Diminutive goalkeeper Laura Dunne was the toast of Laois after her two point-blank saves 10 minutes from time helped the Midlanders eke out a 0-9 to 0-7 victory over Dublin in the Irish Daily Star Camogie League Division 3 final at Mullingar’s Cusack Park writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
Dunne saves the day for Laois
The sides were deadlocked on 0-7 apiece when Dunne was faced with two one-on-one situations but the St Brigid’s netminder was equal to the task, first denying Róisín Collins before blocking Emma Flanagan’s shot.
That spurred Laois on and points from Síle Burke and player of the match, Sarah Ann Fitzgerald (from a 70m free) clinched the title for the second time in four seasons.
It was tough on Dublin, who won the Division 4 title last year and would almost certainly have gone on to make it back-to-back promotions but for the bravery and reflexes of Dunne.
They will probably look to their over-reliance on free-taker Georgina Kelly though, particularly when they had the wind helping them in the first half.
See following video for highlights from the first half: Laois v. Dublin First Half Highlights
Having said that, both attacks struggled against strong defensive units, and if Fitzgerald was on song for the winners at centre-back, her counterpart Michelle Kelly was an equally impressive anchor on the other side.
Given the elements, Laois would have been delighted to have gone in at the break level on 0-5 apiece.
Georgina Kelly provided all Dublin’s scores from placed balls and while Laois had just the solitary scoring contributor at that juncture as well, Louise Mahony did manage two points from play.
Burke and Elaine Mahony had points responded to by a Kelly 45 and Dublin’s only score from play, provided by Emma Flanagan in the 44th minute.
That meant they were still deadlocked when Dunne staved off Collins and Flanagan. Those heroics clearly galvanised Laois girls, who found the extra pep to propel themselves over the line.
Watch the second half highlights at Laois v. Dublin Second Half Highlights
You can see all Laois interviews after that match by watching the following video
SCORERS – LAOIS: L Mahony 0-5(3fs); S Burke 0-2; E Mahony, SA Fitzgerald (f) 0-1 each
DUBLIN: G Kelly 0-6(5fs, 1 45); E Flanagan 0-1
LAOIS: L Dunne; K Cuddy, M Burke, C Downey; J Dollard, SA Fitzgerald, A Dunphy, Louise Mahony, E Mahony; O Parkinson, S Cuddy, E Delaney; S Burke, N Dollard, D Quigley. Subs: R Bermingham for J Dollard (50); A Hanlon for Cuddy (50)
DUBLIN: S Carthy; G Free, G Ryan, S Grimes; R Noctor, M Kelly, S Duffy; G Kelly, E Maher; A McGrath, E Gallery, E Flanagan; CA Canning, E Keenan, R Collins. Subs: M Dunne for Canning (ht); L Quinn for Keenan (45); C McCullough for McGrath (50); P Lohan for Maher inj (54)
REFEREE: R McNicholas (Galway)