Colemanstown ladies were at home today in the semi-final of the RDFL Ladies league trophy against neighbours St. Cuans in a match that will certainly go down in history as one of the greatest comebacks of all time coming from 3-0 down with 25mins to go to win 4-3. The game started well for Colemanstown with plenty of great passing football as they enjoyed plenty of possession. St. Cuans though drew first blood as they caught us on the break when they outsmarted our defence with some great passing soccer of their own and their taliswoman striker got in to slide the ball into the bottom corner giving Ashley Roberts in goal no chance. Colemanstown restarted with Rachel O’Brien and Serena Hansberry owning midfield and were the engine of many attacks. It was good to see Issa Harun return to the squad which was a great boost. She turned the opposition inside out as she sent in lovely deliveries to Rebecca Clancy and Sarah Kearney up front as the quality of soccer was very good. St. Cuans took over for the last 10 mins of the first half and put a great passing move together yet again to get through the Colemanstown defence and their big midfielder made it 2-0 on the 40th min. Colemanstown had their heads down at this stage but a big tackle from Rachel O’Brien just before half time woke Colemanstown from their sleepy slumber and gave them the belief that they could come back into the game. Half time: St. Cuans 2 – 0 Colemanstown.
Colemanstown started the second half much better and were well on top. There were a few changes 10 mins into the second half as Lucy Kenny and Laura Keane were introduced. However, 5 mins later Colemanstown found themselves 3-0 down with a dubious goal that looked well offside but Colemanstown pleas fell on deaf ears. With 25 mins left, Rachel O’Brien’s 25yard free kick travelled like a meteor and almost burst the roof of the net leaving the St. Cuans keeper with no chance. Suddenly at 3-1 and 20 mins to go Colemanstown were back in the game. The coaching staff urged the team to get forward again and again as the momentum was with Colemanstown. Darting runs down the right wing from Lucy Kenny paid dividends alongside Rachel O’Brien’s speed urged on by her fantastic free kick. O’Brien showed up in the box yet again, got around the defender and finished the ball into the bottom corner to make it 3-2 with just 10 mins to play. Colemanstown could smell blood now as they were camped in St. Cuans half where tiring bodies were in evidence. At this stage, Colemanstown were playing like their lives depended on it and out of nothing Lucy Kenny picked up the ball in midfield and played an excellent through ball which split the St. Cuans defence and set Sarah Kearney straight through on goal. Kearney had time to take a few touches and work her way into a more scoreable position before unleashing a ferocious shot into the bottom right corner which set the Colemanstown crowd into a frenzy with 5mins to go. At this stage the home crowd believed we could find a winner. With the clock ticking down, Colemanstown ladies got to catch their breath as an injury to Laura Keane’s was attended to. Once attended to, Keane got stuck in immediately as she got her boot to a Lucy Kenny delivery into the box in the last minute and as it looked like the defender was going to deal with it, Laura Keane put every ounce of energy into connecting to the ball first and somehow the ball trickled past the keeper and rolled into the bottom corner. The crowd went wild at the sound of full time as we witnessed a sight to behold. With impossible odds – this is what it’s all about – the never say die attitude, the courage, the comeback. The ladies certainly pulled this one out of the bag. Both teams have it all to do again next weekend, this time away for the 2nd leg & we hope that one will be as exciting and entertaining. Final score: Colemanstown 4 – 3 St. Cuans. Match report by Philip Dee
Squad: Ashley Roberts, Caoimhe McLaughlin, Katie Delaney, Eimear Costello, Jessica Doherty, Serena Hansberry, Sarah Molloy, Rachel O’Brien, Issa Harun, Rebecca Clancy, Sarah Kearney, Laura Keane, Lucy Kenny.