Tuesday 16 July 2019

Last-four spot after five-star display

Ladies SFC: St Sylvester's 5-9 St Brigids 4-8

Spectators wearing woolly hats up at Broomfield on a June evening - who would have thought it!

On a cold and dramatic night in Dublin's capital, Sylvester's needed a victory from this group one clash to have any chance of progressing - and they left it late. With a few minutes to go, Niamh McEvoy was bundled over in the square and up stepped Sinead Aherne to stroke home the penalty and kill off Na Fianna's gallant challenge.

They had got off to the perfect start when Aherne found the back of the net on four minutes following good work by Nicole Owens. Moments later Lisa Murphy fisted home their second after being set up by Aherne, but if Sylvester's thought they were going to have an easy night they were mistaken.

Claire Kelly got goal side of her defender and beat the Sylvester's keeper with a terrific drive into the roof of the net, and while Kirsten Hall would reply with a point Kelly was on hand for her second goal moments later.

When Lucy Collins put a point between the sides Sylvester's were starting to feel the pressure. They didn't buckle, though, and McEvoy made her presence felt with two points. Approaching half-time the Malahide outfit had stretched their lead out to three courtesy of an Ahern free. However, Na Fianna were handed a lifeline when Aoife Nolan's attempted point crept under the bar.

A Collins free put Na Fianna in front for the first time, but right on the stroke of half-time Owens netted with an exquisitely taken left-footed shot to leave it 3-7 to 3-5 for the home side.

The second half begun with points at either end before Kelly completed her hat-trick on 38 minutes to put the visitors back in front.

Moments later Viv Lee raised the green flag for Sylvester's to move her team two points clear. They were never headed after that but were pushed all the way before Ahern finally put the game to bed in injury time.

Syls' semi-final place was secured with Clontarf's 4-9 to 2-11 win over St Brigid's.

St Sylvester's: Emer Cassidy, Lauren Monahan, Sinead Tracey, Ruth Fahey,Caitlin Guiden, Danielle Lawless 0-1 Leah Harold, Niamh McEvoy 0-2, Nicole Owen 1-0, Kirsten Hall 0-1, Kate Sullivan 0-2, Viv Lee 1-0, Grainne McGinty, Sinead Aherne 2-3 (0-2f, 1-0 pen), Lisa Murphy 1-0. Subs: Aine Mcdonnell for Grainne McGinty & Niamh Harney for Lisa Murphy.

Fingal Independent