Eamon Deacy Park was the venue yetsterday evening for the Div1 Cup Final and not too familiar of territory for our U12 girls who played a stormer against table toppers Knocknacarra B, who are unbeaten thus far in the league. The game was precluded by a minutes applause, as is the case for all soccer fixtures in Galway this weekend, for the late Kate Moran & her camogie teammates who were pitch side on the night of that fierce tragic accident last Monday.
Knocknacarra started the stronger side as it took Colemanstown awhile to settle into the rhythm of the game and the enormity of the occasion. The city side hit the crossbar within the first 5mins as Ruby Lynch was busy in goals early on while another effort from close range was blasted over. Knocknacarra’s pressure paid off on 12mins as they worked the ball nicely up the field and slotted under Ruby’s legs. The next 10mins saw Colemanstown acclimatise with the pace & the occasion. A cross from the hard working Chloe Flynn to Liliana King but the keeper was quick off her line to snuff the effort. Then Rachel Kennedy had a half chance which went wide.
Further clear-cut openings proved hard to come by for Colemanstown until the closing stages of the half. On 25mins a super save from Ruby Lynch from a free on the half way line saw her clutch the ball well, ensuring not to step over the goal line in the process & wiping her brow with her sleeve in the ensuing Pheeeew. 2mins later Colemanstown went close following good harrying from Rachel Kennedy who found Liliana King & her cross was met splendidly by the boot of Chloe Flynn who drew gasps from the crowd when her effort thundered off the crossbar. 1-0 to Knocknacarra at the break.
A few changes at the break saw the introduction of Meabh Mitchell at the back, Roisin Keague up front with Sophie Kelly & Roisin O’Dea in midfield. 5mins after the restart Lillie Kirby had a good chance after great link up play with Chloe Flynn & Roisin O’Dea. Colemanstown at this stage were pressing hard with many chances engineered from the back where Leah O’Connor led her defence with phenomenal assistance from Ashling Ruane & Roisin Ruane.
Then some quick confident passing from Roisin O’Dea in midfield saw both Sophie Kelly & Chloe Flynn run on to a through ball but the Knocknacarra keeper was quick off her line to drown the effort getting a knock in the process. With the keeper down through injury, it gave the girls a few minutes to recoup. Midway through the half, a super run by Lillie Kirby down the flank saw her shoot from the edge of the box but as her effort was palmed by the keeper, Chloe Flynn pounced on the rebound but also saw her effort saved as Colemanstown seemed poised to snatch an equaliser but what was required to pass this keeper? Ashling Ruane at right back nearly had the answer as a whopper of a clearance eluded the backs & bounced off the crossbar. It looked like luck was not on our side. As Colemanstown piled forward in search for the equaliser, Knocknacarra broke down the field and a speculative but powerful shot from the edge of the box slipped through Ruby Lynch’s fingers and in to make it 2-0 with 5mins to play. This knocked the will out of the Colemanstown girls who had tried hard and a 3rd goal arrived as the clock ticked 60mins when Leah O’Connor was beat for the first time all evening for their striker to slam home a 3rd and claim her hatrick.
It was a game in which our rearguard, Leah O’Connor, Ashling Ruane, Roisin Ruane, Meabh Mitchell & Anna O’Connor (2nd half) frustrated many Knocknacarra attempts at goal. Although it took awhile for them to settle our midfielders Chloe Flynn, Lillie Kirby, Della Griffin & Roisin Ruane (2nd half) were in splendid form. Up front Liliana King, Rachel Kennedy, Roisin O’Dea & Roisin Keague were presented with chances while Roisin Keague must be commended for her powerful sideline throws. In the end Knocknacarra were more clinical in front of goal and took the chances presented to them. That said, Colemanstown were in this game right to the end when the 2 goals in quick succession arrived from their hatrick hero.
Well done to the Galway FA as always and in particular to Mike Daly & Kevin O’Neill for the fantastic atmosphere created as both teams entered the pitch & for the medal presentation ceremony afterwards. Thanks also to our management quartet of Linda Philips, Sandra King, Michelle Doyle & Paul O’Connor who enjoyed the spectacle equally as the girls.
Colemanstown U12 Girls 0-3 Knocknacarra B