55th minute Katie McNally goal proved to be the decisive score for Foxrock Cabinteely
Foxrock Cabinteely 1-07
Na Fianna 0-07
By Daire Walsh
Katie McNally struck a 55th-minute goal at Parnell Park on Friday night to guide Foxrock Cabinteely towards a seventh successive Go Ahead Dublin LGFA Senior Club Championship title.
With inter-county star Hannah Tyrrell exerting a strong influence, Na Fianna had threatened to dethrone the southside giants for large stretches.
However, in the absence of talismanic Dublin defender Sinead Goldrick, Fox/Cab dug deep to secure another capital crown.
Aside from McNally’s late intervention, Jodi Egan’s final tally of 0-5 went a long way to ensuring the holders remained on top of the county ladder. In her second season with Na Fianna, Tyrrell contributed four points to supplement a brace from Orlaith Egan.
In the past two seasons at this juncture of the competition, Fox/Cab were put through the wringer by Kilmacud Crokes before eventually securing top honours.
Alan McNally’s side got the better of the same opposition in their opening game of Group A and safely secured a spot in the knockout rounds courtesy of subsequent victories at the expense of Clontarf and Thomas Davis.
However, the Kilboggett Park outfit had to settle for runners-up in the final standings.
This was as a result of Na Fianna defeating them in the final game of the group – a 1-10 to 2-6 win at St Mobhi Road on 17 October ensuring the Glasnevin side enjoyed an unbeaten march into the last-four.
Despite this narrow reversal, Fox/Cab bounced back at the semi-final stage with a 3-11 to 1-7 triumph over Ballyboden St Enda’s at Pairc Ui Murchu last Sunday afternoon. On the same day, Na Fianna had six points to spare against Cuala (3-11 to 2-8) on home soil.
This set-up a mouthwatering showpiece clash, which featured a plethora of inter-county stars on both sides. All-Star nominated following their impressive performances for the Jackies in this year’s All-Ireland senior championship, Leah Caffrey and Tyrrell lined up together in the Na Fianna midfield.
Within the Fox/Cab ranks, there were top-level representatives to be found from a host of different counties. This included recent All-Ireland champions Fiona Claffey (Westmeath) and Lorna Fusciardi (Wicklow) in addition to serial Brendan Martin Cup winner Niamh Collins.
There was little to separate these sides on paper and, with that in mind, it was perhaps unsurprising that scores were hard to come by in the opening quarter.
Both teams had their opportunities on goal, but it was Na Fianna attacker Orlaith Egan who broke the deadlock with a 10th-minute point from play.
Tyrrell was on hand to double their lead moments later, dissecting the posts in clinical fashion from a 30-metre free.
Although Fox/Cab were taking their time to settle, it was inevitable that they would hit their stride.
Andrea Murphy got them up and running with a fine score at a right-hand angle and her inside partner Jodi Egan was also on target from close-range.
Midfielder Niamh Ryan was the next player to get in on the scoring act with her white flag effort edging Fox/Cab into the ascendancy on 17 minutes.
This point coincided with the first water break on what was turning into a testing occasion at the increasingly rain-sodden Donnycarney venue.
It was Na Fianna who initially benefited from this brief interlude as they proceeded to work their way back in front with a brace of routine pointed frees courtesy of the reliable Tyrrell.
Fox/Cab had their own dead-ball specialist in the shape of Egan, however, and she restored parity for the holders with the interval fast approaching.
Yet there was enough time left in the half for Murphy (free) and Na Fianna wing-forward Orla Martin to traded points.
This left the tie delicately poised at 0-5 apiece during the interval, though Na Fianna did breathe a sigh of relief when Hannah O’Neill fired wide from a goal opportunity towards the tail end of the opening period.
Fox/Cab suffered a set-back just two minutes after the restart when team captain Ciara O’Riordan was forced out of the action through injury. A short while later, Na Fianna introduced their own skipper – Aoife Caffrey – as a substitute.
Either side of her introduction, Na Fianna had a couple of glorious chances to raise a green flag.
When Egan was fouled inside the square on 35 minutes, it was Tyrrell who stepped up to the penalty spot.
The former Ireland women’s rugby international was off-target with her resulting strike, but was back a couple of minutes later to release Elyse Jameson Murphy on goal.
Yet Fox/Cab netminder Aisling Tarpey – who has featured extensively for Mayo at the inter-county grade in recent times – was out quickly to deflect her shot behind for a ’45’. It was becoming increasingly likely that there wouldn’t be a score in the third-quarter of this game.
That was until Egan emphatically split the uprights, in advance of Tyrrell adding her fourth free of the night. Fox/Cab were struggling to rediscover their attacking rhythm, but with Egan finding the range either side of the second half water break, they once again found themselves on level terms with Neil Mulhern’s charges.
Extra-time was beginning to loom large, before Murphy passed across the goalmouth for her inside partner McNally to flick home the decisive score of the action five minutes from time.
Using all their experience and know-how, Fox/Cab held onto possession for long spells to take the sting of the Na Fianna challenge.
Still, there were some anxious moments for their supporters in the closing moments with Tarpey producing a superb save deep into time added on.
In the end, though, Foxrock/Cabinteely had done enough to stave off a spirited display from their northside rivals.
Foxrock Cabinteely Scorers
13. Jodie Egan 0-05 (4f)
15. Kate McNally 1-00
14. Andrea Murphy 0-01
9. Fiona Claffey 0-01
Na Fianna Scorers
9. Hannah Tyrrell 0-04 (4f)
14. Orlaith Egan 0-02
10. Orla Martin 0-01
1. Aisling Tarpey
2. Sarah Quinn
3. Niamh Collins
4. Aedin Murray
5. Faye O’Connell Bell
6. Tarah O’Sullivan
7. Lorna Fusciardi
8. Niamh Ryan
9. Fiona Claffey
10. Sarah Dillon
11. Ciara O’Riordan
12. Hannah O’Neill
13. Jodi Egan
14. Andrea Murphy
15. Kate McNally
Foxrock Cabinteely Substitutions
20. Sinead Loughrane for O’Riordan (32)
21. Ciara Murphy for O’Connell Bell (40)
17. Sinead Delahunty for Fuscardi (61)
1. Karen O’Connell
2. Eimear Nolan
3. Roisin Baker
4. Sophie Aherne
5. Niamh Daly
6. Eilish O’Dowd
7. Aoife Nolan
8. Leah Caffrey
9. Hannah Tyrrell
10. Orla Martin
11. Elyse Jameson Murphy
12. Emma Deeley
13. Lucy Collins
14. Orlaith Egan
15. Ciara Purdy
Na Fianna Substitutions
17. Aoife Caffrey for Purdy (35)
20. Karla Conway for Deeley (42)
18. Ellie McAleer for Jameson Murphy (49)
26. Niamh Gleeson for Nolan (51)
31. Eva Aherne for Nolan (59)
Referee: Gavin Donegan (Trinity Gaels).