Monday 11 December 2017

young dubs give it their best shot

ON the DCU grass last Saturday, Aisling Brennan delivered a master-class.

She played centre half-back on the Offaly side that defeated the Dubs, 3-7 to 0-9, in the All-Ireland Minor 'A' Championship.

Every little thing she did was magic.

She struck the sliotar so sweetly. And she read the play like a fortune teller.


In the first half, the home full-forward, Ciara Carolan, looked certain to pop over a point. But just as she was about to press the switch, Aisling arrived to snuff out the candle.

Offaly had a prized full-forward of their own, Sarah Harding. She finished her shift with 2-2.

She brought culture and conviction to the jersey. And so did Roisin Egan, the visiting centre half-forward.

On the grey Glasnevin afternoon, Dublin had the brightest of starts.

There was a determination in the air following their opening defeat to Limerick.

Inside the opening ten minutes, the hosts led by three points to no reply. And they earned every one.

Two frees from the highly accurate Catherine Costelloe and a point from play by Ellen McGovern, had the blue flags flying.

But a 11th minute goal from the excellent Offaly captain, Grainne Dolan, changed the climate.

And at the interval, it was Offaly who led, 3-3 to 0-3. Harding scored their second goal on 13 minutes. Dolan delivered the pass.

Sarah caught it like an Irish cricketer before palming to the sack.

A minute later, she cut in from the left and drilled a shot through the concrete. There was no stopping it.

And there was no stopping the spirit of the Dubs either.

For the second half, they had the growing breeze which blew into the Ballymun end. And from the throw-in, Alex Griffin, hit a monster strike.

It was inches away from being the point of the season.

"That was some effort," said a voice in the crowd.

Dublin then registered three points without reply from the nimble Grace O'Shea, a Costelloe free and a point from play from the hard-working Ciara Glynn.

Offaly had to defend well.

And seeing out the storm, they were able to produce a neat necklace of points. The pick of the collection came from Egan, Harding and Dolan.

Late on, the heavy rain fell. Costelloe and O'Shea hit further points for the Dubs.

Carolan came near to scoring a goal, but Offaly had the bricks in place.

Dublin goalie, Faye McCarthy, left her castle to convert a free.

The young Dubs continued to chase to the finish. And chase hard.

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