Home Sport GAA Langton and Dunne end four year wait for St Joseph’s

Langton and Dunne end four year wait for St Joseph’s

The victorious St Joseph's team who beat Ballyfin in the Junior decider
The victorious St Joseph's team who beat Ballyfin in the Junior decider

St Joseph’s 3-12 Ballyfin 2-3

Ladies Junior Football Championship Final

Ciara Langton and Martina Dunne were on fire as St Joseph’s ended years of hurt to win the Junior Championship at the fourth time of asking in Mountmellick on Saturday evening.

Brendan Dunne’s side had lost the previous three finals to Killeshin, St Paul’s and Ballyroan respectively and came into this game as underdogs.

Their opponents Ballyfin had gone unbeaten all year but the Kellyville outfit peaked when it mattered with Langton and Dunne accounting for their tally of 3-12 between them.

St Joseph’s were first out of the block with Martina Dunne and Ciara Langton both raising white flags either side of a brilliant save by Ballyfin keeper Aoife McEvoy to keep Lorna Butler out at close range.

Ballyfin were guilty of kicking a number of bad wides in the first ten minutes but their opening score gave them the lead as it was a goal.

Niamh O’Rourke released Aine O’Connor who went around Joseph’s keeper Maura Hyland but was tugged back and a penalty was awarded which Rachel Conroy coolly converted.

And from the resulting kick-out, Ballyfin had a second goal. Aine O’Connor won the ball and was fouled with her resulting free kick somehow finding its way to the back of the net from well over 30 metres.

St Joseph’s recovered well from this double blow with a trio of Martina Dunne points but Ballyfin kept in front with seven first half minutes remaining via Edel Finn.

However, St Joseph’s ended the half in the lead. Lorna Butler and Annie Smith combined to set up St Joseph’s first goal which Martina Dunne smashed home before Ciara Langton slotted a late point to leave St Joseph’s 1-6 to 2-1 ahead at half time.

St Joseph’s extended their lead on the resumption when Dunne turned provider by running laterally across the Ballyfin defence before popping the ball into Ciara Langton and she picked out the bottom corner of the net.

Ballyfin
Ballyfin

Ballyfin had a great chance to hit back with a goal of their own but a combination of the excellent Caoimhe Farrell and keeper Maura Hyland combined to keep Edel Finn and Aine O’Connor at bay.

Martina Dunne and Rachel Conroy then swapped points before Michelle Lynch cut the deficit to four points with twenty minutes to play – however, Stephen Duff’s side wouldn’t score again.

Martina Dunne (2) and Ciara Langton (3) accounted for the remainder of St Joseph’s points before the fantastic Langton smashed home her second goal after some great work by substitute Ailbhe Lacey.

There was 15 points between the teams at the finish and St Joseph’s were certainly full value for their win.

SCORERS – ST JOSEPH’S: Ciara Langton 2-5, Martina Dunne 1-7 (0-2 frees) BALLYFIN: Rachel Conroy 1-1 (1-0pen, 0-1 free), Aoife O’Connor 1-0 free, Edel Finn and Michelle Lynch 0-1 each

ST JOSEPH’S: Maura Hyland; Niamh Johnson, Rachel Fleming, Roisin Murphy; Caoimhe Farrell, Haley O’Brien, Lucy Deegan; Caitriona Crosby, Aine Dempsey; Lorna Butler, Martina Dunne, Annie Smith; Ciara Langton, Jenny Smith, Aoife Ramsbottom. Subs: Ailbhe Lacey for J Smith (36mins), Anna Johnson for Butler (40mins), Aisling Crosby for Fleming (46mins), Catherine Butler for Langton (59mins)

BALLYFIN: Aoife McEvoy; Kate Cleary, Cathy Hogan, Rachel Wheeler; Liaden C-Fennell, Rena Pender, Rachel Walsh; Helena Dempsey, Siobhan Keenaghan; Niamh O’Rourke, Michelle Lynch, Rachel Conroy; Emma Wrenn, Aine O’Connor, Edel Finn. Subs: Aobha Bergin for Cleary (35mins)

Referee: Niall McCormack (O’Dempsey’s)

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.