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Garristown 1-22
Thomas Davis 1-06

By Nigel McCarthy

As night begin to descend on St Margaret’s GAA club the second final of the night took place between Garristown and Thomas Davis for the Junior E title.

Under the floodlights Garristown gave an exhibition of attacking football that was breathtaking at times as they mixed ball carrying from deep with long quick ball into a forward line that was on fire.

Thomas Davis had no answer to the north county Dublin sides pace, power, movement and shooting accuracy particularly from the quartet of Kate Dwyer, Amy O’Brien, Shannon Rock and Siobhan Rutledge.

Although things didn’t look so good for Garristown early on. They were forced into a late change to the starting lineup when Jacinta Rock pulled up in the warm up and was replaced by Sarah Gormley.

Thomas Davis started brightly and took advantage of a nervous looking Garristown side. They raced into a three point lead, a foul on Georgia Plowman in the 2nd minute was dispatched for the games opening score by Nicole Scott.

Garristown couldn’t get out of their own half and the fierce pressure from the Davis players were forcing mistakes. Aoife Reardon turned the ball over on six minutes and was fouled, up stepped Nicole Scott to hit her second successful free in a row.

A minute later and midfielder Rita Carroll who was the Tallaght sides best player throughout, cut in from the right side about 25 metres out to score the first point from open play. Davis were so on top in the opening eight minutes they should have been further ahead, but three poor wides, two inside the opening minute allowed Garristown to settle.

The settling point arrived in the 9th minute from Kate Dwyer after good work from Shauna White. Two more followed in as many minutes from Siobhan Rutledge and Dwyer with her second of the contest and the sides were level.

Davis responded to retake the lead when the impressive Rita Carroll cut through the Garristown defence with an incisive run and hit an excellent left footed effort for a point.

But Garristown now had their running game firing on all cylinders and a storming run from midfield by Laura McManus who fed Amy O’Brien for a stunning point from about 30 metres out had the teams on level terms again.

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With ten minutes to go to the break the team from North County Dublin took the lead for the first time in the game. A sweeping move from the back which involved Shauna White who passed to the onrushing Shannon Rock who in turn hit a fine pass to Kate Dwyer in space to hit her third point of the half.

Two minutes later and the sides couldn’t be separated again as Mags McGirl hit a sumptuous pass over the top of the Garristown defence to Rita Carroll and the Davis midfielder stroked the ball over the bar.

But from there to the half time break it was all Garristown. A brilliant pass from Shannon Rock picked out Amy O’Brien who hit a beauty of a point.

Laura McManus won the resultant restart, fed the ball to Edel Quinn who hit an excellent foot pass to Kate Dwyer in the right hand corner, she turned inside her marker and hit the ball straight over the black spot.

Davis couldn’t work the ball out past midfield and with five minutes left in the half Garristown carved out a goal chance, the Tallaght outfit though were thankful for the quick reflexes of their keeper Nicole Brady who smothered the shot from Siobhan Rutledge.

A point from Amy O’Brien was quickly followed by Barney Rock sides second goal chance. The ball was won by right half back Hazel Rock, a quick interchange of passes with Jenny Dowling released Rock to go on a run, she picked out Rutledge with an excellent cross field pass, but the Garristown forward once again couldn’t find a way past Brady in the Davis goal.

Two minutes from the break Garristown were awarded a free about 47 metres out, Dowling found O’Brien with a pass and the impressive left half forward took a couple of side steps to create space before striking a fine effort for a point.

Davis should have got themselves back into the game moments later when a long foot pass over the top put Georgia Plowman through on goal, but the quick footed forward just pulled her shot narrowly wide.

Good pressure from Shannon Rock led to a turnover in the Davis half and she picked out Amy O’Brien who scored the last point of the first thirty minutes to give Garristown a five point lead at halftime with the score 0-10 to 0-05.

The second half in the main was all one way traffic. Garristown set the tone from the throw-in, Jenny Dowling won the ball passed to Kate Dwyer who was fouled and Amy O’Brien showed she was as accurate from free’s as she was from open play.

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Davis struggled to get anything going forward and the fleeting times that they did, they found a half back line of Hazel and Laura Rock and Sarah Gormley along with full back Helen White had put up the thou shall not pass signs.

A point from Edel Quinn stretched the lead, but an incisive run and point from Thomas Davis midfielder Rita Carroll for her fourth score of the final momentarily stopped the Garristown momentum.

But the game was all but wrapped up when the girls in blue and navy were awarded a penalty for a foul in the square on Siobhan Rutledge. Amy O’Brien stepped up to take the spot kick and buried the ball to the net.

Shauna White put further distance between the sides with a point from the kickout and when Shannon Rock added another a minute later it looked like the game was up for Davis.

But the Tallaght side were thrown a lifeline when Georgia Plowman went on a rampaging run right through the heart of the Garristown defence and just as she was about the pull the trigger for a shot at the goal she was pulled back and Davis were awarded a penalty which Louise Gleeson dispatched with aplomb.

Unfortunately for Davis it was to be their last score of the game as the North County Dublin side dominated the game to the finish.

Points from Shannon Rock and a brace from Siobhan Rutledge quickly cancelled out the Davis penalty. Three points in a row followed from the standout player on the night Kate Dwyer, the third point the best of the lot as she cut in along the end-line to score from a tight angle.

Thomas Davis in fairness to them never dropped their heads and battled to the end, but they just came up against a Garristown outfit that, having lost a couple of finals in the preceeding years, were determined this was to be their year.

It was left to two of their stars on the night Shannon Rock and Kate Dwyer to finish off the scoring with two stunning points and the ran out deserving sixteen point victors.

Scorers For Garristown: Amy O’Brien 1-06 (1-00 Pen, 1f), Kate Dwyer 0-08, Shannon Rock 0-03, Siobhan Rutledge 0-03, Shauna White 0-01, Edel Quinn 0-01.

Scorers For Thomas Davis: Rita Carroll 0-04, Louise Gleeson 1-00, Nicole Scott 0-02 (2f)

Garristown: Chloe Mason, Ciara Murray, Helen White, Louise Donnelly, Hazel Rock, Laura Rock, Sarah Gormley, Jenny Dowling, Laura McManus, Shauna White, Kate Dwyer, Amy O’Brien, Shannon Rock, Siobhan Rutledge, Edel Quinn. Subs: Anna McCardle, Jacinta Rock, Toni McAdam, Aoife Connell, Anne Tormey, Heather Sheridan, Holly Doyle, Kellie Ward, Katie Mason, Rachel Ryan, Aoife Battersby, Karla Doyle, Katherine Duffy, Niamh Sweetman, Becky Stafford.

Thomas Davis: Nicole Brady, Kelly Russell, Stacy Byrne, Alison O’Leary, Sinead Tyrrell, Karen Sweeney, Laura Brothwood, Linda Deasy, Rita Carroll, Mags McGirl, Aoife Reardon, Karla Plowman, Nicole Scott, Georgia Plowman, Louise Gleeson. Subs: Dannielle Connolly, Ailbhe Carey, Caoimhe Reilly, Caitriona Payne, Leanne Kennedy, Sarah McKeown, Aine Kane, Kim Plunkett, Ashleigh Hennessy, Louise O’Donoghue, Louise Curran, Shauna Irwin, Shannon Cumberton, Chloe Whelan, Jessica Byrne.

Referee: Orla Simpson.