Classic FC captain Linda Raymond pays tribute to both her side and their opponents after epic contest
CHARLEVILLE CHEESE WOMEN'S LEAGUE FINAL REPLAY
Dingle Bay Rovers 2
Classic FC 2
(Classic FC win 4 – 2 on penalties)
Like the drawn game this women's final replay was another tight affair with plenty of twists and turns and eventually it had to be decided by a penalty shoot-out.
The game got off to an explosive start with Classic going ahead after just 30 seconds on the clock. After forcing a corner kick it was floated into the box by Dee McMahon and in a packed goalmouth Lauren Dowling finished the ball to the net.
Dingle steadied the ship as the game progressed and began to put some very constructive attacks together with the elusive Ella Sheehy a continuous thorn on the side of the opposition.
She was linking was very productively with Emily Ní Gearailt and they were stretching the Classic defence on a regular basis. Dingle’s first half chance came after 25th minute from a free kick, but Ella Sheehy’s shot did not have enough sting on it to bother the Classic goalie, Cloe Fitzpatrick who made a comfortable save.
Classic hit on the break with Dee McMahon linking up with Breda Slattery, but the Dingle goalie Beighin Sheehy was swiftly off her line and gathered the ball at the feet of the attacker.
Dingle came out with a spring in their step in the second half and they began to ask serious questions of the Classic defence. Katie O’Connor was taking on defenders at every given opportunity while the excellent Ella Sheehy was a constant threat up front .
They forced a corner which was which was delivered into the box by Katie O’Connor finding Emily Ní Gearailt, but she put her shot over the top. Dingle began to put on a sustained period of pressure on the Classic defence, but they were unable to get the much sought after break they sought.
Classic went close to extending their lead when Linda Raymond set up Breda Slattery and her shot was only inches wide. Now both sides began to use their benches and as the half moved on it appeared Classic were heading for victory.
However, Dingle never gave up the chase and they turned the game on its head in the 80th minute with a great goal. Nassa Duffy displayed great grit and determination to win ball at midfield and she showed great awareness to spot the run of Katie O Connor and she applied a great finish from close range.
Both sides were very cautious after this and with the game deadlocked after 90 minutes it went to extra-time. Dingle forced three successive corner-kicks in the first period of extra time but they yielded nothing.
Their persistence eventually reaped the reward it deserved when an Emily Ní Gearailt corner kick found Kalay Gethate in a packed goalmouth and she found the back of the net.
As the second period of extra-time wore on Classic began to tire and it looked like Dingle were heading for victory. However, Classic never gave up the fight and they showed great character to keep their momentum going.
Their endeavour was rewarded when they hit on the break and Norma O’Connor fired home a sensational equaliser. With the game all square after 90 minutes it progressed to extra-time.
Midway through the first period of extra time Dingle went ahead after a superb run by Kalay Getkate split the Classic defence and she played in Emily Ní Gearailt and she drilled the ball to the back of the net.
As the second period of extra time progressed Classic appeared to be running out of steam and it looked like Dingle were on their way to victory. But the game was turned on its head late on with Classic hitting on the counter attack and Norma O’Connor got in behind the applied a great finish.
With deadlock prevailing the game then progressed to the penalty shoot-out. It was all square after four penalties then Norma O’Connor scored for Classic, but Emily Ní Gearailt put her kick over the top for Dingle.
Then Breda Slattery scored for Classic and Dingle had to score their fourth penalty to stay in the shoot-out. Classic goalie Cloe Fitzpatrick was the hero at the end saving Ella Sheehy’s spot kick and the Tralee side won 4-2.
After two marathon games Classic took the silverware, but Dingle must be commended for their fighting qualities, but unfortunately they were defeated in the lottery, which is an awful way to lose a game.
By in large the West Kerry side are a young team and their day will come somewhere down the line. There was a great reception after the game when the chairman of the KDL Seán O’Keeffe presented the Cup to the captain of the Classic FC side Linda Raymond.
He commended both sides for providing a very exciting game and said he was impressed with the standard of football in the game. The captain paid tribute to her players for the huge effort they put in to win the game.
It took passion and desire to get the late equaliser and showed the great commitment the players gave. She paid tribute to Dingle Bay Rovers for two great games and she said Dingle will have their big day somewhere down the line.
CLASSIC FC: Cloe Fitzpatrick, Carmel Roche, Elaine Bailey, Norma O’Connor, Roisin O’Shea, Nathasha O’Sullivan, Breda Slattery, Linda Raymond, Lauran Dowling, Dee McMahon, Jesse Nash, Laura Baker, Sophia O’Shea, Michelle O’Rourke, Ciara Moloney, Amy Finn
DINGLE BAY ROVERS: Beighin Sheehy, Neassa Duffy, Sarah Foley, Katie O Brien, Hayley Getkate, Emma O Connor, Aoife Kennedy, Kalya Gethkate, Katie O Connor, Ella Sheehy, Emily Ní Gearailt, Rachel King, Doreen Jordan, Sinead Moriarty
REFEREE: Kevin Cunningham