Goal blitz propels Jude’s towards All-Ireland glory against Mullinahone
There was unconfined joy at Baltinglass this afternoon as St Jude’s produced a magnificent display against Mullinahone to secure the All-Ireland Ladies Football Junior Club Championship title on a score of 3-9 to 1-8.
Despite a shaky start to the contest, Jeff Kane’s Wellington Lane side subsequently took control with Caoimhe McGrath, team captain Aoife Keyes and Aisling Gannon all finding the net. The outstanding Ellie Young also contributed six points as Jude’s claimed the first All-Ireland in the club’s history.
Having already accumulated county and provincial honours en route to this stage, it completes an unforgettable season for ladies football in St Jude’s.
Their opponents had been rampant during the early exchanges with an opening minute goal from midfielder Aoibhe O’Shea helping them to create a six-point advantage.
However, there was plenty of time for the Templeogue outfit to force themselves into the reckoning and – following superb link-up play in attack – McGrath got them up and running with a 13th-minute goal.
There was to be further joy for the Metropolitans with Keyes also raising a green flag after Young had split the uprights from a close-range free. Having initially been second best to their Munster counterparts, Jude’s suddenly found themselves in the ascendancy.
Now playing with supreme confidence, the Tymon Park side pounced for yet another major on 23 minutes. Latching onto a sublime pass by the influential Young, Aisling Gannon fired home in clinical fashion.
Young kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Dubliners and while Lorraine O’Shea finally enhanced Mullinahone’s tally in the closing moments of the opening period, Jude’s brought a commanding 3-4 to 1-4 cushion into the interval.
In pole position for a groundbreaking national title, the navy and blue remained on top when the action resumed. Either side of a Lorraine O’Shea effort for Mullinahone, Dublin camogie skipper Hannah Hegarty and Young (free) found the target to move Jude’s seven points clear.
Although the dependable Lorraine O’Shea replied at the opposite end with another free, the combined forces of Claire Gannon and Young ensured the Premier County representatives were trailing 3-8 to 1-6 at the second half water break.
St Jude’s held all the aces at this stage and though Kilkenny camogie star Denise Gaule threatened on a couple of occasions for Mullinahone, their defence largely held firm. Young’s sixth point of the tie arrived in the 51st-minute and this provided enough of a platform to see them over the line in convincing style – much to the delight of their passionate supporters.