Vic­tory for Goose­bank side af­ter thrilling county fi­nal

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - BREN­DAN LAWRENCE at Dun­bur Park

A hat-trick from Kil­coole’s Caitlin O’Toole helped the girls from the Goose­bank to a won­der­ful Ju­nior camo­gie crown af­ter a thor­oughly en­ter­tain­ing county fi­nal in Dun­bur Park on Satur­day af­ter­noon last.

As open­ing games in triple head­ers go, this was a crack­ing game to get the juices flow­ing, and both sides can be con­grat­u­lated for an ex­cel­lent bat­tle that was very much in the mix right up un­til the last few mo­ments when Chloe Byrne found the net for the in­sur­ance score to send the Kil­coole sup­port­ers deliri­ous with joy.

Dun­bur Park was bathed in sun­shine for this open­ing game and a dis­ap­point­ingly small crowd turned out to watch th­ese two gal­lant sides go to war. Nev­er­the­less, there was still plenty of colour and flags from the loyal fol­low­ers who did make the trip to the Wick­low Town venue and they were all treated to a full-blooded con­test that set the tone for the great day.

A goal­mouth scram­ble early on led to Aughrim’s An­nette Keenan fin­ish­ing home from close range. The women from the Gran­ite City were play­ing with the wind at their backs for the open­ing half and it would play a sig­nif­i­cant part in the af­ter­noon right across the three games as it came and went with a strange ran­dom­ness over the course of the af­ter­noon.

Aughrim’s open­ing ma­jor was an­swered swiftly and ruth­lessly by Caitlin O’Toole af­ter three min­utes fol­low­ing a Robyn Rooney ball.

Less than three min­utes later Kil­coole were cel­e­brat­ing again when a Leanne Han­non free found Lucy Rooney who fed O’Toole who ri­fled home her sec­ond ma­jor for the Goos­bankers.

Paul Whe­lan’s charges stead­ied the ship and be­gan to set­tle down and play some im­pres­sive hurl­ing in this their sec­ond de­cider on the trot hav­ing lost out to An­nacurra last year af­ter a re­play.

A fine point from the very im­pres­sive Kasey Byrne was fol­lowed up by a goal from the same player af­ter her spec­u­la­tive shot found the back of the net off the hurl of Sinead Roche in the Kil­coole goal to give Aughrim a 2-1 to 2-0 lead af­ter 10.

Aoife Keddy drew the sides level with a fine point, and she added a free af­ter Doire­ann O’Brien was ad­judged to have fouled Lucy Rooney.

Aughrim sent Eimear O’Brien into the fray af­ter 19 min­utes in the hope that her pace and skill would get the bet­ter of the Kil­coole de­fence. O’Brien had made a mas­sive im­pact when com­ing on for the Ti­na­hely ladies foot­ball team in their vic­tory over St Pat’s in the Se­nior county fi­nal and while her side didn’t have the same end re­sult on the fi­nal whis­tle here she still ac­quit­ted her­self very well in her time on the pitch.

A pointed free from cap­tain Sheenagh Byrne pulled the game back all square af­ter 22 at 2-2 apiece and she fol­lowed that with an­other humdinger three min­utes later to re­turn Aughrim to the sum­mit.

Kil­coole were show­ing a few signs of pres­sure get­ting to them per­haps at this late stage in the first half but they were well and truly in this bat­tle.

Sheenagh Byrne pointed an­other free to make it 2-4 to 2-2 but it was Ava Whe­lan who re­ally pro­vided the mas­sive boost for Paul Whe­lan’s side when she saved su­perbly from Caitlin O’Toole.

A foul on Kate Camp­bell saw Kasey O’Brien step up and fire over but Kil­coole were look­ing re­ally danger­ous and Ava Whe­lan was re­quired again to pre­vent an­other ma­jor, again from the hurl of O’Toole af­ter a ball from Robyn Evans out the field.

Kil­coole’s score­less streak would end early in the sec­ond half when Robyn Rooney pointed and now the game started to re­ally heat up.

Chloe Byrne came in for Me­gan Long­more af­ter 10 and Leanne Han­non split the posts with a free to re­duce Aughrim’s ad­van­tage to one.

An­nette Keenan then found the net only for Lucy Rooney to do like­wise at the other end to make it 3-5 to 3-4 af­ter 13.

Aughrim in­tro­duced Rachel Camp­bell for Aoife Healy but the Gran­ite City side were rocked when Caitlin O’Toole col­lected a long ball over the top to fire home to send them surg­ing ahead at a vi­tal time in this game.

A wicked free from Sheenagh Byrne un­der se­ri­ous pres­sure re­duced the gap to one and al­though Aughrim threw every­thing they had at the Kil­coole de­fence, Chloe Byrne’s late goal ab­so­lutely sick­ened the Gran­ite City side’s chal­lenge and it was Kil­coole’s day af­ter what can only be de­scribed as a thriller of a county fi­nal.

Scor­ers – Kil­coole: Caitlin O’Toole 3-0, Lucy Rooney 1-0, Chloe Byrne 1-0, Aoife Keddy 0-2 (1f), Robyn Rooney 0-1, Leanne Han­non 0-1.

Aughrim: An­nette Keenan 2-0, Kasey Byrne 1-2 (1f), Sheenagh Byrne 0-4 (3f).

KIL­COOLE: Sinead Roche; Molly Walker, Jade Byrne, Frances Kearns; Robyn Evans, Sarah Gam­mell, Sarah Nolan; Leanne Har­mon, Ciara Kelly; Aoife Keddy, Robyn Rooney, An­neliese Dunne; Caitlin O’Toole, Lucy Rooney, Me­gan Long­more. Subs: Chloe Byrne, Rachel Fin­negan, Rachel Dut­ton, Kayla Devlin, Amy Byrne, Ava Con­don.

AUGHRIM: Ava Whe­lan; Erin O’Toole, Doire­ann O’Brien, Emma Shan­non; Ellen O’Hara, Emma Mur­phy, Aoife O’Brien; Kate Camp­bell, Sheenagh Byrne; Kasey Byrne, Emer O’Toole, Leanne Quigley; Molly Healy, Katie O’Byrne, An­nette Keenan. Subs: Aoife Healy, Aine O’Shea, Eimear O’Brien, Rachel Camp­bell, Noeleen Whe­lan.

REF­EREE: Robert Roche (Carnew Em­mets)

The Kil­coole camo­gie team and men­tors af­ter their su­perb vic­tory over Aughrim in the Ju­nior county fi­nal in Dun­bur Park last Satur­day.

Wick­low County Camo­gie Chair­man Ivor Le­hane presents Kil­coole cap­tain Frances Kearns Coady with the Ju­nior cup af­ter the show­down with Aughrim in Dun­bur Park.

There were won­der­ful scenes of cel­e­bra­tion af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle.

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