Substitute Roisin McGovern proved the match-winner for Foxrock-Cabinteely at sun-drenched Bray Emmets as her late, late goal sent the Dublin and Leinster champions into their first All-Ireland Senior Ladies Club Football Final since 2016.
In a dramatic finish, the sides were level at 1-8 each when Donaghmoyne’s Cathriona McConnell was off-target with a free. Fox-Cab swept to the other end of the pitch and McGovern fisted home a famous goal to send Pat Ring and Peter Clarke’s charges through to a final clash with Mourneabbey on December 8.
There had been little to separate the sides in the opening half as they were level three times. An early goal for Fox-Cab skipper Amy Ring and an injury to Hazel Kingham put pressure on five-time winners Donaghmoyne but they responded admirably, a brace of points for Amy Garland and the exceptional free-taking of Cathriona McConnell keeping them in touch.
Two unanswered points from Fiona Claffey and Laura Nerney pushed Fox-Cab into the lead but Garland and McConnell drew it level once more. Donaghmoyne finished the half the happier, skipper Cora Courtney’s goal leaving them two ahead at the break, 1-6 to 1-4.
An Amy Connolly point early in the second half left just one between the sides but scores were at a premium as the wides tally began to stack up for both sides. The game was end to end with both Aisling Tarpey and Linda Martin called into action and their top class saves ensured a nervy second half.
Converted frees from McConnell and Louise Kerley pushed the Monaghan side into a three point lead. An Amy Ring free and a super score from substitute Jodi Egan left them just one behind. Ring was every inch the captain as she drew the sides level.
A yellow card for Rosemary Courtney late on was a devastating blow for Donaghmoyne and with extra time looking like a distinct possibility, Donaghmoyne missed the free that, if converted, would surely have sent them through.
When play resumed, Fox-Cab worked the ball to substitute McGovern, and she punched to the net with aplomb, to the delight of her team mates. After suffering an All-Ireland semi-final loss to Donaghmoyne in 2015 – and a final defeat against the same opposition two years ago – this was a sweet victory for Fox-Cab.
And with Mourneabbey providing the opposition on December 8, there will be a new name on the Dolores Tyrrell Memorial Cup – as neither team has won the All-Ireland Senior title previously.
Foxrock Cabinteely Scorers: A. Ring 1-04 (1f), R. McGovern (1-00), L. Nerney, (0-01), A. Connolly (0-01), F. Claffey (0-01), J. Egan (0-01)
Donaghmoyne Scorers: C. McConnell (0-03, 3f), C. Courtney (1-00), A. Garland (0-02), N. Callan (0-01), S. McConnell (0-01), L. Kerley (0-01, 1f)
Foxrock Cabinteely: A. Tarpey, A. Murray, S. Quinn, E. McDonagh, S. Goldrick, N.Collins, L. Fusciardi, T. O’Sullivan, C. Ni Mhurchadh, L. Nerney, A. Connolly, F. Claffey, H. O’Neill, C. O’Riordan, A. Ring (C).
Subs: R. McGovern for O’Riordan (‘39), J. Egan for Fusciardi (‘45)
Donaghmoyne: L. Martin, J. Geoghegan, F. Courtney, L.Garland, H. Kingham, S. Courtney, J. Courtney, N. Callan, R. Courtney, A. Garland, L. Kerley, E. Treanor, C. McConnell, C. Courtney, S. McConnell.
Subs: A. Keenan for Kingham (‘3), A. McElroy for S. McConnell (‘47)