Ladies Intermediate - Unbeaten Crokes into Semi-Final
There was a perfect start to this years Intermediate Championship for Kilmacud Crokes with the Senior team going unbeaten in its opening four matches. The girls dispatched the challenges of Raheny, Balinteer St Johns, Parnells, and Garda to qualify for a home semi-final on the 6th July.
The campaign began with a comprehensive victory in St Anne's Park. A brace of goals from captain, Therese Casey helped secure a 4-5 to 3-12 win for Crokes on a wet evening in Raheny. A local, must-win derby at home against Ballinteer St John's followed just two days later. The teams exchanged points in the opening few minutes at Pairc de Burca, before Martina Mullin's shot ricocheted off the upright and was caught by half-forward, Louise Byrne who buried the ball in the Ballinteer net. Two free kicks from Mullins, and well-taken points by Therese Casey and Alyssa Quinn ensured a Crokes lead at half-time, despite a well-worked Ballinteer goal just before the break.
Led by Kildare All-Star Tracey Noone, Balinteer staged a hard-fought comeback bringing the teams to within one point at the final whistle,1-10 to 2-6. A serious injury to Kilmacud's Martina Mullins was the only disappointment in an outstanding win.
Next up was the visit of last year's defeated Championship finalists, Parnells. In a low-scoring affair the teams were neck and neck for much of the game before a perfectly-placed Una Murphy pass was seized by Louise Byrne and finished beyond Parnell's keeper, Emma Merrigan. Points from Anna O'Grady and Murphy helped Crokes finish out the game 1-5 to 4 points, and march on to Westmanstown for the final match of Group 1.
A Garda team with everything to play for, was on the back foot almost immediately with Kilmacud forwards dispatching a series of unanswered points in the opening ten minutes. The Crokes backs kept a talented Garda squad quiet with some pitch-perfect defending, before two successive goals from Emer Lindsay and Carrie Nash stretched the Kilmacud lead. A spirited comeback from the Garda couldn't bring the Westmanstown side close, with the teams playing out a 1-8 to 2-12 scoreline.
The winning streak sets the girls up with a home semi-final on the 6th July, where all support will be welcome at Pairc de Burca.
Author and Player; Louise Byrne