Girls U16B County Final Match Report
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Strong second half performance sees Gaels girls edge out Harps in thriller

The U16 B Championship Final between Eastern Harps and Shamrock Gaels in Connolly Park, Collooney on Sunday, October 8th, promised to be a tremendous battle and it did not disappoint.

Conditions were ideal for the game and after winning the throw-in, Gaels secured the first score of the game, off the boot of Makayla McLoughlin. Less than a minute later Maeve Molloy slotted over her first score of the match and put Harps on the scoreboard. Five minutes in and Gaels were on the attack again but a fabulous block by Rachel Hannon denied the Gaels attempt. Harps worked the ball up the field with Zoe Stafford finishing off the attack with a fine point.

The sides traded possession for a couple of minutes with Shamrock Gaels’ Eala McDermott scoring a point to level up the match. However, the sides weren’t level for long. Nine minutes in Harps’ Lisa Powell finished off a fantastic run with a sweetly struck goal. Harps didn’t stop there, only a minute later Maeve Molloy sent the ball into the back of the Shamrock Gaels’ net to finish off a superb team effort involving Aoife Mitchell, Amy McGovern, Bláithin McDonnell and Róisín Molloy.

A minute later Harps were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately, the well struck effort was denied by the post. Shamrock Gaels were in need of a score. That score was provided by the Gaels’ captain Erin Mullaney’s fine effort. For a period of 13 minutes Harps dominated possession, with Eimear Conlon working tirelessly in midfield, but failed to convert their chances. Eventually, in the 26th minute, Shamrock Gaels ended the period of missed opportunities with Jade Lyons securing her first score of the match.

Momentum was slowly shifting into Shamrock Gaels’ favour. Erin Mullaney and Nadine Hargadon both slotted over points to leave the Harps leading by only 2 points heading into additional time at the end of the first half. The last action of the half saw Harps win a second penalty. Once again Harps’ effort was unsuccessful, this time denied by a great save by the Gaels’ keeper, Meabh McDermott.

Four minutes into the second half, Nadine Hargadon split the posts with a fine effort. Harps got some relief when Zoe Stafford scored the game’s first pointed free & the same player followed this 2 minutes later with a beautiful point from play. The next passage of play saw Harps keeper, Edel Henry, who was excellent throughout, make two fantastic saves to deny Shamrock Gaels. Once again, the Harps girls worked the ball up the field with great effort from Ciara O’Connor, Orlaith Connolly and Emma Stephenson. The attack was finished with Roisín Molloy’s first point of the match and this was soon followed by her second point three minutes later.

Three minutes later Erin Mullaney hit the back of the net for Gaels’ first goal of the match, to cut Harps’ lead to 2 points. This lead was reduced to 1 point when Erin Mullaney scored again to increase her tally to 1:03. The 53rd minute would bring a dramatic turn of events to the game when Harps’ were reduced to 12 players for 10 minutes when referee Des Henry brandished a yellow card. However, Zoe Stafford would bring some relief to Harps team as she split the posts with another splendid free kick.

The sides traded wides until the 58th minute when Ceili Faughnan got her first point of the match. Gaels then got a break when Jade Lyons long range point effort dropped in under the crossbar to put Gaels 3 points ahead. Things would go from bad to worse for Harps when Ceili Faughnan blasted home Gaels third goal. Zoe Stafford slotted over the last score of the game, her 5th point making her Harps top scorer. The final score: Eastern Harps 2-08 v 3-11 Shamrock Gaels.

Although the result was disappointing, the Harps girls should take great pride in their fantastic performance and the huge improvements they have made as a group this year. Congratulations to Shamrock Gaels on their win.

Eastern Harps: Edel Henry, Rachel Hannon, Ciara O’Connor, Aoife Mitchell, Emma Stephenson, Orlaith Connolly, Lisa Powell, Eimear Conlon, Amy McGovern, Róisín Molloy, Zoe Stafford, Maeve Molloy, Bláithín McDonnell, Cushla Cosgrove, Aisling Dorrian, Alyx Cassidy, Aimee Lyons, Ailish Duggan, Ciara Hannon, Emily Falkus, Rebekah Murray, Leanne McGowan, Katie McGowan.

Coaches: Eamonn Clarke, Neil Molloy, Deirdre Gillen.

Shamrock Gaels: Meabh McDermott, Ellie McDermott, Laoise King, Isobel Clark, Chloe McTiernan, Amy Healy, Eala McDermott, Jade Lyons, Ceili Faughnan, Erin Mullaney, Jane Benson, Makayla McLoughlin, Nadine Hargadon, Leah Monaghan, Aine Kearns, Danielle McGovern, Ana McCann, Mia O’Regan, Jessica Crowley, Grace O’Carroll, Kate Brehony, Aoife Murphy, Aine Brennan.

Coaches: Simone Kelly, Aoife O'Connor

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