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O’Dwyer’s dig deep to repeat April win

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Naomi Weakliam was on the winning team for O'Dwyer's.

Naomi Weakliam was on the winning team for O'Dwyer's.

Naomi Weakliam was on the winning team for O'Dwyer's.

fingalindependent

O’DWYER’S 3-13

RAHENY3-11

It’s not quite up there with the Meath v Dublin rivalry just yet, but the clash of Raheny and O’Dwyer’s has attracted quite a bit of attention this year.

In April our distant cousins the Evening Herald paid the two a visit in St Annes Park for their Division 2 meeting when a return of 1-3 from Shannon Richardson helped O’Dwyer’s to victory.

Last Wednesday night’s clash at the same venue was the real deal, the first round of the Junior A Championship, with O’Dwyer’s coach and former Dublin minor boys manager Ger Lyons roaring his team on from the sidelines.

 It was a sweltering hot night for football but the teams produced a terrific contest that went right down to the wire, with just a score between the sides in the end.

Five minutes into the second half it was looking grim for Raheny, but after that they showed their battling qualities.

Richardson, with two goals already to her credit already from the first half, was putting up a return that the great Sinead Aherne would have been proud of.

And when Katie McCabe capitalized on a goalkeeping mistake to leave O’Dwyer’s 10 points up, serious questions were being asked of the home side.

But with a good swell of support behind them, Raheny slowly turned the screw, with supersub Rosie Maguire hitting the hosts for two goals while O’Dwyer’s were down to 14 players following the sin-binning of Amy Gibbons.

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And while Gibbons, who produced some strong running in her time on the field, would pick up her second yellow with two minutes to go, O’Dwyer’s held on for victory despite two late points from Raheny.

The first half had seen the scores at two points each after Dublin panellist Siobhan Woods had levelled for Raheny.

But O’Dwyer’s began to open up a lead on their opponents, with Richardson registering points each side of an effort from their former Dublin minor Alana Kelly.

Then, 14 minutes in, O’Dwyers struck for their first goal when long ball played in by Aoife Curran released Richardson and she beat the keeper with a low finish.

Moments later Raheny struck for one of their own when, despite a fine save from O Dwyer’s keeper Niamh Kirby, Ciara McDunphy was on hand off the rebound.

Incredibly O’Dwyer’s then struck for the game’s third goal in as many minutes, with Richardson holding off a defender before drilling past the keeper.

The busy forward could have completed her hat-trick moments later, with her thunderous effort crashing off the top of the crossbar and over for a point.

But with Caoimhe McCarthy making some good, probing runs through the middle, Raheny finished the half well with points from McCarthy and a brace of frees from Carla Fitzsimons to leave it 2-6 to 1-5 at the break to O’Dwyer’s.

O’Dwyers: Niamh Kirby, Izzy McClean, Erica Byrne, Aoife Breathnach, Choe Johnson, Lara Marry, Naomi Weakliam, Aoife Curran, Ruth Weakliam, Katie McCabe 1-5 (0-4f), Shannon Richardson 2-6, Alana Kelly 0-2, Amy Gibbons, Jane Kehoe, Leah Brady. Subs: Aine Blount, Emma Dowling, Katie Mcguirk, Erin Mccormack, Sarah Barlow, Abbey McCurdy.


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