Our U15 girls made the trip to Eamon Deacy Park on Sunday last April 16th ready to face Loughrea Rams in the U15 Divisional Cup Final. As they stepped out of their cars the tone was set with the girls smiling, singing & laughing with each other and looking forward to the occasion. The team playlist was blaring before the game & all if any nerves were forgotten about as they sang while preparing for the warm up as they experienced the buzz of playing on the hallowed turf of Eamon Deacy Park while both sets of fans started to shuffle into their seats. The sun was beaming down and the stage was set.
The girls proudly walked out the tunnel alongside Loughrea and both teams could not contain their smiles as they emerged to the cheering of their friends and family. Colemanstown started with the ball and for most of the first half, attacked in the Loughrea half but a strong and determined Loughrea back line ensured we didn’t grab an early opener. The centre midfield duo: Eva Molloy and Libby Kennedy controlled much of the play and created fantastic link ups between wingers Roisin Ruane and Lillie Kirby who worked tirelessly all day. The attacking duo Anna Barrett & Grace Mitchell got into the game immediately with Anna’s darting runs putting the Loughrea defence under pressure constantly. The girls took their shots immediately with Libby Kennedy, Lillie Kirby & Grace Mitchell unfortunate not to capitalise early on as their efforts brought out the oooh’s and aaaah’s from the crowd. The back four of Annalise Doran, Ally Nutley, Chloe Manley and Lucy Roberts were like a brick wall, as they weren’t penetrated all day and cleared up many loose balls with ease. Loughrea’s defence were superb from the start and ensured the Colemanstown girls didn’t get it all their own way. Honor Tuohy and Laoise Maybin were introduced to the game and within seconds they were both involved when Honor played a superb through ball to Laoise Maybin who was just inches offside with her fantastic forward run. Custodian Edel Egan was just superb from start to finish bringing calmness to her teammates and ensuring the scoreline stayed 0-0 at the break.
Loughrea re-emerged from the break with guns blazing as Colemanstown were kept on their toes for the first 10 minutes. After a quick through ball Edel Egan tidied up the Loughrea threat and from there on Colemanstown settled into the 2nd half and found their strides. A fantastic tackle and clearance from Aisling Ruane found the feet of Roisin Ruane who made a probing run down the line, before finding Eva Molloy who was unlucky not to score. The chances kept coming and Lillie Kirby was not giving in as she constantly threatened her wing with her fantastic footwork as she superbly linked up with Libby Kennedy & Eva Molloy. Then came the opener originated at the back by Annalise Doran involving Roisin Ruane whose long delivery saw Libby Kennedy win a free kick. Kennedy calmly floated ball the ball into the danger area and following some scrambling in the box and a fantastic bit of ‘never give up’ attitude from Lillie Kirby who while lying flat on her back, athletically got herself up off the ground still with the ball at her feet, passed to Eva Molloy whose cross found Grace Mitchell who calmly finished and fired the game into life. The girls erupted with cheers and hugs.
Then saw the introduction of Nicole Brennan and Leah O’Connor and immediately they got stuck in as Leah ensured all threats were dealt with. A super clearance from Leah fell to Nicole Brennan in the middle of EDP, played through to Lucy Roberts who showed serious pace in getting past 2 Loughrea girls. Roberts’ cross found the oncoming Grace Mitchell who capitalised on a fantastic team piece of teamwork to find the net & claim her brace. Loughrea still kept on the attack but Edel Egan was fearless in goal as she ensured she kept a clean sheet. Clodagh Flynn and Shona Barrett were introduced and immediately they were in the midst of the action as a fantastic ball from Lucy Roberts found Clodagh Flynn who linked up with Shona Barrett and she was unlucky not to get the final through ball off to the oncoming Grace Mitchell who would certainly have made a good bid for her hatrick. It was a fantastic team performance from start to finish by Colemanstown.
Well done to the girls who have added another bit of history to girls football in Colemanstown United as they have now completed the league & Cup double whilst maintaining their unbeaten record. Well done also to a battling Loughrea team as we look forward to meeting ye next year in the U16 Championship. Thank you to Frank & Bernie Burke who welcomed the girls back to Colemanstown while also supplying all the yummy food and treats. Well done also to Captain Lucy Roberts who spoke beautifully thanking the player’s families and friends on a fantastic year for the team. Match Report by Laura Parker.