Championship Final - Tara Seniors lift the Championship Cup after a long wait
Venue: Emerald Grounds, Ruislip
Date: Sunday 19 July 2009
Result: Tara 2-6 v 0-7 Pearses
After a long wait Tara lifted the Senior Championship Cup at London GAA Headquarters with a final score of 2-6 to 0-7 points against Pearses.
Tara took advantage of the wind in the first half and after 10 minutes were a goal up when Rosie Sutcliffe pounced on a block down by the Peares goalie. Joanne Hamilton also found the back of the net and with some sharp shooting from Denise Gilligan, Tara went in well ahead at half time 2-5 to 0-2.
The second half both sides were guilty of wides and Tara were only able to split the posts once but some hearty defending ensured Tara lifted the cup. Great performances throughout but Nollaig Barron, Catherine Higgins, Rosie Cusack, Ann Gleeson, Angela Kennelly, Meabh Brennan, Bid Grennan and the scorers performed magnificantly.
Tara took their first Senior title since 1995, bringing their total number of Senior titles level with Brother's Pearse. Pearses were the opposition on the day and with Taras blistering start and second half battle the ladies in blue and white finally took the cup home after the long wait.
Tara got off to a dream start when a ball hit towards goal by Bid Grennan was saved brilliantly by Therese Dwyer in the Pearses goal. The sliotar however fell into the path of Kiwi Rosie Cusack who volleyed the sliotar to the back of the net.
Captain Denise Gilligan added on a point and after only five minutes of play Tara were cruising. Great work in the middle of the park by Meabh Brennan, saw her come away with pocession when it looked as if she shouldn't. Brennan found Gilligan in space and another point for Tara resulted. Trish Nihill in the centre of the field for Pearses tried to rally her troops with some good ball into the Pearses forward line. The Tara defense led by Ann Gleeson were up to the battle however. Pearses hard work finally paid and a free was given n favour of the ladies in green and red which Sinead MacMahon expertly converted. . Angela Kenneally was battling hard in the middle of the field for Tara and took a point after a great solo run. Kenneally combined with Gilligan again a few minutes later, and went for goal. Doyle was again on hand to make a fine save. Tara continued to pile on the pressure and a 45 resulted, converted by Gilligan. After 17 minutes Tara looked in control 1-4 to 0-1, playing with a strong wind. Pearse were doing their utmost to curtail Tara upfront and Tara's defense were holding strong. Gleeson ever present and Emma Linnanne was not getting anything soft from Nollaig Barron.
Joanne Hamilton up front for Tara was having her best game of the year so far and what a day to perform. She gathered the sliotar on the 45 yard line, turned and struck for a point. The sliotar dropped just under the bar and into the back of the net, decieving Doyle. At the other end and it was Pearses time to test Grace Hamilton in goal for Tara. Hamilton was up to the mark and expertly saved. A sideline for Tara expertly take by Grennan resulted in a 45 which was again converted by Gilligan. Kenneally then had another goal chance but struck wide. 2-5 to 0-2 at half time and Tara had made the most of the strong wind.
With the wind at their backs Pearses had a battle on their hands. They needed a good start however it was Tara again who got off to a great start with a point taken by Gilligan after just a few minutes. However that proved to be Tara's last score of the game as Pearse pilled on the pressure. Trish Nihill & Bronwan Keeshan were working hard and winning alot of possession around the middle of the field. Tara's defense were under alot of pressure but coping well. Rosie Cusack & Barron really came into their own and time after time came storming out of defence with the ball. Pearses pressure paid off with a free converted by MacMahon and a point by No.17. Goals win games however and Pearses never got close to troubling Hamilton in goal. They will wry their wides however with alot of scoring chances being sent to either side of the post. Nihill converted another point to leave the score at 2-6 to 0-7 and that was how it ended. A game of two halves as a result of the wind and Tara made the most of their chances and never looked like relinguishing their lead in the second half.
Scorers: Joanne Hamilton (1-0), Rosie Sutcliffe (1-0), Denise Gilligan (0-4 (2F)), Angela Kenneally (0-1)