Tir Chonaill Gaels 4-12
Dulwich Harps 1-12
Two second-half goals from Fiona Morrissey saw Tir Chonaill Gaels to their first ever championship win against Dulwich Harps.
The south London team dominated the opening half until the Gaels pulled back two goals against the wind to go into the break level at 2-5 to 0-11 apiece. The home team at Greenford made the most of getting the wind advantage as the second half started as Mel McAndrew set up Maura Byrne for an attempt which went just wide.
Aideen Riordan won possession from the resultant kick-out and put her shot over to bring her side a point in front.
The Gaels had a purple patch of possession soon afterwards, but Dulwich pulled a point back from their full-forward against the run of play to equalise. They would get a freak goal soon afterwards to put three points between the sides when their half corner forward put in a long-range point attempt which dropped short, and awkwardly for Charlotte McEleney in goals, eventually brushing off the bar and in behind her as she tried to stop it from trailing into the back of her net.
But Tir Chonaill Gaels responded straight away with Mel McAndrew making a bursting run from a midfield position to give the ball to Denise Doherty.
One way traffic
Morrissey had made a run from midfield into the full forward line and with the ball low on the ground she powered her boot through it and kept it low to go beyond the reach of the Dulwich goalkeeper.
The teams exchanged wides next before Fiona Morrissey gave her side the lead with another goal. Lisa Walsh, who won the Parish Bar’s Player of the Match, put in a sublime pass towards the square where Morrissey’s powerful shot was too much for the keeper to block as it went into the top right corner.
Dulwich were up against it now, and although they were pushing to scrape back a few points they struggled against the wind as their attempts kept falling short and were easy for McEleney to clear. Her kick-outs were another telling factor in the match as seemed to always find the hands of one of her team mates, as at the opposite end Tir Chonaill Gaels began to win possession from their opposite goalkeepers set plays.
The next point would come as Walsh did just that, picking up the kick out and shrugging off her defender to put straight over and put more daylight between the two sides. Sweeney, who had a great game, would set up the next score as she passed to Morrissey, who in turn set up McAndrew for the next point.
And it was all one way traffic at this stage as Dulwich looked well and truly defeated, as Walsh scored the point of the game, before adding another as Aideen Riordan won the next kick-out and passed it to the corner forwards.
Morrissey and Walsh would grab the final two points before the Harps went on a last-ditch attempt scramble to try and claw back a goal, but great defensive work by the back six and the goalkeeper meant that they would not be able to get the breakthrough that they hoped for.
On winning, captain Shirrin Travers celebrated the work the girls had done to win their first ever title, and thanked manager Johnny Flynn in his first year in charge getting them to their first county title, after reaching the semifinals and being beaten finalists in 2014 and 2015.
She also praised the club sponsors, Dulwich Harps’ performance and Flynn’s commitment after he returned to training two days after the birth of his new son.
TIR CHONAILL GAELS SCORERS: Lisa Walsh (1-6), Fiona Morrissey (2-1), Maura Byrne (1-0), Mel McAndrew (0- 2), Aideen Riordan (0-1)
TIR CHONAILL GAELS TEAM: Charlotte McEleney, Brenda Kennedy, Janine Monaghan, Edel Smith, jess O’Leary, Leanne Ryan, Shirrin Travers, Ciara O’Brien, Fiona Morrissey, Lisa Walsh, Mel McAndrew, Sinead Frield, Leanne Sweeney, Maura Byrne, Aideen Riordan
SUBS: Kayleigh Beaghey, Claire Twoey, Denise Doherty, Niamh Treacy, Ciara Rice, Anne, Sinead McGreal, Clodagh Brennan, Niamh Higgins