Manager Zoe Kennedy may have been the last to hobble off the field of play together with assistant Laura Parker. They were completely sapped after such an epic U12 girls cup Semi Final against Barna/ Furbo yesterday. Zoe has obviously recovered at this stage as she puts her golden pen to paper in her brilliant match report.
After numerous postponements, date changes and a cancellation of this much anticipated Semi Final there was an equal mix of excitement and nervousness when it was confirmed that THE match would definitely be going ahead on Sunday.
Soggy underfoot conditions from the rain over the past week greeted the two teams yesterday afternoon as they stepped out to warm up ahead of the match. With a gale blowing Colemanstown decided to play the first half into the wind and have the advantage of the elements behind them in the second half.
The Colemanstown girls knew this game was going to be a tough one. Both teams were eager to take their place in the upcoming Final in Eamon Deacy Park but the Colemanstown girls knew that Barna were coming with a point to prove after their defeat in the last encounter
As the referee blew his whistle, both teams started very well. Colemastown quickly got into their stride, swiftly passing to each other, impressively driving, marking and pressing with purpose. Barna started off very strong also, setting a competitive tone which Colemanstown girls mirrored.
The girls were well organised in midfield with Blaithin Keane, Libby Kennedy, Eva Molloy and Edel Egan all working together and showing plenty of impressive passing skills which meant that Barna had to be on top form and were certainly kept on their toes.
Yesterday was a debut performance for both Edel Egan and Blaithin Keane, although you would never have guessed that these 2 incredible players were recent additions to the team. Edel’s relentless tackling and impressive drive made sure the ball was continually stopped short whilst in Barna’s possession, much to their frustration, and quickly back at the feet of the home team. Blaithin put in a simply amazing performance and so nearly scored on 2 occasions! I lost count how many times she drove the ball down the wing, dodging defenders and crossing the ball into the box. How we didn’t break for half time 2 nil up is beyond me.
The defensive line were relatively untroubled in the early stages of the match with Della Griffin, Ally Nutley, Lucy Roberts and Shona Barrett mopping up any through balls in front of their extremely calm goalkeeper, Honor Tuohy. Even playing into the wind didn’t seem to hinder the girls.
The game moved into the second half where both sides kept the pressure on. An incredibly hairy moment saw a Barna striker powering ahead with our goal just in sight when the quick thinking combination of Della Griffin, Annalise Doran, Libby Kennedy and Eva Molloy ensured the ball was expertly tackled, turned, passed with precision and cleared in the blink of an eye. Just class! Moments later saw Barna awarded a corner but no sooner had it left the toe of the striker when Annalise Doran intercepted and cleared it away from danger.
Colemanstown strikers Grace Mitchell, Anna Barrett and Rachel Kennedy were kept busy yesterday making the most of all the excellent passes that the midfielders provided. They put all their hard learned training techniques into practise and together with Eva and Blaithin made a number of impressive attempts on goal. In the 10th minute of the second half their hard work paid off when a superb cross in by Eva Molloy found the ever persistent Grace Mitchell who scored an incredibly impressive volley goal! Jubilant air punching and whooping ensued on the pitch accompanied by car horns and cheers from an elated crowd!! In my mind I can still see Grace’s hat bobbling up and down as she leapt across the pitch!
Barna tried desperately to equalise and put plenty of pressure on to get a goal past our super talented goalie but as usual Honor Tuohy was having none of it and in her super cool way deflected, dived on, kicked away and punched away numerous powerful attempts from the determined visitors. Never phased and always ready, she has the coolness a great goalie needs. Well done Honor.
The closing few minutes seemed to last an eternity but on hearing the final whistle this estactic bunch were so obviously delighted with their 1-0 win and had nothing but thoughts of the upcoming final on their minds! Well done girls!! Photo below shows the ecstatic girls bearing their 20×20 flag after the game.
Report by Zoe Kennedy