three game and had already qualified for the semi finals.
Their meeting would determine which side finished top of the table, besides bragging rights, a top place finish also meant avoiding defending champions in the semi’s.
Crokes could have been forgiven for taking their foot of the gas a little in the game, but they kept the accelerator flat on the floor and comfortably dispatched Boden by 4-17 to 2-04.
Na Fianna were the opponents in the semi final and Kilmacud Crokes got off to a flying start and looked odds on to cruise to the final as the Mobhi Road outfit struggled to get a foothold in the game.
Three first half goals put Crokes into a commanding 3-09 to 0-07 lead at half-time.
Kilmacud though lost their concentration and way in the third quarter and Na Fianna got themselves tight back into the contest and as the game headed into the closing stages they had pulled to within two scores of Crokes with score now standing at 3-12 to 2-11.
But Crokes finished the game on the front foot and scored 1-03 in the closing minutes to claim the win by 4-15 to 2-12 and a place in the senior county final.
So where will today’s final be won and lost. Looking at both sides scoring and concession statistics and there seems very little between the teams.
Foxrock over their three group games and semi final have scored an average of 3 goals and 14.5 points per game, while conceding 0.75 goals and 10 points per game.
Crokes on the other hand from their four group games and semi final have scored an average of 3.4 goals and 16.6 points per game and conceded 1.2 goals and 8 points per game in their run to the final.
Looking at the above stats it hard to see any big advantage for either side in either scoring terms or concessions terms particularly as Crokes physically played one more game than Foxrock due to Fox-Cabs final group game conceded.
Crokes though have been more consistent in finding the back of the net, raising green flags in each of their games and have scored four goals in four out of the five games they played to reach the final.
Although finding the net in each of their games the majority of Fox-Cabs goals were scored in just two games, six in their round one game against Thomas Davis and four against Ballyboden in the semi-final.
Kilmacud’s ability to create and take goal chances could very well be a deciding factor in today’s final, but Foxrock’s success over the past five years has been built on a very solid defence and that defensive wall has only been breached three times so far this championship and with if goal chances are at a premium today Crokes will need to be as clinical as they have been to date and take any that comes their way this afternoon.
Both teams have a host of current or former Dublin players in their ranks, senior stars Niamh Collins and Sinead Goldrick and former senior player Amy Connolly, 2016 Minor captain Tarah O’Sullivan and last years minor captain Jodie Egan are named in the Foxrock starting 15.
Dublin senior squad member Hannah O’Neill, Katie McNally who has represented Dublin at underage level and 2012 All Ireland winning minor captain Emma McDonagh are on the bench.
For Crokes current Dublin senior squad members Lauren Magee, Aoife Kane, Eabha Rutledge, Laura Kane, Julia Buckley and Rachael Fleming and former players Molly Lamb and Michelle Davoren are named in the starting team.
Rising underage Dublin players Grace Kos and Emma Kane are among those named in the bench.
Both sides also have a host of current and former inter county players outside of Dublin.
Aisling Tarpey (Mayo), Aedin Murray (Meath), Sarah Quinn (Louth), Lorna Fuscardi (Wicklow), Fiona Claffey (Westmeath), Andrea Murphy (Kerry), Ashling Murphy (Wexford), Laurie Ahern (Wicklow), Sinead Delahunty (Tipperary), Laura Nerney (Laois) are all in the Fox-Cab squad.
And Niamh Cotter (Cork) and Danielle Morgan (Armagh) are in the Crokes squad.
So there is plenty of inter county experience for both sides to call upon today but Foxrock look to have a greater depth of experience in their squad to call upon particularly from their bench.
But here in maybe lies a problem for the defending champions, there are a lot of miles on the clock for many of their squad players both at club and inter county level.
And hunger is a term that is widely spoken about particularly for sides that have had a sustained lengthy level of success. Has the many years of success and long miles in the legs somewhat dulled the bite and hunger that has secured five titles in a row for Foxrock.
Time catches up on all teams eventually but will it be this afternoon?
This is where Kilmacud Crokes may have the advantage. They will be ravenous to claim their first senior title and have enthusiasm and fearlessness of youth on their side.
This young side will have learned a lot from last years final defeat against the same opposition and will know exactly what to expect from Fox-Cab.
With one more year of experience under their belts and the memories of last years defeat fresh in their minds, if they bring their A game with them today they will be hard to stop.
What they can’t afford today though is a similar drop in concentration levels that they experienced in their semi final against Na Fianna, if that happens Foxrock will punish them severely.
But given the level and quality of the opposition today and the prize on offer that shouldn’t happen.
This has all the hallmarks to be another classic final between these two sides and is a difficult one to call.
But we will stick our head above the pulpit and predict with youth and hunger on their side and an ability to find the back of the net a win for Kilmacud Crokes by a narrow margin.
Aisling Tarpey, Aedin Murray, Niamh Collins, Sarah Quinn, Ciara O’Riordan, Tarah O’Sullivan, Lorna Fuscardi, Sinead Goldrick, Fiona Claffey, Sinead Loughran, Amy Connolly (Captain), Niamh Ryan, Andrea Murphy, Ashling Murphy, Jodie Egan.
Subs: Emily Foster Ryan, Laurie Ahern, Jess Connolly, Katie McNally, Sinead Delahunty, Laura Nerney, Faye O’Connell Bell, Ava Egan, Sarah Dillon, Rebecca Duffy, Hannah O’Neill, Emma McDonagh, Lisa Davies, Sarah O’Leary.
Management: Alan McNally, John Nolan, Colm Kearney, Maureen King, Daithi McCabe, Eanna Madden and Linda Carroll.
Rachael Fleming, Hannah Power, Emer Sweeney (Captain), Philippa Greene, Muireann O’Gorman, Molly Lamb, Aoife Kane, Cassie Sultan, Lauren Magee, Laura Kane, Eabha Rutledge, Mia Jennings, Julia Buckley, Michelle Davoren, Amy Conroy
Subs; Ciara Jones, Ciara Regan, Danielle Morgan, Sinead O’Donoghue, Grace Kos, Sarah McMahon, Lauren Bedford, Niamh Cotter, Aoife Taaffe, Shauna Buckley, Ella Higgins, Evie Lehane, Emma Kane, Aideen Connor, Kate Murray.
Management: Paddy O’Donoghue, Terry Jennings, Imelda Callaghan, Eamon Prenter, Noel O’Leary, Dave Buckley, Declan Collins