Super show too much for Fintan’s
BALLYHOGUE PRODUCED a performance fitting for the conclusion of the ladies’ football under-age season as they powered past St. Fintan’s to take the Under-16 Division 2 title in St. Patrick’s Park, Enniscorthy.
Postponed from a month earlier, both sides were champing at the bit to get onto the field and show their quality, but it was Ballyhogue who proved to have the upper hand in a complete performance from back to front.
While they were completely dominant for the first 35 minutes of this contest and for the remainder of the game after the 55th minute, in those 20 minutes in between St. Fintan’s were able to show what they were about.
They played some lovely, quick football in that spell and with Ciara Murphy a constant danger at number 14 they were probably unfortunate to not get a bit closer on the scoreboard heading into the last few minutes.
Credit for that has to go to the Ballyhogue defence who, despite being under near constant pressure, managed to restrict their opponents to just 2-2 in that spell. Sometimes it’s not what you do when in the ascendancy that wins you a game, it’s how you perform at the other end under pressure.
Murphy got the first score of the night in the second minute but her side were under the cosh for the rest of the quarter. A succession of points brought Ballyhogue to a 0-7 to 0-1 water break lead with, remarkably, all six forwards on the scoresheet.
They had chances for goals in that spell but Lily Mai Berry was proving a tough nut to crack. They did finally get the major column going when Amy Doyle soloed through to net in the 21st minute.
A succulent dipping shot from the right wing from Claire Whelan provided the second goal in the 25th minute. They kept tacking on points too, and when Zoe Kelly got her second minor it was 2-12 to 0-3 heading into the midway intermission. The game was put to bed as a contest in the first five minutes of the second-half when Aoibhe Donegan added 2-1, including one of the classiest penalties the sizeable St. Patrick’s Park crowd will ever witness.
From 4-13 to 0-3 behind, St. Fintan’s started to fight back. Aoife Devereux pointed before Murphy’s unsuccessful shot fell to Eve Rowe close to goal and she bundled the ball over the line.
Murphy did add her major in the 53rd minute but Ballyhogue finished with the style of champions.
Casey Cullen scored a lovely goal that flew in off the crossbar, while the victors showed their strength in depth with Ava Whelan coming off the bench to add a pair of points at the death.
Ballyhogue: Lucy McCormack; Jenna Kirwan, Emma Ennis, Katie Doyle; Holly Dunne-Maher, Ciara Byrne, Ella Doyle; Amy Doyle (capt., 1-0), Yvonne Hennebry; Casey Cullen (1-1), Aoife Fortune (0-5 frees), Grace Donohue (0-1); Claire Whelan (1-1), Aoibhe Donegan (2-4, 1-0 pen), Zoe Kelly (0-3). Subs. - Eimear Doyle for Kirwan (49), Cora Finn for K. Doyle (53), Gilly Buckley for Whelan (60), Lauren Bates for McCormack (60), Ava Whelan (0-2) for Kelly (60), Doyle for Dunne-Maher, inj. (60+3), Whelan for E. Doyle, inj. (60+6).
St. Fintan’s: Lily Mai Berry; Sinéad Cullen, Saoirse Bates, Kate Moran; Caithlyn Kelly, Sophie Wallace, Tara Cullen; Aoife Devereux (capt., 0-2), Abigail Clarke; Aisling Roche, Cora Sinnott, Annie Kelly; Mia Meyler, Ciara Murphy (1-3), Ellie O’Leary. Subs. - Eve Rowe (1-0) for O’Leary (31), Clara Kelly for Caithlyn Kelly (31), Saoirse Crosbie for Moran (49), Aiveen Ellard for Rowe (49), O’Leary for A. Kelly, inj. (60).
Referee: Aidan O’Brien (Cloughbawn).