Scartaglin girls win title after extra-time

Cumann NA mBunscol mini sevens

Tomás Ó hAiniféin

The Cumann na mBunscol Mini Sevens finals were played in Cahersalee and in the John Mitchels Complex on Wednesday last in perfect weather conditions.

Twenty teams ten at each venue played a total of 46 games and following some epic encounters and close on five hours later the winners were crowned Mini Sevens Kings of the Kingdom.

Five teams played four games each in a round robin format in the boys and girls competitions at each of the venues.

In the girls competition in the John Mitchels Complex St. Teresa's Kilflynn, Scartaglen, Gleann na gCoileach, St. Finian's Waterville and Scoil Eoin Balloonagh battled for supremacy and at the end of the series of games Scartaglen and Gleann na gCoileach emerged for semi finals spots. In the boys competition at the same venue Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn and Scoil Eoin Balloonagh came through from the group which also included Currow NS, Scoil Mhuire Killorglin and St. Michaels Portmagee.

Following the series of round robin games in the boys games in Cahersalee St. Brendan's Fenit and St. Brigids Duagh qualified from a group which included Baile An Fhéirtéaraigh/ Ceann Trá, Lissivigeen and St. John's Kenmare.

Baile An Fhéirtéaraigh/ Ceann Trá, Kilgarvan, Faha NS, Kilmurry, St. Brigids Duagh competed in the girl's group in Cahersalee and with just the final round of games to play it appeared as though Faha would top the group on full points with three teams finishing on four points apiece Kilmurry, St. Brigids Duagh and Kilgarvan. However, a two point lead over rivals Kilmurry in the final minute of the last game proved once again to be a dangerous lead as a late goal from the Kilmurry girls saw them top the group with Faha taking the runners-up spot.

In the girls semi-finals in the John Mitchels Complex Scartaglen faced Faha and Kilmurry took on Gleann na gCoileach. Kilmurry came through by 2-2 to 0-3 in a tremendous game. In the second semi-final Scartaglen, last year's champions, appeared set to make it to another final as they led 0-7 to 0-1 at the break. However, these Faha girls proved that they are real competitors as they came battling back to force a draw on a scoreline of Faha 3-2 Scartaglen 1-8. In the first period of extra-time Scartaglen opened up a three point lead through Katie Keirns and Mollie Mahony. Katie Keirns landed the only point in the second half to clinch victory for the Scartaglen side 1-12 to 3-2.

The final was a repeat Castleisland District final between neighbours Scartaglen and Wild Card qualifiers Kilmurry and what a final it proved to be with just a point separating the sides at the break. Scartaglen leading 0-2 to 0-1 as neither side was allowed any time on the ball in front of goal.

Scartaglen added two more points in the second half through scorer in chief Maggie Riordan and appeared to be heading for victory. But just as they did in their final group game earlier in the day the Kilmurry girls launched a defence splitting attack and burst through for a well taken team goal finished to the net by Caitlin Griffin.

In the final play of the game Kilmurry had an opportunity to snatch victory but their effort from a 25-metre free edged to the right and wide and considering that they had at this stage lost Amelia Kerin and Áine Walsh to hand injuries extra time without two of their stars would be a huge ask for the rest of the panel.

In extra-time an early goal from Ruby Horgan and two well worked points from outstanding defender Katie Kerins and top scorer Maggie Riordan sealed the second consecutive Mini Sevens crown for the Scartaglen girls.

Scartaglen: Mollie Mahony, Katie Kerins, Tara Kerin, Charlie O'Keeffe, Shauna McCarthy, Maggie Riordan, Laura Mc Shane, Sophie Horgan, Ruby Horgan, Niamh O'Donnell

Kilmurry: Grace O'Callaghan, Laura O'Donoghue, Caitlin Griffin, Ellie Mai Walsh, Rebecca Murphy, Amelie Kerin, Aine Walsh, Isabelle Brosnan, Derarca O'Connor, Sharon Fitzmaurice.