Enya Mulcahy And Bronagh O’Donovan Shoot Ranelagh Gaels To Win Over Garristown In the Dublin Junior D Championship Final
Ranelagh Gaels 2-09
By Nigel McCarthy
Two goals from Enya Mulcahy and five points from the boot of Bronagh O’Donovan at Lawless Memorial Park in Swords on Friday evening secured a two point win for Ranelagh Gaels over Garristown in the Dublin Junior ‘D’ Ladies Football Championship Final.
Both sides had to deal with the difficult conditions as a strong wind blew towards the scoreboard end and it took a full 12 minutes for the first score of the contest.
That score settled Ranelagh and playing with the elements in their favour they quickly got into their stride penning Garristown into their own half for long periods of the opening half.
Wing back Enya Mulcahy impressed throughout and got forward at every opportunity carrying the ball with authority and was rewarded for her forays forward by finishing two moves, one in each half to the back of the net. She was ably assisted in the scoring stakes by the accurate shooting of Bronagh O’Donovan who finished with 0-5 to her name.
The Garristown resistance was led by wing forward Amy O’Brien who scored all bar two of her sides 1-10 total and was just unmarkable at times. Edel Quinn, Shannon Rock and Kate Dwyer also impressed in the North County Dublin sides attack with Dwyer in particular getting on plenty of ball and spraying the passes around.
Both sides had reached the county decider losing just one game in the Group stages of the competition, Garristown were beaten by St Patricks Donabate and Ranelagh Gaels only defeat was to their opponents in Friday evenings decider, that group game finished 2-21 to 6-07 giving Garristown top spot in Group A with Ranelagh Gaels second.
Both teams semi finals were high scoring affairs, Garristown overcame Ballymun Kickhams by 2-10 to 3-04 while Ranelagh Gaels had six points to spare over Naomh Mearnóg with the final score 3-15 to 4-06. Despite Garristown winning the previous encounter between the teams earlier in the competition the winning margin was only two points leaving the outcome of the final a hard one to call.
But after a flurry of missed scoring chances by both sides Garristown opened their account in the 12th minute with a well taken point from Amy O’Brien who did well to collect the ball after initially losing it in the tackle.
Ranelagh responded immediately moving the ball at pace down the field and Sinead McHugh swung the ball over the bar to level things up. Against the strong wind Chloe Mason in the Garristown goal struggled to get distance or accuracy in her kick-outs and Ranelagh penned them in their own half. The Mountain View Road outfit hit the next three scores with Bronagh O’Donovan, Yvonne Twomey and Chloe Gilligan supplying the finishing touches.
Garristown escaped the pressure being applied by Gaels and worked the ball up to O’Brien who was fouled and the free was converted by Shannon Rock to reduce the deficit to two points. Ranelagh stretched their lead again with a point from Sinead McHugh her second of the half.
With nine minutes to go till the break came one of the moves of the game involving an interchange of passes between Laura McManus, Carla Fay, Shannon Rock and Kate Dwyer who clipped an excellent effort over the bar for the North County Dublin side. Garristown won the resultant restart but some excellent defending and blocking from the Ranelagh backs kept them out.
A Ranelagh sideline deep in the opposition half was played into Yvonne Twomey who was fouled and O’Donovan converted the subsequent free. Four minutes from the half-time whistle came the games opening goal, Gaels won a 45’ it was played short and worked into Enya Mulcahy who blasted the ball to the net.
Chloe Gilligan picked up the ball just inside the Garristown half and she went on a defence splitting run, she offloaded the ball Twomey who hand passed the ball to O’Donovan who split the post to extend the Ranelagh lead.
O’Donovan was involved in the next move, she took a quick free and played it to Edel Brennan, she offloaded to the ever available Gilligan who worked the ball back to O’Donovan who found her mark with a fine point to give Gaels an eight point advantage as the game headed into first half injury time.
Garristown though grabbed the last two scores of an absorbing opening half, Edel Quinn won the ball in her own half picked out the onrushing midfielder Emma O’Brien, she played the ball to Shannon Rock out on the wing and the centre forward hit a delightful foot pass across the face of the goal to pick out Amy O’Brien who slotted over. O’Brien won the resultant restart was fouled and picked herself off the turf to convert the free to leave the score at the break 1-08 to 0-05.
Garristown started the second half brightly, two minutes in and Amy O’Brien added further to her ever growing tally with a nice point.
In the 35th minute Kate Dwyer intercepted a clearance out of the Ranelagh defence, played a long ball towards the square which was gathered by O’Brien and she was upended by Emer O’Mahoney for a penalty.
O’Mahoney was shown a yellow and headed to the sideline for a ten minute spell in the sin-bin, O’Brien placed the ball on the spot and hit an unstoppable shot to the net and it was game on. O’Brien made it a one point game in the 43rd minute with another converted free after a foul on Edel Quinn.
But just a minute later Ranelagh regained control of the final, a well worked move involving a number of passes found the ball in the hands of wing-back Enya Mulcahy who played a quick one-two with Chloe Gilliagan and Mulcahy smashed the ball home for her second major of the game.
Garristown squandered a goal scoring opportunity as the game entered the final quarter with Kate Dwyer’s powerful shot across the goal just going narrowly wide. A shot dropped short by O’Donovan was contested by Garristown keeper Chloe Mason and Ranelagh centre-forward Chloe Gilligan, both players collided in midair and needed treatment but thankfully both players were able to continue.
Both number 10’s swapped points with just four minutes left on the clock, there was a late yellow card for Shannon Rock in the 62nd minute with four points between the sides.
A pointed free from Amy O’Brien left just a goal between the sides in the dying embers of the game and in the sixth minute of second half injury time Garristown were awarded a free close to goal.
With the free the last kick of the game the North County Dublin side needed a goal to draw level. That task was left to the magnificent O’Brien, she hit a thunderbolt of a shot towards the top corner, but one of the many Ranelagh players on the line got a hand to the ball to deflect it over the bar and Ranelagh Gaels held on for the win and the Junior D title.
Ranelagh Gaels Scorers: Enya Mulcahy 2-0, Bronagh O’Donovan 0-5 (0-1f), Sinead McHugh 0-2, Yvonne Twomey 0-1, Chloe Gilligan.
Garristown Scorers: Amy O’Brien 1-08 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), Kate Dwyer 0-1, Shannon Rock 0-1 (0-1f).
Ranelagh Gaels: Niamh Fitzgerald; Aoife Drury, Emma Kiernan, Susan Lynch; Enya Mulcahy, Emer O’Mahoney, Claire Kenny; Edel Brennan, Emily Nicholson; Bronagh O’Donovan, Yvonne Twomey, Sinead McHugh; Aisling Ni Luing, Chloe Gilligan, Karen Canavan. Subs: Eimear Flanagan for Kenny (46), Katie McCormick for McHugh (54)
Garristown: Chloe Mason; Sarah Gormley, Helen White, Emily Mangan; Maria Duffy, Anna McCardle, Shauna White; Laura Rock, Emma O’Brien; Amy O’Brien, Edel Quinn, Laura McManus; Kate Dwyer, Shannon Rock, Carla Fay. Subs: Katherine Duffy for Anna McCardle (44), Aoife Battersby for Carla Fay (56), Alya Hannigan for Edel Quinn.
Referee: Sinead McHugh (St Michaels, Donegal)