Goals key as St Jude’s advance to the All-Ireland junior final
St Judes goalkeeper Aoife McAuliffe, left, celebrates with teammate and captain Aoife Keyes

Goals key as St Jude’s advance to the All-Ireland junior final

Aisling Gannon and Niamh Kerr struck late goals at St Margaret’s this afternoon as St Jude’s booked their spot in the currentaccount.ie All-Ireland junior club ladies football championship final with a 3-9 to 0-11 victory at the expense of Monaghan’s Carrickmacross.

This is an historic achievement, given it is the first time that a team from the Templeogue club have ever reached a national decider. In fact, it was a maiden appearance in an All-Ireland semi-final for a Jude’s side and the Leinster champions had to dig deep before earning a spot in the forthcoming showpiece.

Carrickmacross were just a point adrift and searching for an equaliser when they were hit with a brace of sucker punches in the closing minutes. The venue for the All-Ireland junior final will be announced in the coming weeks, but it is Mullinahone of Tipperary who will provide the opposition to Jude’s on the day.

Having remained unbeaten since they began their county championship campaign last summer, the Wellington Lane outfit now have an ideal opportunity to make it a clean sweep of silverware.

There had been little to separate the two teams for much of the opening period with Sarah Capaldi in fine form for Carrickmacross. However, in-form Jude’s skipper Aoife Keyes shook the net at the end of a fine move and gave them the edge at the break.

Kerr, Lisa Morris and Ellie Young (two) also contributed excellent points to ensure the hosts were 1-6 to 0-6 in front heading into the second half. Yet Carrickmacross were not to be dismissed lightly and the influential Capaldi had them back on level terms in the 40th-minute.

Nonetheless, Jude’s regained their composure and brought a 1-8 to 0-9 buffer into the second half water break. A Keyes point gave them extra breathing space, before Capaldi once again produced the goods to leave the bare minimum between the sides.

When push came to shove, however, it was Jude’s who ultimately forced the outcome of this contest – Gannon and Kerr raising green flags in quick succession to send their supporters into raptures.

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