Tooles Down Gaels

Ranelagh Gaels 2-14                        O’Tooles 5-6

The 2011 Championship adventure came to a heartbreaking end last night as the Ranelagh Gaels Ladies were edged out by a single point in a pulsating County Final.

Looking to secure unprecedented back to back championship titles, the Gaels lined up against O’Tooles of Darndale under the lights of Finians GAA club in Newcastle – Geordie Shore couldn’t have come up with the drama that unfolded in the Junior D decider.


Perhaps the occasion got to the girls early on as it was O’Tooles who raced out of the traps, attacking down the middle channel with a strong, direct running gameplan. Any rub of the green that was going early on went the way of the North Dublin side, with a couple of speculative efforts leading to goals and they had posted a 3-2 to 0-3 lead inside ten minutes.

As has happened so often this year the girls dug deep and gradually clawed their way back into the contest, refusing to give up. Tactical switches from the line saw Eimear enter the fray with Aoife dropping deep to steady the ship at the back.

This in turn allowed Lil to get on the ball and dictate the play from deep, aided and abetted by her wing backs Caoimhe and Laurene. The trio carried plenty of ball, linking defence and attack and the scores started to come.

Finals demand big performances and many of the girls saved their best for when it mattered most. Karen Coughlan had a super game at wing forward, getting on the score sheet early on and making probing runs all game. Mary Connolly meanwhile flourished initially at wing forward before moving back to defence where she snuffed out the threat of the dangerous O’Tooles corner forward.

Claire Gleeson had another fine game at full back including a majestic piece of fielding in her own square to thwart another O’Toole attack as the Gaels pushed on in the second half.

Aine Breathnach once again had a stormer, driving forward at every opportunity and conducting the Gaels orchestra from her position on the 40. She deservedly picked up the player of the match award and despite the disappointment of defeat the Port Lairge native can be proud of her display.

After being eight points adrift the Gaels had reeled in O’Tooles and by half time were a point to the good. Scores were much harder to come by at both ends of the field in the second half; as the winning line came into view both sets of players retreated with space in front of goal at a premium.

A sensational O’Tooles goal nudged them ahead again and the Gaels once more had to go chasing the game. That task was made a little bit harder when the referee brandished a yellow card after Edel O’Brien was involved in an accidental collision on the ground.

The corner forward, along with Barbara Whooley, was in great form up front in what was a hugely impressive scoring display by the entire team; 2-13 from play is an incredible haul any day.

The girls did their utmost to once again peg back their opponents but in the end they couldn’t beat the clock and the whistle sounded with a point between the sides.

One will do well to find a losing score line of 2-14 in any county final across the country over the next few weeks but that was how it turned out for Ranelagh.

Great credit is due to the management team of Jimmy Trimble and Denis Doolan, and also to the team’s sponsor Tribeca.

In true Dublin GAA style some dedicated members of the club paid a visit to the unofficial club sponsors on Harcourt St to acknowledge their contribution to the effort.

To reach a final after only making the step up to Junior D level this year was a great achievement and no doubt the girls will be in the hunt for championship glory in 2012.

Well done to everyone involved. Gaels Abú.

2 Comment(s)

  1. great piece cathal – pity we can’t rewrite the scoreline but fair play to everyone sounds like an epic fight!

    caoimhe | Sep 30, 2011 @ 00:45 | Reply

  2. Fantastic achievement to get to two County finals in a row!! Pity about the result but a marvellous season!! Well done to all involved!!!

    enda | Oct 4, 2011 @ 08:36 | Reply

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