Brave Dubs put it up to Westmeath
ALTHOUGH crestfallen on the pitch at the end, Dublin’s Premier Juniors could stand tall following Sunday’s narrow four-point defeat to Westmeath in Croke Park.
Just two scores would separate the two sides in the end and perhaps that gap might have been closed had a few calls gone Dublin’s way in the end.
Certainly Dublin could lay claim for at least one penalty after full forward Aoife Bugler looked to have been dragged down with 10 minutes to go. The Drogheda-based secondary school teacher certainly seemed to receive some rough justice in the second half.
Dublin manager Shane Plowman felt the decisions were questionable, but preferred to focus on his own team’s efforts.
‘I couldn’t have asked for anything more of them today,’ he said. ‘We left nothing behind in the dressing-room - everything was out in the field.’
Dublin began very brightly, with two terrific takes by wing back Grainne Free setting the tone as Dublin moved two points clear.
Westmeath, however, upped their intensity after that as they reeled off 1-8 without reply between the 15th and 30th minute to move eight points clear at the break. Their goal would come three minutes before the break when Denise Mcgrath’s low drive sped past keeper Aisling Spillane.
Dublin needed a good response after the break and they got it when Roisin Baker found the back of the net from close range.
And with St Finian’s Swords’ Ciara Buchanan having an excellent game at right corner back, Westmeath were held scoreless until the 54th minute when points from Pamela Greville and Aoife Higgins increased their lead to five.
Baker landed a late consolation score for the Metropolitans. DUBLIN: Aoife Spillane, Roisin Macloughlin, Niamh Gleeson, Ciara Buchanan, Graine Free, Deirdre Johnstone, Emma Barron, Grainne Power, Roisin Drohan, Aoife Dooley, Roisin Baker 1-2 (0-1f), Evelyn Twomey, Laoise Quinn, Aoife Bugler 1-4(03f), Emer Keenan. Subs: Sinead Nolan for Power (ht), Sinead Wylde for Quinn (ht), Ciara Carolan for Twomey (49), Emma O’riordan for Gleeson (56).
Pamela Greville (Westmeath) is closed down by Ciara Buchanan.
Dublin’s Grainne Free gets the better of Denise Mcgrath.
Dublintrio (l to r) Ciara Buchanan, Laura Walsh and Aoife Bugler reflect after Sunday’s final at Croke Park. Pics: Matt Browne/sportsfile