One More Step…

Ranelagh Gaels  2-5     St James Gaels  0-6

The Championship Final beckons for the ladies of Ranelagh Gaels after they came through a nail-biting last four clash against James Gaels on Wednesday night.

The game was played at Pairc Naomh Olaf in Sandyford on an extremely warm evening and the conditions only added to a demanding and gripping evening of football.

James’ were the quicker out of the blocks as they notched the first couple of scores. Elaine Buckley got Ranelagh off the mark from a free and when Edel O’Brien found the net soon after, confidence swelled amongst those in sky blue.

It was the minimum between the sides at the half-time break, the D6 version of the Gaels 1-2 to 0-4 in front.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first – tight, tough tackling the order of the day with Edel Brennan and Eva O’Driscoll excelling around the middle third. Time and again they dispossessed the opposition winning crucial turnover ball for their team.

It was Ranelagh’s turn to start a half the better; a second goal, this time from the left peg of An Ghaeltacht’s Brid Firtear sent her side four points clear and in as close a game as this it was a huge cushion. It was extended further by scores from O’Brien, a great effort from the excellent Aoife Long and a wonderfully taken fisted effort from Ger Connolly, making her return from injury.

James Gaels were unable to penetrate the dominant Ranelagh half-back line as the afore-mentioned Long, alongside wing backs Corra Travers and Mary Connolly manned the barricades brilliantly.

Only once did the Crumlin Road side get a sniff of the Ranelagh goalmouth and when they did net-minder Siobhain O’Neill pulled off a sensational save to push away what seemed a certain three-pointer.

That gave the girls the confidence to push for home and they saw the game out to win on a final score line of 2-5 to 0-6.

The team can now look forward to a final against Crumlin with date and venue due to be decided in the coming days.

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