Two 2nd half goals send Ladies into Cup Final

A ding dong battle was promised and that’s exactly what was served up as our ladies were tested to the limit in their semi final outing against Shiven Rovers played at home on Wednesday evening. They already met twice in the league with a win to both sides and just 1 goal between them on both occasions so our ladies knew exactly what to expect. Both sides dealt well with each others threats going forward in the first half as Grainne Barrett & Alisha Flannery dealt with any dangerous crosses or attempts at goal while Shauna Ward & Orla McCaffrey in the corners stifled the Shiven strikers, closing them down superbly. Our first chance came 4 mins in as Catherine Burke fresh from her exploits at the Euros made a long run down the stand side of the field and after a quick 1 / 2 with Shauna Ward floated in a superb cross which Natasha Finn blasted over the crossbar. Minutes later Shiven had a good effort but Rachel King in the Colemanstown goal was quick off her line and spread herself bravely to push the ball out for a corner. King was called into action again on the quarter hour mark when a long free kick from the Shiven defence evaded the Colemanstown back four & as the Shiven striker beat the offside trap found herself one on one with the keeper but again King pulled off a top drawer save. Natasha Finn then added to a Tess Mullins corner kick but again Shiven’s custodian held the ball well. Shiven had a let-off soon after as Catherine Burke won the ball well in midfield and made a pacy run towards the corner flag and crossed in to Anna Grant whose effort was saved and further deflected off the post; but the keeper managed to scramble to the ball and maintain it in safe hands. On 22 mins Colemanstown had another great chance, this time from Kara Mullins but the keeper again came to the rescue pushing the ball around the post. The resultant corner taken by Grainne Barrett was floated into the danger area and flicked on by Natasha Finn who was again agonisingly wide of the mark. Tessa Mullins then came close with a header on 27mins after great running on the stand side of the field from Catherine Burke and moments later Mullins again blasted a piledriver over the crossbar after Ruth Dempsey’s first shot at goal took a deflection. Rachel King then had to come right out to the edge of the box to make another good save and soon afterwards a long ball over the top found the Shiven striker with no one to beat but the keeper but luckily the vigilant linesman had his flag up on time. Colemanstown had another narrow escape as Shauna Ward cleared the ball from the butt of the post as Shiven swung in a dangerous corner. At this stage with 10mins before the break, Shiven came more into the game as Colemanstown had pretty much dominated proceedings until then. The old wily Catherine Burke had another gifted chance before half time as she found herself in plenty of space after latching onto a long clearance from Grainne Barrett and for a moment the chance looked imminent until somehow the ball was sneaked off her toe. Ruth Dempsey & Catherine Burke had the last say before the break but the keeper was quick off her line to drown Dempsey’s attempted strike at goal while Burke’s effort again was snuffed. There was plenty of half time entertainment as veteran Liam Mullins outshone youngsters Paddy Mullins & Andy Glennon and at one stage the veteran found himself flat on the ground as he tried to control ‘a bit of a spinner’. Meanwhile in the midfield area the young Donnellans took on the young Mellodys in a mini game as the U11’s prepare for the Kevin Power Cup in EDP next weekend. The Mellodys claimed to have won this little half time battle but the Donnellan’s didn’t quite agree. Immediately after the restart Colemanstown were in the thick of the action as an Orla McCaffrey throw to Kara Mullins who with great work, won herself a corner which was curled in exquisitely by the rock solid Grainne Barrett but was tipped over by the keeper onto the post. Anna Grant came close when she latched onto a long free kick from defence but somehow misconnected and the keeper made an easy save. Kara Mullins then was next up for an attempt at goal as she found herself in plenty of space but her half volley attempt was booted over the post. Catherine Burke’s attempted lob of the keeper was just over the bar and one was beginning to wonder would anyone succeed in opening up this tight game as chances galore were being missed from the most unlikely culprits. Tessa Mullins had a massive drive from 30 yards which again the Shiven keeper held well. Gradually, Colemanstown were taking over the game as Shiven appeared to tire somewhat. Our quartet at midfield, Chloe Roche who was introduced for Ruth Dempsey, the two Mullins sisters & Catherine Burke provided a pacy outfit and the combination of all four allowed Colemanstown to constantly threaten for the remainder of the game. Burke & Tessa Mullins pace on the break being the principal weapon for attack after attack. The breakthrough came 26mins into the second half as another superb corner from Grainne Barrett was floated into the danger area and Anna Grant rose highest to head home and add to her glut of goals this season. Moments later Kara Mullins had a glorious chance to add to the scoreline but her head went AWOL as she bulleted over the crossbar. Another gifted chance went abegging as Kara Mullins cross from the corner flag fell between Catherine Burke & Natasha Finn but both were unable to get a clean strike on it to poke it over the line & Shiven scrambled it clear. Kara Mullins made certain of her next attempt as she connected well to one hell of a cross from Catherine Burke, found herself with just the keeper to beat but yet with some work to do, unleashed an unstoppable strike which almost burst a hole in the net. Alisha Flannery had the chance to add to the tally on 84mins with a massive drive from 25yards which the keeper saved with her legs. Shiven keeper was called into action again as Kara Mullins forced a one handed save as she turned quickly and hit first time. Rachel King, who had been quiet in goals for most of the second half had to make a quick double save to keep the Shiven strikers out late in the game. Catherine Burke had another effort late in the game but her weak shot was well held by the keeper. Alisha Flannery had the final attempt with an opportunistic strike from distance but the keeper held her line well. All in all, our ladies succeeded in frustrating a strong Shiven outfit even though at times they found it hard to turn dangerous situations into clear cut chances. Our midfield absolutely dominated the game while the Mullins sisters were particularly dominant. It was a just reward for the selflessness shown throughout the game particularly with some great passing movements as our ladies changed the tempo of the game in the second half, showing great creativity and in the end truly deserve another crack at Corrib Rangers, this time in the Cup Final scheduled for this Tuesday 5th July in Eamon Deacy Park (Terryland)