At the end of the U13 Ladies Football Division 1 season, 2 old adversaries sat at the top of the table level on points, namely Ballyboden St. Endas and Lucan Sarsfields. A playoff was needed to decide the league winners and the playoff was set for Lucan’s home pitch at the 12th Lock after Lucan won the mid-week coin toss.
The Ballyboden team were going for an impressive double as the same group of girls had won the Division 1 Camogie League a week earlier.
Ballyboden played into a strong wind in the first half after losing another coin toss and might have thought that they were really out of luck when Lucan netted after a few minutes. Backed by a strong home support, the Lucan girls continued to press hard but the Ballyboden defence were strong and thwarted the attacks. Then a rare break up the pitch led to a neat finish by Aine Rafter to level the scores at one goal each.
Lucan continued to press and started to win some frees as Ballyboden were penalised for infringements as they tried to stop the Lucan attacks through the centre. Lucan pointed 5 of these placed balls and with another goal and one point from play they started to build a lead. Ballyboden themselves got just one point from play but then got a vital goal to stay in touch with a poacher’s finish from Caoimhe O’Sullivan.
As the half time whistle blew, Lucan had a 5 point lead 2-6 to 2-1.
Ballyboden knew that a big performance was required in the second half to turn things around but it was Lucan who came out of the blocks the quickest with a neat build up on the right leading to a point from play and a 6 point lead, much to the delight of the home support.
However, Ballyboden were still fighting and started to win more of the ball and take the attack to Lucan. They got their first break with another goal from Caoimhe O’Sullivan but the turning point was 3 long range goals in quick succession, 2 from Sarah Gleeson and 1 from Ella Reid. All of a sudden it was a 7 point lead to Ballyboden and it was the large travelling Ballyboden support that could be heard. Lucan tried desperately to turn things around but great defending and saves by Ballyboden keeper Abbie Brennan kept them at bay. Lucan did get 2 goals but these were matched by further Ballyboden goals from Hannah Byrne and Leah Cunningham and victory was sealed with 2 further goals for Kate Donaghy and a second for Aine Rafter.
The final score was 10-4 to 4-8 for Ballyboden leading to wild celebrations as the girls clinched the double.
Team: Abbie Brennan, Emmajane Weir, Megan Deignan, Sadie Codd, Alice Rudden, Megan Dignam, Ella Reid (1-0), Leonie Power, Sarah Gleeson (2-1), Caoimhe O’Sullivan (2-0), Aine Rafter (2-0), Kate Donaghy (1-2), Shauna Feely, Hannah Byrne (1-0), Leah Cunningham (1-1), Clodagh Reid, Nadi Mbelu, Ciara Molloy, Shona Kenny, Sarah Cooney, Kate Lennon, Ella McNair