Horeswood 5-8 Castlebridge 2-1
Horeswood girls gave a real footballing masterclass in St. Patrick’s Park last Wednesday night in the final of the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Girls Football Roinn A championship. Throughout the final, they displayed great skill all over the field, matching some beautiful footpassing with a tough work ethic that produced several blockdowns. The opposition was a determined Castlebridge team making their first ever appearance in the ‘A’ final.
The Ross District girls nearly had a dream start when a powerful Amy Ennis shot was saved by Castlebridge goalkeeper Sinead Banville. It was luck that played a large part in their first score, when a Caithlin Barron cross slipped in at the back post. Points from impressive Horeswood midfielders Kate Foley and Lydia McGrath saw an early five point lead develop.
Castlebridge to their credit were undaunted by this good Horeswood start and made inroads of their own through hard working attackers Becky Halligan and Andrea Fielding. Becky was unlucky for a goal early in the half when a neat Kathryn Dempsey save pushed her shot just wide. Fellow wing forward Katie Byrne was then first to a breaking ball and made sure to finish and put her team back in contention. A Kate Foley free soon after closed the gap to a single point.
Horeswood however regained composure to finish the half strongly with two excellent points from Caithlin Barron and Amy Ennis and a peach of a goal from Kate Foley. Were it not for some wasteful shooting, the gap could have been more.
The second half saw a more open affair with both goalkeepers being called into action early and doing very well. Again, Horeswood were playing the better football but they did not do themselves justice on the scoreboard. Battles between Horeswood defenders Sinead Clancy and Katie Kehoe and Castlebridge attackers Andrea Fielding and Katie Byrne were great to watch as the match bubbled to a conclusion.
Caithlin Barron got two further points to calm Horewood nerves but this confidence was shattered when Castlebridge sparked again to score another goal through Katie Byrne. Aoibhe Murphy, Aoife Doyle and Hannah Hearne led a renewed Castlebridge charge but once more Horewood netminder Kathryn Dempsey steadied the ship with some composed play.
The final five minutes saw Horeswood finally put Castlebridge away after playing most of the football. Two killer 20th minute goals from Lydia McGrath and Caithlin Barron opened a gap of eleven points between the teams. Ruthless to the end, the skilful and industrious Caithlin completed her hatrick with a great individual goal in the final moments bringing the scores to 5-8 to 2-1.
~Seán Óg Whelan
Horeswood: Kathrn Dempsey, Emer Hunt, Katie Kehoe, Róisín Finnegan, Jade Cleere, Sinéad Clancy, Leah O’Connell, Kate Foley, Lydia McGrath, Caithlin Barron, Eadaoin Kent, Amy Ennis, Annie Rose Lyng, Hannah Chapman, Amy Cummins, Sarah Cummins, Ciara Walsh, Sarah Foley, Mai Dempsey, Emer Desmond Lyng
Castlebridge: Sinead Banville, Chloe Murphy, Aoife Doyle, Amy O’Connor, Hannah Hearne, Nicole Gillen, Sophie Byrne, Aoibhe Murphy, Ciara Banville, Becky Halligan, Andrea Fielding, Katie Byrne, Morgan Sambou, Nicole Harding-Kenny, Ellie Doyle, Caoimhe Parker, Katie Carroll, Aobhe Manley, Sophie Whelan, Danielle O’Leary, Mai Ling Tynan, Keeva Campbell, Katie Feeney, Erin Kehoe, Letitia Hanly, Lily Stout, Erin Byrne, Ciara McMahon, Caithlin Rossiter, Aoife Hearne, Abigail Gillen, Beth Byrne, Sarah Ryan, Molly McGuinness