Na Fianna triumph against Kerry/Donegal in pulsating final
Leyden saves it for Na Fianna
Moments later an attack that involved four players ended with Aine Dwyer hitting the back of the net for a 3-7 to 0-13 lead. They were ahead for the first time in the game.
From the kickout they won the ball again and Tierney fired over for the critical two score lead.
Again, despite the numerical disadvantage, Kerry/Donegal put untold pressure on Na Fianna. They had Dargan scores from a free and play while Tennyson again hit the bar with the defense beaten.
With a minute on the clock Leyden made one last brilliant stop to preserve the victory, and time ran out on K/D.
A number of heroes for Na Fianna, but none stood taller than the outstanding keeper Alison Leyden. The number of saves were countless, the handling superb.
Kathryn Sullivan did a lot of good defensive work. Aine Dwyer took her goal well, and Brianna Tierney had an excellent outing -- her running was very hard to handle for the defense.
Eimear Considine and Aoife Herbert played huge parts with the important scores. Considine won a lot of possession.
Kerry/Donegal had their homework done and nearly made it there. Niamh Britton, Michelle McVann and Louise Lilly all had pivotal moments at the back.
Mairead Tennyson had a great outing on the ball, and her runs put the defense back on its heels. Kelly Roche was excellent, with two strong points and a lot of good feeds to Maire Dargan, who was brilliant. The defense tried everything and couldn’t slow her down.
The game was a tremendous one for New York ladies football. With the under 14s watching, nine -- yes NINE –American-born players started, and all played huge parts of the brilliance of the final. Contrast that to the senior men’s championship.
Now that all the sanctions are in, I count McCullough, Molloy, and Huvane starting for their clubs -- feel free to correct me.
There is something drastically wrong with that picture. More Americans started for New York vs. Mayo than are playing in championship now. The board needs to look hard at this.
Na Fianna: 1 Alison Leyden, 2 Bridget Judd, 3 Cathriona Lynch, 4 Imelda Mullarkey, 5 Stephanie Tierney, 6 Kathryn Sullivan (0-1), 7 Shannon Spillane, 8 Aine Dwyer (1-0), 9 Fiona Dwyer, 10 Kelly McCormack, 11 Brianna Tierney (0-2), 12 Emer Considine (1-4), 13 Aoife Herbert (1-1), 14 Mary O’Rourke, 15 Natasha Barnwell. Subs: Joanne McKenna, Michelle Brennan, Margaret Brady.
Kerry/Donegal: 1 Roisin McCafferty, 2 Niamh Britton, 3 Collette McElligott, 4 Fiona Ward, 5 Michelle McVann, 6 Louise Lilly, 7 Amanda McGovern, 8 Olive McCafferty (0-1), 9 Mairead Tennyson (0-1), 10 Michelle Dowd (0-1), 11Anita McKenna, 12 Collette McGoldrick, 13 Denise Dunnion (0-1), 14 Maire Dargan (0-9), 15 Kelly Roche (0-2). Subs: Cathriona Brady, Deirdre Maher.
Referee: Jim Shannon (Monaghan).
Player of the game: Maire Dargan (Kerry/Donegal), Alison Leyden (Na Fianna).
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