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Smart Joseph's sink Mac Dara

GOALS in either half from Emily McIntyre and Charlotte Rooney proved crucial in UCD last Thursday afternoon as St Joseph's College, Lucan got the better of a St Mac Dara's Community College in a hard-fought Dublin Colleges Junior 'A' Camogie decider.

ST JOSEPH'S COLLEGE, LUCAN 2-5
ST MAC DARA'S COMMUNITY COLL 0-3

Mac Dara's were hoping for a repeat of their impressive 4-8 to 2-3 victory over the same opposition in the group stages last October, and retained 13 of their players from that encounter.

Caoimhe Larkin-Blay was the only starter for Joseph's who didn't feature in their earlier clash, though they have made a number of positional switches in the time being.

Given what was at stake in this match, their group meeting was never going to have too much bearing, however, and certainly the opening part of this game was evenly matched.

Joseph's got the scoring underway with points from play by Samantha Fitzgerald and Laura O'Mahony in the fifth and ninth minutes respectively.

But the Lucan girls were dropping a lot of efforts into the hands of opposition netminder Faye McCarthy, and Mac Dara's capitalised, with a brace of frees from midfielder Caragh Dawson restoring parity by the 14th minute.

The play continued to be scrappy, with chances few and far between.

But, despite the Templeogue school managing to keep the Lucan attack at bay for the most part, one of the game's more decisive moments arrived 24 minutes in, when Joseph's corner-forward McIntyre pulled sharply to the net after the ball had broken in front of the Mac Dara's goal.

The goal was the difference between the sides at the interval (1-2 to 0-2), but the game was still there for Mac Dara's if they were able to raise their game after the restart.

The Wellington Lane outfit certainly had plenty of possession in the early stages of the second period, but the Joseph's defence (marshalled superbly by Emma O'Flynn and Amy Gorman) closed down any avenues to goal.

Mac Dara's did have a couple of chances from placed balls to reduce the deficit, but unfortunately came up short.

Deciding

Joseph's registered the deciding score of the tie 15 minutes into the half, when full-forward Rooney fired home for a second major from a tight left-hand angle.

This gave Joseph's the confidence to push for further scores, and quick-fire points from O'Mahony and Orlaith Murphy (2) gave them a nine-point advantage.

Mac Dara's battled until the end, but a 63rd-minute free from custodian McCarthy (who had switched out the field with 10 minutes left) was all they could muster, as Joseph's eased towards a memorable triumph.

SCORERS - St Joseph's College: E McIntyre, C Rooney 1-0 each, O Murphy (2f), O Carroll 0-2 each, S Fitzgerald 0-1. St Mac Dara's: C Dawson 0-2 (2f), F McCarthy 0-1 (f).

ST JOSEPH'S COLLEGE, LUCAN: J Ryan; S Byrne, E O'Flynn, M Dowler; J Condron, A Gorman, J Kelly; C Casey, O Murphy; C Larkin-Blay, L O'Mahony, S Fitzgerald; E McIntyre, C Rooney, O'Carroll. Subs: N Fitzgibbon for Carroll (53), K Feeney for Larkin-Blay (57), E Ryan for Rooney (62), K Fahy for McIntyre (62).

ST MAC DARA'S CC: F McCarthy; C Kilbane, L Gibney, G Foley; H Noonan, A Molloy, K O'Neill; C Dawson, C Sweeney; N El Tom Power, M Noone, S Lahiff; E McCourt, L Fallon, E O'Riordan. Subs: A O'Donnell for McCourt (50).

REF: P Carr (Round Tower, Clondalkin).