Gers progress to fourth senior final in five seasons

Geraldines 1-12 Roche Emmetts 1-08

Geraldines progressed to their fourth senior championship final in five seasons on Sunday morning courtesy of a comfortable victory against Roche Emmets. 

The champions were untroubled by their Division Two counterparts, for whom this four-point loss stands as their second consecutive last four demise.

Captain Lauren McFaul and No6 Gemma McCrave were outstanding for the winners, while Rebecca Carr accounted for 1-7 of the girls in green’s tally.

Indeed, Gers led from the early stages — backed by the significant downfield breeze at Pairc na Gaeil — with Carr picking out the bottom corner of the net, deflecting Roche’s good start which, albeit, failed to reap a score.

It took Roche until first half stoppage time to register, via Sarah McArdle, at which point Gers had converted 1-8, McFaul and speedy winger Emma Gartland (2) the other registrars.

But, gradually, Gers relented in their scoring efforts, giving Roche a platform which they failed to capitalise upon, too often directing imprudent lobs towards the target, notwithstanding the tremendous battling spirit teenager Abi Keenan oozed in the blues’ attack.

The second period began with 14 players lining out in opposition, Roche skipper Jenni McCourt and Carr both having been yellow carded by referee Paul Finnegan in the dying embers of the opening half.

Gers were better with minus their full complement, mind, as Lisa McCabe exerted a telling influence when reverted to midfield from the right wing.

Yet they were struggling to tag on points consistently, in spite of McFaul and Carr scoring impressively from dead balls.

McArdle was Roche’s almost sole avenue back into the encounter and when the flanker shot a penalty past Grainne Boyle — after substitute Lauren Meehan has been upended — the gap was reduced to seven points.

Though a failure to capitalise on multiple further openings meant Roche’s late forward push — which Gers felt was as a consequence of some debatable officiating — earned them little more than the scant consolation of a narrower defeat.

Powerful Gers pack a punch. Sunday marked their 10th successive senior championship victory.

Geraldines: Grainne Boyle; Megan Scully, Eilis Hand, Holly Lambe Sally; Amy Dalton, Gemma McCrave, Aine Lynch; Rebecca Carr (1-7, 0-5f), Lauren McFaul (0-2, 1f); Lisa McCabe, Abbi O’Connor, Emma Gartland (0-2); Victoria Fee, Ciara O’Connor, Louise Corcoran. Subs: Grainne Finnegan, Helen McEneaney, Sandra Neary, Sharon O’Connor

Roche Emmets: Dearbhla Begley; Anna Murphy, Niamh Callan, Aoife Savage; Kelly Murray, Caoimhe Treanor, Aisling Begley; Claire McDonald, Aoife Halligan (0-2); Seona Halligan, Jenni McCourt, Sarah McArdle (1-4, 0-1f); Abi Keenan (0-1), Louise Byrne, Tracey Rogers. Subs: Lauren Meehan (0-1), Maria Dawe

Referee: Paul Finnegan (St Patrick’s)