St. Joseph’s College, Borrisoleigh Wins Ladies Football

Munster 1st Year Football Blitz

St Joseph’s Borrisoleigh’s young footballers claimed a first ever Ladies Football title when they won out a highly competitive blitz in Kilfinane last week. Pitted against the host school Scoil Phóil, Rockwell College ‘B’ and St Mary’s of Nenagh, the girls were always going to be up against it facing more established footballing nurseries. In their first game, the challenges of Rockwell were easily dealt with as the team hit the ground running with top scorer Danielle Ryan and classy midfielder Miriam Murphy helping themselves to a brace of goals each. Indeed, such was the margin of victory that the entire panel got some game time. Blathnaid Ryan, Katie Ryan and Emma Galvin in particular played very well and the team was well placed heading into the second game.

The host school were next in the group and they brought a much higher level of intensity and raced into a strong lead. Indeed were it not for some heroic last gasp defending by inspirational captain Emma Doolan, the match could have been out of sight. As it stood, a late rally by St Joseph’s capped by two excellent Aoife Dwyer goals left the sides level at the break. With a guaranteed place in the final at stake, there was every incentive for the girls as they took to the pitch for the second half and they delivered in spades by putting on an exhibition of attacking football to crush their opponents. The twin threat of Kate Fitzgerald and Danielle Ryan was in full effect as five goals without reply were scored and as the final whistle sounded, a place in the decider had been secured.

St Mary’s of Nenagh had enjoyed a similar path to date winning all their games and when we faced them in the final group game it was a chance to try some other combinations for both teams. Grainne McLoughlin, Chantal Feighery and Louise McGrath Dunne all enjoyed excellent games and were unlucky not to score  more as St Mary’s pulled away in the second half to claim an impressive victory.

And so the scene was set for the final and a repeat match with Nenagh. This time though, the free flowing football of the group game was replaced with a tough and tenacious battle with neither side giving an inch as the outcome was in balance until the final whistle. St Mary’s started brightly and were quickly into the attack scoring the opening point and looking dangerous at each attack but goalkeeper Laura Young saved her best performance of the day for when it mattered most and produced a number of excellent saves to deny certain goals. In front of her, Caoimhe Carey, who had been a star player all day set the tone for the rest of the team winning possession against the odds  at times and driving the team forward. Her teammates upped their game in tandem and produced a 1-2 to no score finale to lead into the break.

With margins so fine, the second half was short on scorers but high on drama. When Danielle Ryan scored a goal early on, it looked like it might be enough to secure victory but the score merely served to drive the Nenagh girls to a higher level and a succession of well taken points and a cruelly deflected goal left them a point up but there still was one last twist in this tale.

It was fitting that the final score and indeed the winning one was a trademark team effort starting at the back with Emma Doolan and Miriam Murphy breaking up an attack, Caoimhe Carey delivering a long ball, Katie Fitzgerald and Emma Galvin setting up the sharpshooter Dani Ryan to blast home her hat trick goal and bring home the silverware to Borrisoleigh

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