Leinster Ladies Minor Football Championship Round 2
The Kildare Minor Ladies are into the Leinster Football Final after a swashbucling display proved too much for Dublin at Manguard Centre of Excellence, Hawkfield.
There was a lot expected of this Kildare team heading into the Championship on the back of under 14 and under 16 success and while they would have learned little in the win against Offaly, they certainly showed up here to knock last years All -Ireland Semi-Finalists out of the competition.
The win ensures Kildare of a date against Meath in a couple of weeks time while before that both teams still have to face off in the last group game with nothing on the line as such.
Ironically Kildare's stand out performers were the two that are currently on the Kildare Senior Panel in Orlaith Sullivan and Aoife Rattigan and they led a devastating forward line that looked a threat every time they came forward.
The three goals helped Kildare keep their opponents at arms length as well as kicking nine points in a row in the first half which ultimately proved crucial.
Dublin got an ideal start with an opening minute Eimear Griffin free but from there Kildare really dominated the contest.
Gavin Doyle’s side then duly scored nine points in a row as they took complete control.
Senior stars Orlaith Sullivan and Aoife Rattigan took to the stage with Sullivan equalising with a free before herself and Rattigan shared scores to put Kildare two points clear.
Hayley McCormack followed up with a point when a goal may have been on at the end of a good move in the 9th minute before Rattigan was denied by a good save from Abbey Shiels.
That missed chance didn’t upset the home side though with Sullivan really coming into her own with four points of which three arrived from frees.
Corner back Emily Birch also pointed during that period while Rattigan was again out of luck as her shot rattled off the bar but with an eight point lead Kildare looked in an ideal position.
Dublin then hit back with a Jodie Egan free coming after Griffin went close for goal.
Rattigan responded with a good score from play for Kildare before Dublin got the game’s opening goal in the 27th minute with Griffin finding the net after receiving a pass from Emma McCormack.
The Dubs joy was short lived though as Kildare immediately responded with their own goal courtesy of corner back Emily Birch.
Dublin did finish the half in style though with points from Egan and Sarah O’Leary that left Kildare leading 1-10 to 1-4 at the break.
Kildare maintained their dominance at the start of the second half with Rattigan getting her eagerly awaited goal with a palmed effort to the net before Gillian Wheeler extended the lead with a point from play.
Dublin were only having fleeting attacks at this stage with both Griffin and Egan kicking frees but Kildare soon pushed ahead again.
Dublin had got the gap back to eight points and that’s where Kildare marooned clear with Sally Murphy going on a bursting run before finding the net.
Sullivan and Rattigan then followed up with points as Kildare opened up a 3-13 to 1-6 lead.
To their credit Dublin didn’t throw in the towel and they kept fighting till the end with points from Egan, Katie McNally and Grainne O’Driscoll.
It was Kildare who ended the scoring though as Aislinn Dooley and Mollie Dagg found the target late on to seal a final spot against Meath.
Kildare: Ciara Farrell; Emily Birch 1-1, Laoise Lenehan, Lauren Murtagh, Emma Carroll, Eve Keogh, Hazel McLoughlin, Gillian Wheeler 0-1, Sarah Rose Merrick, Aoife Rattigan 1-3, Sally Murphy 1-0, Hayley McCormack 0-1, Ciara Price, Orlaith Sullivan 0-7 (0-6fs), Molly Aspell.
Subs: Ruth Birchall for Price h-t, Miah Doherty for Carroll 37 mins, Mollie Dagg 0-1 for McCormack 37 mins, Jodie Flanagan for Sullivan 48 mins, Aislinn Dooley 0-1 for Murphy 50 mins.
Dublin: Abbey Shiels; Amy Gibbons, Lisa Davies, Hannah Murphy, Aine Walsh, Rachel Hartnett, Alannah Coughlan, Grace Kos, Grainne O’Driscoll 0-1, Emma McCormack, Sarah O’Leary 0-1, Jodie Egan 0-4 (0-4fs), Cassie Sultan, Eimear Griffin 1-2 (0-1f), Carla Fitzsimons.
Subs: Jessica Connolly for O’Leary 39 mins, Katie McNally 0-1 for Fitzsimons 50 mins.
Ref: Kevin Phelan (Laois)
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