NY Ladies GAA: Young Rockland Side Win Junior League Title

The victorious Rockland team with the trophy Sunday (Photo by Sharon Redican)

Rockland B 5-12 Kerry/Donegal 3-8

June 15, 2021 By Amy Brett

Rockland secured the first silverware of the season Sunday after impressively beating Kerry/Donegal in the New York Ladies GAA Junior League final.

The Rockland side, who are all under 18, proved that age was no barrier as they swept aside a vastly more experienced Kerry/Donegal team at Frank Golden Park in Queens.

Even more remarkable was the fact that this was Rockland’s “B” or second string “adult” team. Senior and junior clubs all competed in the Junior League this year including Rockland’s “A” team.

Kerry/Donegal’s Michelle Dowd opened the scoring with a powerful point having charged up up the field from her own full-back line.

Rockland soon began to take the lion’s share of first-half possession and Fionnuala Selby notched 2-2 on the day for Rockland – including a spectacular strike that nestled into the top left-hand corner of the Kerry/Donegal net.

Rockland’s Amelia Leyden appeared to play in a free role and popped up almost everywhere on the pitch. The team was also well anchored by goalkeeper Ava Fitzsimmons who pulled off a number of crucial saves throughout the match.

The Rockies went into the break ahead by 3-4 to 5 points as the morning temperature began to rise. The game’s throw-in time was 10 a.m.

Rockland extended their lead to eight points after halftime on a scoreline of 4-8 to 1-6 and seemed to be in total control of matters.

Rockland player Kailey O’Connor on the ball (Photo by Sharon Redican)

However, Kerry/Donegal then introduced Marie Dargen and she made an immediate impact on proceedings – notching one goal and two points within eight minutes which brought the deficit back to two goals.

Dargen then bagged another goal to leave a single goal between the teams.

It appeared as though the momentum was now swinging back towards Kerry/Donegal and a comeback was on the cards.

In the end, it wasn’t to be and the Rockland ladies showed maturity beyond their years and never panicked.

Maura Durcan netted her second goal of the game and the team chipped over an additional four points without reply to settle matters and clinch the Annie Kearney Cup.

Kerry/Donegal’s Marie Dargen was an impact substitute (Photo by Sharon Redican)

Leyden, Grace Kelliher and Kailey O’Connor were the standout performers for Rockland and they were ably assisted by the sharpshooting Sarah Donoghue who scored 1-5.

Kelly Keating impressed in midfield for Kerry/Donegal while Sarah Roche played well in the backs. Up front Sonia Clarke was busy all morning, Eileen Egan bagged a goal and two points while Courtney Traynor scored a brace of points.

To keep up to date with all the latest fixtures and results please follow the New York Ladies GAA Instagram page.

To submit a match report, please contact Michael Dorgan via email at michaeljdorgan@hotmail.com.

Rockland manager John Donoghue shows his delight after the final whistle (Photo by Sharon Redican)
Kerry/Donegal player Sonia Clarke in action Sunday (Photo by Sharon Redican)
Rockland player Sarah Donoghue kicks for a point (Photo by Sharon Redican)
Chairperson Nollaig Cleary presents the cup to Amelia Leyden (Photo by Sharon Redican)

Junior Teams 2021
O Donovan Rossa
Manhattan Gaels
Shannon Gaels
Setanta (new team this year)
Rockland B
St. Brigid’s

Senior Teams 2021
Na Fianna
Rockland A
Kerry Donegal