Under-14 ladies football 'B' final: Valleymount 6-3 Coolkenno 3-8
'V' is for Valleymount and 'V' is for victory as Valleymount held out against Coolkenno in the 'Battle of Bray' last Saturday afternoon in the Under-14 ladies football 'B' final in a sensational game.
Valleymount led by eight points at one stage, in the second half, only for a spirited fightback by Coolkenno, to cut the gap down to the minimum going into the closing stages.
A huge crowd of supporters, from both clubs, turned out in their droves, and rightly so, to cheer on these amazing girls, who left everything and more on the pitch as the battled beyond belief to the final whistle.
We had everything thing in this game, a goal fest, penalties, disallowed goals, uprights and crossbars coming to the rescue for both sides throughout the clash.
Valleymount began in excellent fashion as they brought plenty of intensity to proceedings and allowed Coolkenno very little time on the ball early on.
Lively center forward Poppie Rose Cullen Dunne got the west side off to a flying start when she soloed through the Coolkeno rearguard and shook the net for a dream start in the fourth minute for Valleymount.
Moments later Amy Burke raised another green flag for Valleymount after good work by Sarah McDonald.
The west ladies were flying at this stage and when Aimee Gallagher registered Valleymount's third major, it was looking bleak for Coolkenno.
Sienna Dunne got the Carlow border side up and running, curling over lovely pointed free to close out the opening quarter with the score reading 3-0 to 0-1.
Shann Ros Morris knocked over a long-range point after good work by Mia McGrath. Midfielder Eimear Murphy steadily grew into the game as Coolkenno built a bit of momentum.
Chloe Hutton's shot came back of the upright and Sienna Dunne, was in to tap the rebound over the bar. A great move started by Aryia Lawless was capitalised on when Chloe Hutton hit Coolkenno's first goal of the game in the twentieth minute.
Both Katie O'Neill and Lauren Byrne cursed their luck when Valleymount goalie Aishling Maguire brought of two astonishing world class saves to keep Coolkenno at bay, as the danger was cleared by Neamh Murphy.
Sienna Dunne pointed another free for Coolkenno after Leanne Doyle was fouled. Valleymount broke up the field and were denied another brace of goals as goalie Katelyn Farrell saved brilliantly each time. Claire Miley added a point before Eimear Murphy pointed to close out the opening half with the score reading 3-2 to 1-4 in favour ot the Valleymount.
Kelly Mernagh and Sienna Dunne each pointed for Coolkenno on the restart after great work by Sarah Coleman and Bronagh Ward. Coolkenno thought they had their second goal of the game, but the ref signalled a square ball.
Sarah McDonald, who was in flying form for Valleymount, won possession and laid off to Poppie Rose, who was brought down in the box. Penalty was the call. Up stepped Poppie Rose Cullen Dunne who cannoned her effort of the upright and the danger was cleared.
Ruby Keogh and Emma Nolan both had chances of points, only for some resolute defending by Valleymount defenders Niamh Murphy and Roisin Mulvey cleared their lines.
Poppie Rose Cullen Dunne eased the pressure with a mazy run to dispatch her second goal of the game in the 42nd minute after good work by Becky Ryan.
In the next attack, Poppie Rose Cullen Dunne won another penalty and handed over the ball to Claire Miley this time and Claire burst the net, with the score now reading 5-2 to 1-6, an eight-point lead going into the final quarter.
Again, Valleymount got off the hook when another goal was struck off for the second time for another square ball infringement by the ref.
Poppie Rose crashed another goal chance of the crossbar in the next attack. Wing back Ayria Lawless, literally took the game by the scruff of the neck for Coolkenno, building wave after wave of attack. Sienna Dunne and Chloe Hutton each goaled to rock Valleymount to the core, after great play by Lauren Byrne and Emma Nolan.
Coolkenno hit the upright on two more occassions. Ayria Lawless split the posts from 45m to leave the score reading 5-2 to 3-7, the lead reduced to the minimum. Coolkenno battled for an equalising score, but full-back Maia O Brien stood firm, clearing anything that came her way.
It was all Coolkenno at this stage in a frantic battle. With three minutes remaining, we had what would be the game changer, the influential Sarah McDonald, a major contender for player of the match, won possession, laid off to Ella Keogh, who broke up the field and fed Poppie Rose, who put Clodagh Brophy clean through to nail home Valleymount's sixth goal, the clincher, in the move of the match.
Yet again, playmaker Aryia Lawless pointed to leave a goal in it going into injury time. Claire Miley put the game beyond doubt with a smashing point in the third and final minute of injury time for the lakesiders to complete a unique league and championship double for the west club.
Both teams got a massive round of applause after a ding-dong battle. Valleymount captain Poppie Rose Cullen Dunne collected the silverware, and thanked the Ladies County Board, Bray for hosting, the referee and thanked Coolkenno for a hard-fought sporting game of football, before wild scenes of celebration followed, by the ladies in red.
Scorers - Valleymount: Poppie Rose Cullen Dunne 2-0, Claire Miley 1-2, Clodagh Brophy 1-0, Alex Burke 1-0, Aimee Gallagher 1-0, Shan Ros Morris 0-1.
Coolkenno: Sienna Dunne 1-4, Chloe Hutton 2-0, Aryia Lawless 0-2, Eimear Murphy 0-1, Kelly Mernagh 0-1
Valleymount: Aisling Maguire; Zara May Curran, Maia O'Brien, Néamh Murphy; Roisin Mulvey, Ella Keogh, Becky Ryan; Sarah McDonald, Claire Miley; Shann-Ros Morris, Poppie Rose Cullen Dunne, Aimmee Gallagher; Mia McGrath, Clodagh Brophy, Alex Burke. Subs: Niamh Ryall, Betty Murray, Eva May Morris, Muireann Cawley, Launa McCann, Hannah Burke.
Coolkenno: Katelyn Farrell; Sarah Coleman, Holly Timmins, Aine Donoghue; Aryia Lawless, Bronagh Ward, Ruby Keogh; Eimear Murphy, Emma Nolan; Kelly Mernagh, Chloe Hutton, Leanne Doyle; Lauren Byrne, Katie O'Neill, Sienna Dunne. Subs: Abbie Hutton, Anna McNally, Emily McCarthy, Jean Mernagh, Orlaith Donoghue.
Referee: Ciaran Walshe (Baltinglass)