GALLEN CS 4-7
ST MAC DARA'S CC 3-8
They caught the eye with a strong second-half showing, but St Mac Dara's Community College were ultimately on the receiving end of a narrow defeat in the final of the Leinster Junior 'C' Ladies Football competition at St Loman's, Mullingar last Thursday morning.
A fine opening period proved pivotal for Gallen Community School, Ferbane in the end, and the Offaly girls will now face St Michael's of Lurgan, Co Armagh in the All-Ireland Semi-Final on March 29th.
The Dublin champions had started brightly courtesy of a fine point by skipper Laura Leacy, but with midfielder Anna Grehan, Aoife Corbett and corner-forward Kaitlin Rigney (who all finished with 1-1 to their name) all in top form, Gallen brought a 3-6 to 0-4 cushion into the interval.
This left the Templeogue side with a mammoth task upon the resumption, and even though they had a strong wind at their disposal, a fourth goal for the Faithful outfit 20 minutes from the end seemed to put the tie beyond doubt.
However, in heavy rain and hailstones, the southsiders stuck admirably to the task, and fine points by Niamh Leacy, Dawson and Aoife Molloy, as well as a fantastic 54th-minute Emily O'Brien major, offered them a glimmer of hope.
This ensured that Mac Dara's were now back in contention, and when Niamh Leacy and Dawson raised white flags either side of a late Molloy goal, the deficit was suddenly down to two points.
It had been an impressive final quarter by Mac Dara's, but it unfortunately wasn't enough to swing the tie in their direction, and Gallen CS held out for a narrow success.