Sweet success for terrific Tinahely!
LGFA Division 2 League Final: Tinahely 1-14 St Patrick's 3-6
Tinahely reigned victorious in this Ladies Division 2 final as they defeated St Patrick's by two points in what was a tense encounter from start to finish.
St Pat's came flying out of the blocks as they gained a five-point advantage within five minutes of the game getting underway, scoring one goal and two points.
The goal came when Niamh O'Brien played a one-two with fellow full-forward and namesake Niamh Caffrey. O'Brien remained composed in front of goal to rifle the ball past Tinahely goalkeeper Shona Byrne.
St Pat's defence was holding firm in the opening minutes as Tinahely began to grow into the game.
They put the forwards under lots of pressure, closing down well then playing the ball out from the back.
Tinahely began to get a grip on the match after they posted their first point on the scoreboard, a free from Eimear O'Brien.
They then scored four more unanswered points to level the game after 20 minutes.
Tinahely had plenty of possession in the opposition half throughout this period, but didn't create any goal chances to trouble Pat's goalkeeper Zoe Byrne.
Byrne always looked calm on the ball along with her pinpoint passing.
The Wicklow Town side did struggle to string a number of passes together during this stage after their rapid start.
The introductions of Molly Hodgkinson and Zoe Armstrong helped shore up the Pat's defence for the remainder of the half.
St Patrick's did manage to take a two-point lead going into the break, with the score 1-5 to 0-6.
Tinahely came back out for the second half with all guns blazing, scoring a goal within a minute of the restart.
Corner-forward Orla Kealy was the scorer, with her long range shot looping over the head of keeper Byrne to give Tinahely the two-point advantage that St. Pat's had at half-time.
The game was very end to end with both defences looking very organised and solid. Interceptions were aplenty and there were many impressive blocks.
Neither side could muster up a score for a five-minute phase after the Tinahely goal.
Pat's broke this spell with a goal on 36 minutes. Naoise O'Reilly ran past several Tinahely defenders to eventually fire past Shona Byrne at her near post. This gave them a one-point lead.
This game was hanging by the balance with both sides having narrow leads on many occasions.
Tinahely equalled up the game as Eimear O'Brien scored yet another point from a close range free.
Midway through the second half Pat's scored their third goal of the match as Luci Hobbs netted home after being assisted by Niamh O'Brien.
Tinahely's heads could have dropped following their third concession but they seemed to thrive under this pressure.
They got 5 unanswered points in the latter stages, including points from Sinéad Byrne and Siofra Byrne.
An opportunity was rarely wasted when Tinahely got within shooting distance as they always took their points, and took them well for that matter.
St Patrick's did lose possession on numerous occasions in the second half, which did cost them in the end.
In injury time, Eimear O'Brien completed her splendid point tally of six. As did Siofra Byrne, pointing four times during the clash.
Tinahely had a three-point lead in the concluding stages of additional time, with Pat's vying for a goal to bring the tie to extra-time.
They had an incredible chance through substitute Jess Lyons. Through on goal, her attempt was unfortunately fired over the bar for a point.
They also hit the crossbar in a goalmouth scramble but it wasn't to be in the end.
Both teams worked tirelessly from the first to the final whistle, but it was Tinahely who came up trumps in the end to claim the trophy.
Final Score: Tinahely 1-14 St. Patrick's 3-6
Scorers - Tinahely: Eimear O Brien 0-6 (3f); Siofra Byrne 0-4; Orla Kealy 1-0; Sinéad Byrne 0-2; Loretta Gilbert 0-1; Niamh Mutton 0-1. St. Patrick's: Niamh O Brien 1-1; Naoise O Reilly 1-0; Luci Hobbs 1-0; Aimi Healy 0-2 (1f); Niamh Caffrey 0-1; Laoise Marron 0-1; Jess Lyons 0-1.
Tinahely: Shona Byrne; Abby Doyle, Shannagh Goetelen, Niamh Byrne; Jade Shannon, Anna Lalor, Aishling Winterbotham; Dervla Byrne, Sinéad Byrne; Orla Kealy, Siofra Byrne, Deirdre Lancaster; Leah Gerahy, Loretta Gilbert, Eimear O Brien. Subs: Alice Mulhall, Eimear Mutton, Niamh Mutton.
St. Patrick's: Zoe Byrne; Megan Dunne, Kellie Phelan, Aoife Dunne; Áine McDonald, Rebecca Hollingsworth, Rachel Armstrong; Laoise Marron, Natasha Fitzgerald; Naoise O Reilly, Aimi Healy, Sophie Porter; Niamh O Brien, Niamh Caffrey, Luci Hobbs. Subs: Molly Hodgkinson, Zoe Armstrong, Siobhan Gorman, Jess Lyons, Sadhbh Murphy, Ellen Griffin, Orla Redmond.
Referee: Ciarán Walshe