Junior Navy Team 6-09
Junior Blue Team 5-11
The large crowd that gathered in DCU last Sunday for the annual New Ireland Assurance Dublin LGFA Dub Stars games were treated to a thrilling opening match between the Junior Blue and Navy teams.
Both sets of players served up a scorefest which included 11 goals and the result was in the balance right up to the final whistle.
The Blue team started brightly and an excellent point after an incisive run by Gaby Couch from St Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh gave them the lead.
Seconds later and a goal effort from Edel O’Brien was tipped onto the crossbar but the Navy defence failed to clear the rebound and Edel Quinn from Garristown palmed the ball to the back of the net.
O’Brien added a point for the Blues before the Navy team had their first attack of note.
But it was worth the wait as Louise Fagan from Ballyboughal hit a superb chip over the on rushing Blues keeper Chloe Downs and the ball nestled in the net.
Gillian McCluskey added a point as the Navy team enjoyed their own period of dominance and in the 10th minute although being fouled, Clara O’Sullivan from Naomh Olaf seen her shot spill through the fingers of the Blues keeper for the Navy teams second goal of the half.
Back came the Blues, a good attacking run by Jenny Kelly got them into the opposition half, she picked out Laura McManus and her attempted point effort dipped at the last minute deceiving Navy keeper Olivia McLoughlin and dropped into the net.
That signalled another dominant patch for the Blue team and they made hay stretching their lead out to an impressive eight points with points from Ciara McDunphy with a brace and one a piece from Couch and Kelly.
Then in the 17th minute McDunphy, who was excellent throughout and won the Player Of The Match Award hit a speculative effort that somehow found its way to the net to leave the score 3-06 to 2-01 and the Navy team had a mountain to climb.
In fairness to the side in Navy they dug deep and and cut the deficit down to just two points thanks to Erins Isle’s Gillian McCluskey who scored four points and Rita Carroll from Thomas Davis who split the post with two fine pointed efforts.
But in first half stoppage time a nice finish to the net from Wanderers Anne Whelan sent the Blue team into the break five in front with the score 4-06 to 2-07.
Four minutes into the second half and a Lisa Sweeney goal for the Blue team put them in a commanding eight point lead.
McDunphy then added a point to stretch that lead out to nine and the Navy team needed something special to get back into the contest.
And they got it in the 40th minute with a stunning finish to the net scored by Rachel Staunton from the Stars Of Erin club.
But three excellent points for the Blue team from Couch, McDunphy and Sweeney looked to have given them one hand on the trophy.
But the team in Navy were not about to meekly go down and their fight back began with another superb finish by Rachel Staunton for her second three pointer of the game.
Clara O’Sullivan added a well struck free and with nine minutes left on the clock O’Sullivan went on a good defence splitting run and with the goal in her sights she was hauled down in the square and was awarded a penalty.
She dusted herself down and buried the ball to the bottom right hand corner of the net leaving the Blues netminder rooted to the spot.
The Blues briefly halted the comeback when Laura McManus split the posts with a sumptuous long range effort to put three points between the sides.
With time running out the incredible comeback was completed by Gillian McCluskey who scored her sides sixth goal with an excellent finish.
All square with the game in the final minute and St Judes Aoife Keyes finished off a well worked move with an accurately struck point to give the Navy team the lead by the bare minimum.
The Blues launched one last attack and almost snatched the win, but Naomh Olaf’s Eimear Mairtin’s goal bound shot was deflected just wide of the left hand post and the Navy team held on for the victory.
Dub Stars Navy Team Scorers:
Gillian McCluskey 1-05 (2f)
Clara O’Sullivan 2-01 (1-0 pen)
Rachel Staunton 2-00
Louise Fagan 1-00
Rita Carroll 0-02
Aoife Keyes 0-01
Dub Stars Blue Team Scorers:
Ciara McDunphy 1-04 (2f)
Laura McManus 1-01
Lisa Sweeney 1-01
Edel Quinn 1-00
Anne Whelan 1-00
Gaby Couch 0-03
Jenny Kelly 0-01
Edel O’Brien 0-01
Olivia McLoughlin (Raheny)
Lauren Sweeney (O’Dwyers)
Ailish Neville (Na Fianna)
Elaine Bolger (Foxrock/Cabinteely)
Amy McCaffrey (Fingal Ravens)
Laurie Baxter (St Finian’s, Swords)
Naomi Leonard (St Monica’s)
Hannah Brunton (Whitehall Colmcille)
Aoife Keyes (St Jude’s)
Clara O’Sullivan (Naomh Olaf)
Christine Dilworth (St Brendan’s)
Louise Fagan (Ballyboughal)
Gillian McCluskey (Erin’s Isle)
Rita Carroll (Thomas Davis)
Navy Team Substitutes:
Cathy May (St Finian’s, Newcastle)
Olivia Crossan (Foxrock Cabinteely)
Susan Lynch (Ranelagh Gaels)
Aisling Frier (Na Fianna)
Rachel Staunton (Stars of Erin)
Linda Deasy (Thomas Davis)
Alison Hickey (Cuala)
Anne McSweeney (St Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh)
Rebecca Grimes (Round Tower Lusk)
Aoife Keyes (St Jude’s)
Rachael O’Shea (Trinity Gaels)
Chloe Downs (Parnells)
Laura Burke (Clontarf)
Ailise Duffy (Fingallians)
Karen Cooney (Ballyboden St Endas)
Kate Fagan (Ballyboughal)
Molly Power (Scoil Ui Chonaill)
Niamh Rafferty (Castleknock)
Jenny Kelly (Clanna Gael Fontenoy)
Kate Murray (Kilmacud Crokes)
Edel Quinn (Garristown)
Eimear Mairtin (Naomh Olaf)
Ciara McDunphy (Raheny)
Laura McManus (Garristown)
Edel O’Brien (Ranelagh Gaels)
Gaby Couch (St Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh)
Blue Team Substitutes:
Roisin Doyle (Craobh Chiarain)
Lisa Sweeney (St Peregrines)
Tara Byrne Seery (Erins Isle)
Niamh Leacy (Templeogue Synge Street)
Shauna Allen (Robert Emmets)
Niamh O’Sullivan (St James Gaels)
Erin Fadian (St Brendans)
Eilis Davenport (Ballymun Kickhams)
Niamh Whyte (Man-O-War)
Anne Whelan (Wanderers)
Laura Leacy (Templeogue Synge Street)
Player of the Match:
Ciara McDunphy (Raheny).