Ladies….. Premier league Champs 2016

Our ladies were crowned premier league champs today with a hard worked 2-0 win over neighbours St. Bernards played in rain soaked Abbeyknockmoy this evening. Barring a win for the Abbey side it was mathematically impossible for any side to win the league except Colemanstown, but the result made certain that a play-off would not be required. St. Bernards proved problematic opponents for Colemanstown last time round and they were the same this evening, playing a tough, hard game fighting for every ball and there was certainly no rolling over. Our ladies may not have been 5000/1 at the start of the season to win the league, but they gave almost as much entertainment as Leicester having received tough battles against Corrib Rangers & Shiven Rovers who showed absolutely no fear against them. But our ladies can turn on the style when they want to, as they showed so many times this season. Missing a few regulars for this evenings game; Catherine Burke who was roaring on the boys in green in Bordeaux, Ruth Dempsey, Chloe Roche & Leanne O’Donovan that said Colemanstown laid siege on the Bernard’s goal from early on even though there were little chances on target in the first half; half chances fell to Kara Mullins, captain Tess Mullins, Mary Mellody & Natasha Finn as the Bernard’s rearguard looked like they were able to defend all that was being thrown at them. 3omins into the game however, they ran out of steam as Natasha Finn broke the deadlock when she scored from a goalmouth scramble after a splendid corner kick from Grainne Barrett on the far side of the field . 3mins before the break the fiercely determined Mary Mellody had a gifted chance to make it 2-0 but she mis-hit the ball to offer the hosts a lifeline. The second half continued in much the same vein, as our ladies played pacy, counter-attacking and direct football particularly Kara Mullins, Tess Mullins, Alicia Flannery & defender Shauna Ward & winger Mary Mellody who drove forward on every opportunity. 10mins after the restart and Colemanstown had another chance to increase their lead in a smashing move from the back involving the powerful Grainne Barrett who played a beauty through to Mary Flannery on the sideline who was quick to spot Kara Mullins on the edge of the 18’box. Kara quickly switched play across the field to Natasha Finn whose splendid cross into the box found Anna Grant in the danger area but she drove her powerful header wide of the mark. Immediately afterwards, Kara Mullins had a great effort which rattled the crossbar and was involved again in the ensuing play when she floated in a beauty but was headed off the line by a St. Bernard defender. Grainne Barrett then drove forward and played a lovely cross through the legs of the St. Bernards defender  to Mary Mellody but she was adjudged to be offside. Soon afterwards Mary tried to rob St. Bernards of a line ball but was reprimanded by the referee for the error of her judgement! Tessa Mullins then drew a first class save from the Bernard’s custodian while Alisha Flannery had a great chance to get on the score sheet when the ball spilled to her after Kara Mullins had put the keeper under extreme pressure. Tessa Mullins was next to line up with her goal bound effort but the keeper kept them in the game, first spilling the ball but redeemed herself immediately getting back in time to make a fine clutch. Tessa again had another fine effort from distance but her shot was well held by a busy Bernard’s keeper. 2mins later Alisha Flannery seen her effort saved and one was beginning to wonder would a second goal come at all. But Tessa Mullins bore more fruit as she sparked jubilant celebrations 26mins into the 2nd half when she lobbed the keeper from almost the half way line as she did well to spot the keeper off her line. But fair play to St. Bernards they applauded the splendid goal and even though Colemanstown were far superior and had the vast majority of possession, it was clear the Bernards ladies were enjoying this affair in the rain. Kara Mullins then had a piledriver from 30yards which was pushed around the post for a corner. Shauna Ward was next to line up for an effort from the resultant corner kick but she drove her effort over the bar. Grainne Barrett had our final effort from a free kick inside her own half of the field which almost evaded the keeper but just bounced wide. All in all, it was a great game as St. Bernards proved hard to crack. But a win is a win and it doesn’t matter how it comes. It has been a hugely successful season for these ladies, having insufficient numbers to field a team last year and this year only conceding 1 goal to Shiven Rovers and 11 goal scorers in total with the league cup yet to play for.  Rachel King has marshalled a defence which has helped Colemanstown win 7 games and only concede that solitary goal all season. The unshakeable defence of Shauna Ward, Grainne Barrett & the ageless Orla McCaffrey were impassable for the entire game. Mary Mellody, the Mullins sisters and Alicia Flannery stood tall with effort after effort goal bound as they pushed forward in search of more goals and sprayed the ball around the park superbly. Up front Natasha Finn & Anna Grant were at the centre of all things good. If our boys in green had shown as much determination against Belgium today as our ladies showed today, there might be different celebrations tonight. However, a poor Irish display in the Euros won’t stop our ladies celebrations even though I think their celebration plans may have been a secret! Celebration recovery time will be short though as they play Shiven Rovers on Wednesday evening at home, KO 7.30pm in the semi final of the Cup with the winner having a Cup Final date in Eamon Deacy Park (Terryland). Thanks to newly elected Galway FA treasurer Pat Burke who had his first official outing today in presenting the Premier league cup to Captain fantastic Tessa Mullins who introduced all her team mates and made a fine speech particularly thanking the players for their efforts all year and singling out the newcomers and the oldtimers!