Banner Ladies Capture U-16 Crown

Press Release Clare Ladies Football Board

U – 16 A Co. Championship Final Match Report The
Banner 3 – 6 Cooraclare 1 – 5 31/05/2006 

Old rivals The Banner and Cooraclare were pitted against each
other in this eagerly awaited County U – 16 A Final played in
Miltown on Wednesday last. A large crowd was in attendance for
what promised to be a thrilling encounter and in fairness to both
teams they didn’t disappoint. An epic final ensued and the game
developed into a battle of two contrasting styles namely the strength
and direct football of the Cooraclare girls versus the skill and
speed of The Banner. In the end the more skilful side on the day
won but this was a game that could have gone either way and Cooraclare
will rue some wayward shooting as well as bemoaning the excellence
of The Banner keeper Sharon Bradley. Bradley came to the Ennis
girl’s rescue early in the game with an excellent point blank
save after just two minutes of play when Cooraclare were dominating
the early exchanges. From the throw in Cooraclare were dominant
at midfield with Sally Glynn and Rachel Garry getting the better
of the early exchanges. The Banner had to defend staunchly during
this period and Niamh Martin, Louise Woods and team captain Rachel
McGann were excellent in defence in weathering the Cooraclare
onslaught. The Cooraclare forwards it must be said shot several
wides from scorable positions during this period and they were
to rue these misses as the game evolved.


Banner Panel: Rachel McGann, Sharon Bradley, Aoife O’Neill, Aoife
Griffin, Louise Woods, Niamh Martin,Niamh Cavanagh, Eimear O’Connor,
Shonagh Enright, Niamh O’Dea, Amanda Carmody, Sarah Barrett, Megan
Hough, Catríona Connellan, Caoimhe O’Dea, Laura Brennan,
Laurie Ryan, Katie McKenna, Victoria Krechun, Aisling Daly, Ciara
McCarthy, Rebecca McNamara, Finnuala O’Dea.

The Banner were first on the scoresheet in the eleventh
minute when their wing forward Niamh O’Dea scored an opportunistic
goal against the run of play. This score settled the Ennis girls and
when Catriona Connellan had another goal on thirteen minutes Cooraclare
looked in deep trouble. However the girls from the west were not going
down without a fight and Áine Pyne had their opening score
with a fine point on fourteen minutes. Cooraclare again began to dominate
but just could not find their scoring boots in front of goals. Sharon
Bradley made another fantastic save in the Banner goal on eighteen
minutes when full forward Kate O’Gorman was put through for what seemed
a certain score. The play was now swinging from end to end and no
quarter was being asked or given by either side as each team strove
to exert their game on the other. Aoife Griffin dealt Cooraclare another
bodyblow on twenty one minutes when she palmed a loose ball to the
sky blue’s net. Amazingly Cooraclare just would not give in and Áine
Pyne scored their second point of the evening on twenty four minutes
and just on the stroke of half time Katie O’Gorman took advantage
of some hesitancy in The Banner defence to crack a low shot to the
corner of the net. This was no more than Cooraclare deserved and indeed
The Banner were very fortunate to have an interval lead of 3 – 0 to
1 – 2. The second half opened just as the first with Sally Glynn and
Rachel Garry launching wave after wave of Cooraclare attacks.

Cooraclare team photo.

Again The Banner defence stood firm conceding just a
single point to Áine Pyne in the thirty first minute. Slowly
but surely the Ennis girls began to dominate the exchanges and Eimear
O’Connor and Shona Enright began to gain the upper hand in the pivotal
midfield area. Louise Woods was now playing a stormer at wing back
for the eventual winners and her dashing forays up the right wing
was causing consternation for the Cooraclare defence. The Banner’s
introduction of Laurie Ryan at wing forward was also beginning to
pay dividends as the Turnpike lady was winning vital half forward
possession for the Ennis team. Indeed a brilliant intercept by Ryan
set up Niamh O’Dea for their first score of the second half, a point
after thirty seven minutes. Now dominant The Banner attacked in waves
and drew close in frees from a Cooraclare backline desperate to keep
the onslaught at bay. The Banner had points from Haugh (2) and Connellan
between the forty third and forty fifth minutes and looked to be home
and dry when Catriona Connellan was put through on goal in the forty
eight minute.

However just as The Banner keeper had made excellent saves
in the first half Cooraclare’s Rebecca Smyth produced a magnificent
point blank save to deny the Ennis girl. This save gave Cooraclare
renewed energy and when Rachel Garry scored a point after
fifty minutes it was game on again. Megan Hough and Áine
Pyne exchanged points on fifty two and fifty five minutes
before player of the match, The Banner’s Niamh O’Dea, finished
the scoring with an excellent point a minute from time. To
the victors the spoils and there is no doubt but that the
better overall team won on the night. Skill just about prevailed
over strength. Both teams must be praised however for the
high standard of the game and for how both sides gave it their
all right to the end. Cooraclare lost nothing in defeat and
will know that they have many fine players who will be a match
for any team in the years ahead. Especially talented for the
losers were Sally Glynn, Rachel Garry, Aoife Donnellan, Áine
Pyne, Aifric O’Neill and goalkeeper Rebecca Smyth. Outstanding
for the Banner were Niamh Martin, Niamh O’Dea, Louise Woods,
Laurie Ryan and Sharon Bradley.

Though well held for parts of the game Eimear O’Connor and
Shonagh Enright gave very good second half displays as did
Niamh Cavanagh, Rachel McGann, Catriona Connellan and Aoife
Griffin. Following the match Clare Ladies Board Chairman,
James Lafferty presented the County Championship trophy to
winning captain Rachel McGann. The match was refereed by Michael
Bohannon and credit to St. Joseph’s Miltown for having the
pitch in excellent order for the game and for providing umpire

The Banner: Sharon Bradley, Aoife O’Neill, Rachel McGann,
Aoife Griffin, Louise Woods, Niamh Martin, Niamh Cavanagh,
Eimear O’Connor, Shonagh Enright, Niamh O’Dea, Amanda Carmody,
Sarah Barrett, Megan Hough, Catriona Connellan, Caoimhe O’Dea.
Subs: Laura Brennan for Amanda Carmody (21 min), Laurie Ryan
for Sarah Barrett (27 min), Victoria Krechun, Katie McKenna,
Finnuala O’Dea, Aisling Daly, Ciara McCarthy, Rebecca McNamara.

Scorers: Niamh O’Dea 1 – 2, Catriona Connellan 1 – 1, Megan
Hough 0 – 3, Aoife Griffin 1 -0

Cooraclare: Rebecca Smyth, Orla Reidy, Sinéad Donnellan,
Leanne Aisling Keane, Aoife Donnellan, Aifric O’Neill, Sally
Glynn, Rachel garry, Susui Glynn, Síle Callinan, Noelle
Hassett, Áine Pyne, Katie O’Gorrman, Aoife Clancy.
Subs: Ellen Donovan for Noelle Hassett, Niamh Donnellan for
Aoife Clancy, Siobhán Lyons for Aisling Keane.

Scorers: Áine Pyne 0 – 4, Katie O’Gorman 1 – 0, Rachel
Garry 0 – 1.

Referee: Michael Bohannon (Shannon Gaels).

Dr. Paul McKenna, PRO Clare Ladies Football Board 086 – 6036385

Banner captain Rachel McGann recieves trophy
from Co. Chairman James Lafferty

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