Kildare LGFA 2018 Division 2 League Final Venue: Hawkfield Time: 16:45 Date: 26 May 2018
Suncroft V Sarsfields
These two teams met in their first game of the league and on that occasion it finished in a draw at 1:11(14) each. It was end to end stuff and a similar game was expected. The day was sunny with some cloud cover and there was a good breeze blowing diagonally across the field giving Sarsfields the wind advantage in the first half. One of the Crofts most reliable players and usual full back, Muirenn Fagan, was out of the country so Chloe Foy stepped back from centre to full back and Eve Kehoe moved to centre. Captain Paula Brown and Ciara Fennelly were recovering from leg injuries which were not going to be helped by the rough condition of the pitch.
The game started at 16:53 and a combination of Trina Duggan and Ellen Dowling took the ball up the field for Dowlings first point. Twelve seconds in Suncroft had made their intentions known. Sarsfields pointed next then Aislinn Dooley got her first and Ellen Dowling pointed a free before Sarsfields got their second. Another for Aislinn Dooley from a free and another for Sarsfields. Fifteen minutes in Suncroft 0:04(4), Sarsfields 0:03(3). At both ends there was some goal chances but good defending and goalkeeping kept them out. Sarsfields had fast attacking forwards but Chloe Foy at full and Paula Brown and Mary Enright in the two corners were immense. Chloe rock solid, Paula cute as a fox and Mary speedy and sticking like glue to her marker. The Crofts half back line of Ciara Fennelly, Eve Kehoe and Rebecca Coogan had a big challenge dealing with the Sarsfields speed and determination but they blocked, chased and tracked and gave absolutely nothing up softly. The next ten minutes was more of the same with points being exchanged. Aislinn Dooley got another and then, after some great chasing by Colette Keon, it opened up for Rebecca Coogan who carried the ball from the half back line and pointed. Sarsfields were finishing the half a bit stronger and had brought it back all square in the twenty-eight minute but Michelle McCormack got in under a high ball that came back off the post and goaled for Suncroft. Half time score Suncroft 1:06(9), Sarsfields 0:06(6).
Sarsfields did miss a penalty and Suncroft only finished the half three point up but that wasn’t a true reflection as Suncroft were well top. If they hadn’t kicked a good number of handy chances wide and missed a few goal sitters the game would have been all but over at half time.
The second half got underway and whatever was in the half time water, or biscuits, or the half time chat, with the wind at their back Suncroft were on fire. A point from Ellen Dowling twenty seconds, Carla Ennis point on a minute, another from Ellen Dowling, Nicole Dooley got in on the act with a point and then with Sarsfields goalie a bit off her line Nicole Dooley slots one just under the bar. An unanswered four points and a goal, all from play, in three minutes, Suncroft 2:10(16) Sarsfields 0:06(6). The couple of balls that Sarsfields did get outside their forty-five were swept up by Rebecca Johnson, who had moved to wing back and as per usual Trina Duggan and Megan Troy in the middle of the field were involved in everything and both must have run a marathon over the course of the game. Sarsfields did make a break in the fourth minute and got in for a goal. This could have settled things down for them but Suncroft refused to let that happen and stuck over another six unanswered points to put the game beyond any doubt eighteen minutes in, three more for on fire Aislinn Dooley, two more for Ellen Dowling and a great point from a tight angle by Megan Troy. Suncroft 2:16(23) Sarafields 1:06(9). Sarsfields scored the next three point against a tiring Suncroft but Abbe Lea Pool came in to settle down the backs, Aine Troy brought pace to the half forward line and Aisling Connolly and Caoimhe Doyle steadied things down up front. Sarsfields threw everything that they had at Suncroft for the last eight minutes but the renewed Suncroft kept them to a single point. In the same period Dooley and Dowling tapped over another two points and the game finished Suncroft 2:18(24) Sarsfields 1:10(13).
A fantastic full panel effort from Suncroft with super performances in every position of the field. On a day with a strong breeze the kickout was key and with great movement from the six backs and help from the mid field Rebecca McGuirk hit her mark every time. Suncroft won every one of their kick-outs.
Suncroft: Rebecca McGuirk, Paula Brown(C), Chloe Foy, Mary Enright, Ciara Fennelly, Eve Kehoe, Rebecca Coogan (0:01), Trina Duggan, Megan Troy (0:01), Aislinn Dooley (0:07(1f)), Ellen Dowling (0:07(1f)), Nicole Dooley (1:01), Rebecca Johnson, Carla Ennis (0:01), Collette Keon, Abbie Lea Poole, Michelle McCormack (1:00), Caoimhe Doyle, Aisling Connolly, Aine Troy, Muireann Fagan, Management: Deirdre Hurley, Kevin Brannock, Rita Kehoe.