Confey are back on top of the pile in terms of Kildare ladies football and no one could say they didn’t do it the hard way. After seeing off reigning champs Leixlip in the semi they got the better of 2010 champions Balyna in Hawkfield last Saturday, writes Ronan Flanagan.
Ladies Senior Football Championship Final
It was a strange game in which both sides had periods of dominance, but it was the girls from the Hill who were that bit more savvy and managed to make everything count, seeing off the challenge of the parish outfit.
But with the likes of Aine Gately in fine scoring form, Ciara Hogan raiding from wing back and Emma McCartney getting on an amount of ball in the half forward line Confey were able to control proceedings much better despite the best efforts of Aisling Holton who constantly ran at the opposition.
Indeed, it was the county player Holton who opened the scoring on the day as Balyna dominated the early exchanges. They were however very wasteful as they hit four wides before Deirdre Gately got Confey off the mark after six minutes.
After their wayward shooting Balyna suddenly clicked and as they went to hit five points in a row with Careen Farrell getting the purple patch rolling with Erica Burke, Caoimhe Keoghan and Miriam Murphy all got in on the act.
Confey needed an answer and got it through Aine Gately who used her speed to hit a great point. Siobhan Hurley split the posts before Siofra Daly hit back for the eventual victors. Gately got on the run again to finish before Gill Behan left one kick of a ball in it.
Twos free from Balyna’s Erica Burke saw her side go in at the interval leading by three. There was a sense that this game was always going to go to the wire and that Balyna would soon face a backlash. They didn’t have to wait long as two minutes after the change of ends the game was turned on its head.
Gill Behan fired over immediately after the restart and within a minute Deidre Gately had found the net as she slipped a neat finish past Ruth Bergin who was left open by her defence. Rachel Divilly tagged on a free from an acute angle as Confey really upped the ante.
Balyna hit back through Aisling Holton and Miriam Murphy as they made it all square again. As the game entered the final quarter it was very much up for grabs, but there was a sense that Confey had more options when looking for players to get on the ball.
One such player was top scorer Aine Gately who took charge to convert three frees as Confey began to edge out in front. Balyna then began to drive back as Holton, Clodagh Flanagan and Siobhan Hurley began to link up well down the middle as they tried to get that elusive comeback goal.
Unfortunately the bid to get it proved very difficult as Confey closed down the space in fonr of the runners as Aine Gately was now operating in the middle and the Confey half forwards were working hard to extinguish any chance at leaking a three-pointer.
Siobhan Hurley made it a two-point game as the time ticked on and on. There was a large amount of injury time and despite the calls for the final whistle play continued.
Balyna knew what was needed to steal the win but in the end another free from Aine Gately proved to be the last score of the day. So it’s back to the drawing board for Balyna although many of their dual stars are looking ahead to a camogie final next weekend.
Aoife McGuinness; Shonah Mullins, Cliodhna McNamara, Niamh Scally; Ciara Hogan, Orla O’Shea, Emma Coffey; Niamh Quinn, Rachel Divilly 0-1 (f); Orla Hogan, Gill Behan 0-2, Emma McMartney; Aine Gately 0-7 (4f), Deirdre Gately 1-1, Siofra Daly 0-1. Subs: Lyndsey Flanagan for Mullins (35mins), Aisling Seargent for Quinn (56mins).
Ruth Bergin; Shonagh Farrell, Jenna Muphy, Leanne Farrell; Jane O’Donoghue, Clodagh Flanagan, Sarah Blake; Aisling Holton 0-2, Caoimhe Keoghan 0-1; Erica Burke 0-3 (2f), Siobhan Hurley 0-2, Rachel Ward; Rachel Cribbin, Miriam Murphy 0-3 (1f), Careen Farrell 0-1. Sub: Effithia Byrne for Blake (58mins)