Tuesday 18 June 2019

Five-star Syls show St Maur's no mercy

LGFA Club Football Championship: Sylvester's 5-19 St Maur's 1-11

Rory Kerr at Kenure Park

The last three seasons has been an incredible journey for St Maur's and despite last Wednesday night's 20-point defeat to neighbours St Sylvester's in Rush the journey hasn't ended just yet as they prepare for a quarter-final meeting with St Brigids in Blanchardstown on Saturday evening.

They have felt the effects of emigration perhaps more than than most, with the likes of Megan Foley and Shauna McGuinness seeking to broaden their horizons overseas.

They are big losses for Maur's, but the proud Rush club continues to punch above its weight.

Victory over Clan na Gael has seen them retain their top-flight status for another season and they will go into next weekend's clash with nothing to lose.

It will be a mighty task for Colm Leonard's side against a St Brigids side that includes 2017 Player of the Year Noelle Healy.

But they will have learned a lot from their clash with Sylvester's which saw the Malahide team in dominant form for most of the game.

A classy finish from Dublin minor Laura Carthy would hand Maur's an unexpected lead 10 minutes into the game, but a touch of bad fortune for the home side would see their lead snatched away a few moments later as Niamh McEvoy's long-range shot went past the keeper.

McEvoy, one of the shining lights for Dublin in last season's Brendan Martin Cup success, was a driving force for Sylvester's throughout the course of the 60 minutes and the visitors certainly hurt their opponents with their pace over the first 10 yards.

There was a case for Rush possibly dropping an extra player into midfield to negate Sylvester's dominance in that sector where Aine McDonell was another pivotal figure.

But Sylvester's were certainly not short on options and the management team will certainly be happy with a return of 5-19 on the night.

Sinead Aherne was the standout scorer with 0-9, while at the other end Caitlin Guiden was very impressive at corner back.

The game had begun well for Sylvester's, with scores from McEvoy (2), Aherne and Caomhe O'Sullivan opening up an early four-point lead for Sylvester's as Naomi Clare pointed at the other end.

However, Maur's then drew level when Carthy expertly steered the ball past the keeper into the far corner.

An additional score from Dublin panellist Olivia Leonard would put Maurs ahead for the only time in the game, but after Niamh Harney had levelled proceedings McEvoy then sent a long ball into the square and the presence of Grainne McGinity was enough to distract the keeper as Sylvester's took a three-point lead early in the second quarter.

Five points in quick succession would see a slick Sylvester's open up a commanding lead, with wing backs Ciara Lynch and Danielle Lawless both getting in on the scoring act.

Maur's came back into the game just before the interval, with a good lay off from full forward Naomi Clare setting up Carthy for a point, bringing her tally to 1-2, before Aherne closed out the half for Sylvester's as they went into a second period with a 1-11 to 1-4 lead.

While Eadaoinn McGuinness worked hard around the middle for Maur's after the break, the writing was on the wall once Sylvester's struck for back-to-back goals 10 minutes in.

First, full forward Viv Lee followed in from close range after Naomi Clare had done exceptionally well to clear an effort from Danielle Lawless off the line.

And after Lucia Hughes had added Sylvester's fourth goal soon after, it was plain sailing, with McEvoy striking for her second major of the net with a few moments to go.

St Maur's: Jane Butterly, Niamh Tynan, Nicola Thorne, Sally Anne O Brien, Megan Benson, Aoife Gaughan, Niamh Conway, Eadaoinn McGuiness, Olivia Leonard, Eimear Conway, Jesse Kelly 0-1, Grainne Conway, 0-2, Alison McGuinness 0-2, Naomi Clare 0-1, Laura Carthy 1-5 (0-2 f)

St Sylvester's: Lisa Murphy, Emma Lynch, Kim White, Caitlin Guiden, Danielle Morgan, Ciara Lynch 0-1, Danielle Lawless 0-1, Aine McDonnell , Niamh McEvoy 2-2, Niamh Harney 0-2, Caoimhe O Sullivan 0-2, Lucia Hughes, 1-0, Viv Lee 1-1, Sinead Aherne 0-9 (0-1), Grainne McGinty. Subs: Kate Sullivan 1-1, Emma O'Sullivan.

Fingal Independent