Carmen girls take U16 Title
An Charraig Mhor U-16 girls had their first taste of the type of success enjoyed by the older counterparts on Friday night last when they defeated Errigal Ciaran in the U-16 Grade 2 Championship final at Kildress.
An Charraig Mhor full-forward Tara Haughey opened the scoring with a goal to put her team into an early lead but Errigal replied straight away with sweeping move that ended with a well taken goal from Mollaidh Mc Cann.
They followed that up with another major from the impressive Alana Mc Cabe. Indeed the Carrickmore girls could have been even further behind in the opening stages but for some excellent defending from Aoife Loughran, Jessica Munroe and Nicole Ward all of whom tackled tenaciously. The Carrickmore girls had the chances to bring themselves back into the game but a series of four wides left them trailing by five.
Indeed the Errigal full back line of Meabh Hamill, Aisling Mc Crory and Eimear Quinn can be thanked for keeping their team in at this stage with some determined tackling and timely interceptions. Niamh Mc Elduff started the An Charraig Mhor revival with a free and Amy Cobane was on hand to score from play. However the Ballygawley girls were determined to stay well clear and after a great move from the heart of their defence Alana Mc Cabe found the net again to put her team in a very commanding position as the half wore on.
A Megan Mc Cann point kept the Carrickmore girls just about in the hunt but they were thrown a life line when Niamh Mc Elduff once more showed tremendous energy to send Tara Haughey through for her second goal of the night to cut the Errigal lead to two points. However as before the Errigal reply was swift with Alana Mc Cabe continuing to torture the Carmen defence and scoring another well taken point from a free. Amy Cobane replied for Carrickmore after Maria Grogan had fought hard in the middle to collect and pass a long ball in. A period of defensive domination by both sides resulted in little scoring for quite a spell but just as the half was closing Emma Quinn scored a fine point, after good work by Errigal Ciaran sub Oonagh Mc Aleer, to leave her team going in ahead at the break on a score line of 3-3 to 2-3.
An Charraig Mhor hit the ground running in the second half with Eimear Mc Philips, Tara Haughey and Leanne Mc Kernan scoring points to bring them level with the half just minutes old. Tara Haughey was unlucky not to add another goal to that tally as her shot brushed passed the upright. Around the middle of the field Niamh Mc Elduff and Maria Grogan were beginning to take charge of affairs and their dominance was providing the Carrickmore forwards with apple scoring opportunities.
Amy Cobane took position of one long ball in and nudged her side in front with a great point from play. Yet again however Alana Mc Cabe came to the rescue for Errigal with a goal and a point from a free following excellent play from Maria Canavan. Dearbhla Collins was beginning to come to the fore for An Charraig Mhor winning a lot of posession and supplying well placed passed inside to her forwards. It was one such pass which saw Tara Haughey win a penalty. Aimee Cobane stood up to hit it and a fine shot was saved by the Errigal goalie Grainne Mc Anenly who enjoyed a most impressive hour in the Errigal goal.
However her rebounded save was followed up intelligently by Aimee Cobane who drove it into the net to keep her team just about in front. They stretched their lead minutes later when Niamh Mc Elduff scored from play after Megan Mc Cann had worked hard to dispossess an Errigal defender.
An Charraig Mhor sub Eimear Grimes was involved in the next move which allowed Amy Cobane to increase her impressive personal tally with another fine point. Sensing the game slipping from their grasp Errigal made a concerted effort to get back on top and indeed attacked relentlessly for a sustained period as the half entered its final third. Only timely interceptions by Laura Mc Guire, Michaeline Mullin and the energetic Ursula Mc Elduff allowed An Charraig Mhor to stay in charge.
Sustained pressure from Aoife Loughran and Jessica Munroe saw Errigal only able to register four wides when they needed scores. It only seemed to be a matter of time before they did so with Carrickmore goalie Colleen Tierney being called on several times to collect on the line and clear danger. A rare break-away move saw An Charraig Mhor sweep the length of the field with Niamh Mc Elduff carrying the ball at the Errigal defence. A good pass found Eimear Mc Philips who calmly struck to the net to put her team into what seemed to be a match winning position.
However Errigal had not read that script and Briege Mullan pulled one back for them to lift their spirits. A scrambled goal seconds later left them just two points behind and they pressed hard for a winning goal. Their was no way through however with the An Charraig Mhor defence holding strong to bring their team across the line and securing their first U-16 title since 1998.
The game was a credit to both sets of players with all the girls playing in a most sporting fashion and giving all in attendance a display of skilful and determined football.
An Charraig Mhor: Colleen Tierney, Aoife Loughran, Jessica Munroe, Nicole Ward, Laura Mc Guire, Michaeline Mullan, Ursula Mc Elduff, Niamh Mc Elduff, Maria Grogan, Amy Cobane, Dearbhla Collins, Megan Mc Cann, Leanne Mc Kernan, Tara Haughey, Eimear Mc Philips, Orla Begley, Eimear Grimes, Moira Mc Nally, Niamh Mc Callan, Niamh Mc Garrity, Bronagh Travers, Orla Donnelly, Kelly Diggin, Shannon Diggin, Shannon Kelly. Mangers Eilish Gormley, Seamus Collins, Ciara Clarke.
Errigal Ciaran: Grainne Mc Anenly, Meabh Hamill, Wishing Mc Crory, Eimear Quinn, Emma Ward, Megan Mc Clelland, Aine Hamill, Mollaidh Mc Cann, Briege Mullan, Maria Canavan, Cailin Mc Cann, Gemma Mc Kenna, Alana Mc Cabe, Emma Quinn, Grainne Mc Donald, Michaela Kelly, Shauna Broderick, Clarisse Tierney, Ellen Neill, Ellen Cassidy, Finola Corrigan, Elena Limante, Oonagh Mc Aleer, Sarah Gribben, Kirstie Moore, Shannon Monaghan. Managers. Roger Mc Aleer, Peter Mc Aleer, Kelly Marie Mc Crory, Rory Mc Cann.