Foxrock's class too much for Shels
Shelmaliers put up a good fight but were ultimately outclassed by a superbly drilled, physical Foxrock-Cabinteely side in the Leinster ladies' football Senior club semi-final at Hollymount on Saturday.
Foxrock-Cabinteely3-15 Shelmaliers 1-6
The Wexford champions had comfortably come through a preliminary round fixture against St. Ultan's from Meath to make the last four, but that was no preparation for the fast-moving and intricate passing of the impressive Dublin outfit.
It was a different story in 2012 when the Shels overcame their Leinster rivals to take the provincial crown on a wet day in Aughrim, but Foxrock-Cabinteely made sure there was no repeat of that surprise with scores on the board early and often.
A nice Aisling Traynor point after build-up play by Shauna Murphy and Kellie Kearney was the perfect response to Amy Collins' first-minute free.
In truth, the hosts lived dangerously in that first attack as Amy Ring was baring down on goal when she was pulled back, but there was no stopping the corner-forward when she got in from Connolly's feed and fired past Deirdre Fox in the third minute.
Trailing by 1-3 to 0-1, Shelmalier responded with a Deirdre McMahon free but a few other dead balls were poorly struck and the home side ended the half with just two points on the scoreboard.
Foxrock-Cabinteely kept the pressure on and went in at the interval leading by 2-7 to 0-2. With Fiona Claffey and Hannah Noonan breaking from midfield, the visitors prospered as Connolly found the net from Laurie Ahern's pass to inflict further damage on the home side.
Shelmalier were better after the interval and were only outscored in the third quarter by 0-4 to 0-3 as McMahon, Kearney and Leona Tector registered minors. Indeed, the final 15 minutes started well also as Traynor burst in from McMahon's pass to find the Foxrock-Cabinteely net.
Tector's second point made it 2-11 to 1-6 with twelve minutes to go and the home side still had aspirations of a dramatic comeback. Those hopes were shattered as the Metropolitans kicked the last 1-4 to take victory.
The excellent Amy Ring cut in from the left for her second goal in the 60th minute to round out the scoring and book a Leinster title decider opposite Sarsfields of Mountmellick (Laois) in two weeks' time.
Foxrock-Cabinteely: Carol Manning; Nuala Mohan, Aédín Murray, Sinéad Delahunty; Sinéad Goldrick, Sarah Brophy, Niamh Collins (0-1); Fiona Claffey (capt., 0-2), Hannah Noonan (0-1); Ciara O'Riordan (0-1), Laurie Ahern, Emma McDonagh; Amy Connolly (1-2, 0-1 free), Anne-Marie Murphy (0-2), Amy Ring (2-5, 0-2 frees). Subs. - Eimear O'Herlihy for McDonagh (31), Marla Candon for Ahern (42), Niamh Ryan (0-1) for Connolly (49), Ciara Crotty for O'Riordan (52), Lorna Fusciardi for Delahunty (56).
Shelmalier: Deirdre Fox; Ceara O'Brien, Maeve Quill (capt.), Lisa Quill; Ciara Neville, Catherine Doyle, Ciara Corrigan; Kellie Kearney (0-1), Róisín Murphy; Kate Kelly, Shelly Doyle, Deirdre McMahon (0-2, 1 free); Shauna Murphy, Leona Tector (0-2, 1 free), Aisling Traynor (1-1). Subs. - Michelle Hearne for S. Doyle (40), Nikki Scallan for S. Murphy (40), Eadaoin Fitzgerald for L. Quill (54).
Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).