Dublin Ladies Division 3 Championship Final, Round Tower 6-15 v Ballyboughal 4-8, Saturday 20th October, Moyle Park
Our Under 15 Girls Footballers set the ball rolling on what proved to be a momentous weekend for ladies football in the club. Their outstanding Championship win over a resilient Ballyboughal was followed by success for the Under 13’s against Naomh Mearnóg and Under 17’s against Whitehall Colmcille.
The scoreline suggested a comprehensive victory for the Towers girls but they’d to display tremendous character and resilience to see-off the visitors and nothing separated the sides at half-time. Towers girls failed to settle and Ballyboughal seized upon their early momentum to move into a commanding lead of 2-1 v 0. Aoife Kennedy helped calm nerves with our opener on the six minute mark after Emily O’Brien had won possession back in midfield and Megan Hoyte set the score up. ‘Boughal notched their second point and we responded with our own point when Aine Byrne intercepted and Rachel Condon passed to Hoyte to strike our second. But the overwhelming momentum continued to run the way of Ballyboughal, with them winning breaks and their combination play being excellent. They struck their third goal thru Molly Carthy, who caused problems throughout the game and the strike brought her early tally to 2-1. It left the lead margin at 11 points – 3-4 v 0-2 and abetted by a very strong wind the northside girls kicked another two points. But Towers girls regained their composure and started to peg back the margin. On the 13 minute mark we struck our first goal. Bronagh Roebuck won the ball back in defence and this led to centre-half forward Kate Whelan picking possession in the half forwards. She travelled at pace and with her right finished to the roof of the net. It was followed by an excellent team move that stemmed from keeper Nora Aja, with Hoyte, Whelan and Kennedy working it upfield. The latter was fouled and Whelan converted the free. Two further points edged ‘Boughal further clear but they were their final scores of the half with ten minutes remaining. Aisling Roebuck kicked successfully after a good win in the inside forwards by Condon. Roisin Flavin then caught in the full forward line and kicked our fifth point. We netted our second on the 23 minute mark and again it was Whelan. Lucy Cullen fielded a kickout and her pass inside released our centre-half-forward who again carried at pace and drove to the back of the net. And her hat-trick arrived moments later, with Hoyte winning possession and again Whelan’s direct running led to a strike past the keeper. Before the break Holly Gregg and Lauren Brannigan combined and it led to Kennedy completing the turnaround to level the game at 3-6 apiece.
The Towers girls powered on in the second half. ‘Boughal simply couldn’t cope with the outstanding Whelan. Her fourth arrived four minutes after the restart when Aja’s clearance found Aisling Roebuck and her inside pass led to Whelan again successfully converting one-one-one. O’Brien and Kennedy combined for Branigan to kick our first point of the half. Towers were now winning the 50/50s they’d not started the game coming out on top of. Aisling Roebuck offloaded to Condon to kick her first. Whelan brought the x-factor to our attack. An incredible fifth goal arrived on the 39 minute mark. Hoyte was the provider and a clever dummy created the opening for a low strike to the left corner. Hoyte then set-up Alex Melia to raise the umpires arms. Ballyboughal registered their first of the half and we responded through a Whelan free. And her sixth net of the day followed when she struck a penalty past the keeper. At the other end of the field Aja proved outstanding. She dived low to her right to repel a penalty and from a subsequent penalty she was yet again successfully in palming away. A one-one-one also saw her produce an excellent block. She was supported by an outstanding defence that hassled and harried the visiting forwards and the few strikes they had at goal were under pressure. Ballyboughal did register a consolation goal but Whelan cut inside to strike her third point and Aisling Roebuck combined with Hoyte for the latter to convert. Flavin notched her second following a good exchange between Aisling Roebuck and Kennedy. With three minutes remaining a Kennedy win in the full forwards allowed her offload to Whelan and she kicked her fifth point from a free. Midfielder O’Brien rounded off the scoring and the joy of last year’s Féile success was replicated as Towers supporters joined the girls in celebrating a Championship title.
Round Tower: Nora Aja, Erin Kiely, Aoife Kelly, Bronagh Roebuck, Aine Byrne, Catherine Skikeen, Niamh McGrattan, Megan Hoyte, Emily O’Brien, Aisling Roebuck, Kate Whelan, Lauren Branigan, Alex Melia, Aoife Kennedy, Rachel Condon, Lucy Cullen, Megan Denniffe, Holly Gregg, Rosin Flavin, Siobhan Gleeson, Aisling Walsh.