DOHENYS go in search of Cork LGFA junior A championship glory this Saturday with captain Aprille Duggan hoping recent momentum will get her club over the line.
This Dohenys squad knows all about county final heartache having lost three junior B county deciders before finally seeing off Midleton to claim the 2019 title. That success secured promotion to the junior A ranks and now the Dunmanway club finds itself one step from another county triumph and promotion to the intermediate ranks.
Castlehaven will provide formidable opposition in Saturday’s all-West Cork county final at CIT (12pm throw-in) – but Dohenys and their captain are looking forward to taking on their divisional rivals.
‘It is great to be back in another county final,’ Duggan told The Southern Star.
‘Last year was our first time up in junior A and we were disappointed not to reach the semi-finals. We were one of the top three ranked teams in our group but ended up missing out on the semi-finals on points difference. So, to reach this year’s semi-finals is fantastic for the club. Playing Castlehaven, they are our West Cork rivals, so it is going to be another great game and another massive battle.’
Dohenys put the disappointment of last year’s failure behind them and reached the 2021 championship knockout stages by producing an excellent run in this year’s junior A competition.
A tough opening-day win away to Douglas (3-7 to 0-6) was followed by a walkover from Dromtarriffe and convincing defeat of Abhainn Dalla (1-15 to 1-2). Beating Naomh Abán (2-8 to 0-7) would prove an important precursor to the two sides’ county semi-final.
A 4-16 to 3-6 loss to Castlehaven occurred with a place in the knockout stages already secured and some first teamers absent. Next, Naomh Abán travelled to Dunmanway for a county semi-final and the home side won (3-4 to 0-9) amid poor weather conditions. Dohenys were through to another county decider and appear to have benefitted from playing regular championship matches.
‘There were five other teams in the group and everyone played each other once which meant we were out five weeks in a row,’ noted Aprille, sister of Cork senior and fellow Dohenys player Melissa Duggan.
‘This time of the year, it is difficult playing five consecutive weeks when the pitches and weather are bad. It is seven weeks ago now since we started off against a Douglas team that reached last year’s final. To go to Douglas and beat them was a massive achievement and set us up for the next couple of weeks after that game. We just went out and got better and better, and to get a spot in this year’s semi-finals was fantastic.
‘We beat Naomh Abán the weekend before last having already played them in the group stages. Everyone knew it was going to be a really tough battle and it was. We just about got over the line in Dunmanway where maybe home advantage was to our favour despite awful weather conditions.
‘We have had a week off but this is a Dohenys team that loves playing games. I think that we actually play better when we have a bit of momentum coming in. The fact that we have played a lot of games recently will definitely stand to us.
‘Now we are looking forward to a massive, massive battle with Castlehaven. It’s great that it is up in CIT and bringing two West Cork teams up there to play the final. I think that is good for ladies’ football. Hopefully, we can both put in good performances on the day and it will be a cracking game for the spectators.’