Holloway Gaels: 1 - 11
Parnells: 4 - 08
Road To The Final
Holloway Gaels began their Championship campaign on September 19 th when they faced St. Anthony’s of Reading on a sunny morning in Greenford. 5 weeks and 4 tough Championship games later, the Gaels were back in a wet, blustery Greenford for the London Intermediate Championship Final. Their opposition on the day were the only team to beat them on the way to the final; Parnells. Whilst outsiders had the girls in red and black written off as under-dogs, there was huge belief and desire in the Holloway camp to ruffle some blue and yellow feathers. Ciaran, Jack and Aisling did everything in their power to get the girls ready for the final. The training was purposeful, as always, the mood was upbeat and full of conviction.
Emma Mulhern had organised a new set of jerseys earlier in the year, thanks to our sponsor Gertie Brownes, and these arrived just in time for game-day. Aisling Clifford and her colleagues at the County Board had planned for the game to be streamed on Youtube so that family and friends could tune in from afar. Macdara and Ciara Holland had signed on as commentators, thank you. Final fever was building and all the girls were getting excited for Saturday. (Big thank you to Charlotte, Emily, Aine, Enya and Muls for the time and effort they put into making headbands and food for the day).
On a sticky pitch, which had just seen TMC lift the Junior Championship Cup, Holloway lined out against the side that beat them on a score line of 3-10 to 0-8 four weeks previously. When Eoin Kelly threw the ball in Parnells set about attacking the Gaels back line but were initially thwarted in their attempts and Holloway earnt a free out. A turnover by the Parnells number 11 from the free kick quickly led to the first goal of the day from the boot of the Parnells full-forward. The sides traded chances for the next 5 minutes with Holloway having a wide, a shot drop short and a 45 chance snuffed out by the Parnells back line. The Gaels defence put the girls in blue under pressure which resulted in two of their shots dropping into the hands of keeper Aisling Clifford. However, Parnells struck their second blow coming up to 7 minutes when a shot by the number 14 deflected off the post straight back into her hands for an easy tap in. With two goals conceded in the opening 7 minutes Holloway had to dig in deep to get themselves back in the running. The break-through came in the 11 th minute when Cavan native Sheila Walshe steadied herself and sent the ball towards the Parnells goal from a wide angle. Luckily for Parnells their keeper was able to get a fingertip to the shot to tip it over for a point. Parnells scored from their resulting kick-out before Caroline McCarthy slotted over a point for the Gaels. Parnells struck a close range free over the bar to see the sides run in at the water-break on a score line of 2-02 to 0-02.
On resumption the sides traded points again, with Vice-captain Emma Mulhern getting on the scoresheet for Holloway. Parnells hit 1-02 in quick succession before Holloway responded with a goal from the boot of Sligo wonder Marian O’Donnell, who pounced on a pass from Car Mc to send the ball straight to the back of the Parnells net. Holloway had a period of dominance in the final few minutes of the first half and will rue the missed opportunities, with a number of shots going wide, dropping short or hitting the cross-bar. Free taker Car Mc added a point during this
patch to see the half time score line read 3-05 to 1-04 in favour of Parnells.
The Final Thirty
Holloway were the first to get on the scoresheet in the second half, when a goal kick from the Parnells keeper found its way to mid-fielder Cliona Twohig, who quickly set about sending Car Mc on the way for her third point of the day. Marian added the next score of the game, with a beautiful point from the edge of the D, after some good work by her team-mates getting the ball out from the backline. Sheila added to the Holloway tally bringing the Gaels within 4 points of the girls in blue and yellow. 14 minutes without a score, thanks to some magnificent defending, including a goal line save from Sam, and Parnells were beginning to worry. They added on a point just before the water-break to extend their lead back to 5 points for the last quarter. Sheila started off the final 15 with a point from play, bringing the sides within 4 points once again. Hanley gave away a free on the Holloway 21 but the Parnells free-taker failed to convert and Clifford gathered it up before working the ball out. Unfortunately for the Gaels, the Parnells forwards managed to turn over the ball and quickly worked it to the back of the Holloway net. The girls in blue added another point, extending their lead to 8 points with 10 minutes left on the clock. Parnells went down to 14 players soon after, when one of their players was sin-binned for a second warning. Kerry native McCarthy slotted over her 4 th point of the day before the Parnells full- forward scored their final point of the day with less than a minute of normal time remaining. Cliona and Enya added a point a piece before referee Eoin Kelly blew the final whistle, which saw Parnells crowned winners by a margin of 6 points.
Panel & Management: A.Clifford, S. Grozotis, R.Hunt, C.Flanagan, C. O’Murchadh Flynn, M.Jordan, N. Kelly, C.Twohig (0-01), C.Hanley, K.O’Brien, E.Mulhern (0-01), C. Faughnan, S. Walshe (0-03), C.McCarthy (0-04), M. O’Donnell (1-01), E. O’Donnell (0.01), A.Walsh, E.Murphy, G.Cahalane, S.Kerins, S. O’Sullivan, ME. Cannon, E.deCaires, L.Keane, K.Bradshaw, S.Ledden, A.Cosgrave, O.Holbrook, C.Brosnan, AM.Micallef, T.Adams, M.Cowley, D.Larkin, A.Rushe, R.Doyle, C.Doogan, L.McDonagh, B.Keeshan, J.Morgan, A.Greene, C.McElhinney, J.Day
Huge thanks again to Aileen and Caitriona on the side-line, to Eoin Hourican for doing the side-line and to our merry band of supporters including Lauren (looking forward to getting you registered next season).
If you have any enquiries, please use the form below:
The Holloway training grounds are at Downhills Park, Haringey, N17 6NY.