What a game. What a finish. And what a way to win Feile.
Ballinteer Under 14s were crowned Division 3 Feile champions in the most dramatic and nail biting fashion when a goal with the last puck of the game sealed a 2-3 to 2-2 win over a strong Clontarf side.
With Ballinteer trailing 2-2 to 1-3 Katie Dillon stood up to a 45 to be told by the match referee it was the last puck of the game.
Having already struck 1-2 from placed balls, including a goal just a minute earlier, Katie held her nerve to drill the ball through a forest of Clontarf defenders to the back of the Clontarf net.
The referee blew the whistle on the re-start to cue joyous celebrations on the pitch and in the stand for the large crowd of BSJ supporters who travelled to Naomh Peregrine in west Dublin to cheer on the girls.
Clontarf had led from the opening minutes right to the last ball. A goal in the closing stages put them 2-2 to 0-3 ahead with the finishing line in sight.
But a battling Ballinteer never dropped their heads and never gave up. Their fighting spirit paid off when great team work won a free that Katie struck to the back of the net and the late 45 with time almost up.
Saturday – 28th Group Stages and Semi – Final
It was the same spirit that carried them to the final through four tough games in a sun-splashed Naomh Mearnog on Saturday.
Determined to enjoy the occasion BSJ even went into battle with their colours war painted on their faces and legs.
In the sunshine a few may even have ended up with temporary sunburn tattoos where the club colours were painted on.
But it was their performances that were stamped with determination, hard work and an array of skills from high catching to super ball carrying and score taking that impressed the travelling support.
BSJ beat Naomh Maurs in a tough opening encounter coming out 2-4 to 1-3 winners.
They backed that up with a 1-2 to 1-0 victory over Na Fianna in a war of attrition.
It was one of a string of superb defensive displays from a brilliant back line helped with an assured goalkeeping performance from Cora McCarthy that laid the platform for their successful Feile run.
In their final group game they held local rivals Naomh Olaf scoreless while BSJ forwards bagged 2-3.
It was a feat they managed to repeat in the semi final against hosts Naomh Mearnog while scoring 1-4 to secure a spot in Sunday’s final.
BSJ conceded just one score over the final three games while forwards racked up 6-13 en route to the final.
All 19 girls on the panel brought their best hurling and a brilliant attitude to Feile, and were crowned worthy champions by five o’clock on Sunday.
Scorers over the 5 games
Katie Dillon 2-10
Saoirse Kavanagh 2-1
Eve Leslie 1-1
Lauren Burke 1-1
Juliet Moore 1-0
Sarah Wall 1-0
Ellen O’Callaghan 0-2
Rachel Cullen 0-1
Anu Ni Mhuirgheasa
Rachel Cullen (captain)