Farrell and Forde goals fire UCD to Gourmet Food Parlour Division 4 glory

Gourmet Food Parlour Ladies HEC Division 4 League Final

University College Dublin (3) 4-6
Mary Immaculate College (2) 2-11

By Cóilín Duffy, Ladies HEC PRO

Seven points down early in the second half, UCD thirds staged a tremendous come-back to claim Gourmet Food Parlour Ladies HEC Division 4 silverware by the slenderest of margins in Annanough on Thursday night.


It capped a brilliant 24 hours for the Belfield University in Laois pitches, with UCD’s firsts winning the GFP Division 1 title the previous evening in Stradbally.


Much like their counterparts on the first team in their Division 2 final against UUJ, Mary Immaculate made a strong start to this contest. However, they found it tough as the game progressed, as UCD took their chances in the second half, making all that hard work count at the full-time whistle as they claimed a second title in three years.


Kildare’s Roisín Forde scored a wonder goal from 30 metres in the first minute of injury-time to give UCD the lead for the first time since the eighth minute.


Forde’s speculative effort handed her side a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, despite Mary Immaculate College battling hard in the almost five minutes of injury-time that followed.


Earlier, the Munster side came bursting out of the blocks in the opening minutes, and despite an early wide and another effort falling short, they quickly found their shooting boots.


Galway’s Caoimhe Ní Cheallaigh opened the scoring with a fine point in the third minute – a sign of things to come from the Caltra Cuans attacker, who was Mary I’s best player over the hour.


This score was quickly followed up with a good score from Muireann Boyce, but despite all their good work, Richard Bowles charges soon found themselves on the back-foot, with Dublin’s Diana Farrell taking a well-worked goal.


UCD continued to press hard, while at the opposite end luck wasn’t going Mary I’s way.


Muireann Boyce and Emily Corcoran both had efforts come off the post in the eighth minute, before Aisling Ryle levelled the tie.


Ní Cheallaigh edged Mary I in front, but a Farrell score levelled the tie at 0-4 to 1-11 after 12 minutes.


Mary Immaculate College responded in perfect fashion, scoring 2-1 unanswered in a 90-second spell.


Ní Cheallaigh first involved as a provider for Corcoran to finish to the net, and then getting through for a goal of her own to put her side six points ahead.


Kilkenny’s Aobha O’Gorman is certainly one to watch for the future, and she continued Mary I’s good run with a fine point to see them 2-6 to 1-1 ahead after 17 minutes.


UCD kept in this game, with Farrell netting her second goal of the game soon after, but a Keelie O’Connor point ensured Mary I were six points clear.


The final 10 minutes of the half saw both teams showing well defensively, with some excellent tackling, although the upright and the crossbar also continued to prove problematic for Mary I.


Farrell continued her good work for UCD bringing her personal tally, and that of her college to 2-2.


Mary I had the final say of the half, with a Aisling Ryle point ensuring a 2-8 to 2-2 interval score-line.


Bowles and fellow back-room team member Anne O’Dwyer decided to change their goalkeeper for the second half, with Caoimhe Teahan moving outfield, replacing Shauna Coakley between the posts.


The second half would prove tough for the Mary I defence, but also with referee Niall McCormack keeping a close eye on proceedings, particularly in relation to the number of steps taken by players, it meant that many bursts upfield by both sides were penalised by the time they got into a scoring zone.


In one case Mary I actually had the ball over the crossbar following a bursting move, but in truth it will be the number of wides they amassed which will come back to haunt them.


The Limerick side had six wides over the hour, which may seem relatively small, but add in at least five occasions in which they were denied by the upright or the cross-bar, and you get a picture of how they had plenty of chances to win this game.


A Corcoran point extended Mary I’s lead to seven points inside two and a half minutes of the restart, before three unanswered UCD scores, with Molly Price, Deirdre Scully and Forde on target.


This came in a spell which both sides made changes, with Emer McNally introduced for Sadhbh Nic Uileagoid and Rose Mernagh replacing Grace Heffernan for UCD; while Roisin O’Driscoll replaced Keelie O’Connor for Mary I.


Aisling Baumann replied with a 39th minute point for Mary I to ensure a five-point lead, but her side wouldn’t score again until the fourth minute of injury-time, as UCD mounted a comeback.


Mary I weren’t without their scoring chances during this period, but came unstuck, with a 47th minute Forde goal giving her side huge confidence.


UCD continued to build momentum, with Farrell adding a point a minute later, but it took a further 12 minutes for either side to get a score.


Once again defences were rock solid, but UCD showed greater momentum, and after Forde found the net for a second time they moved two points clear.


Mary Immaculate battled hard, but missed two chances late on, and while it was third time lucky when Muireann Boyce converted a free, time ran out for the teacher training College.


After the game Ladies HEC P.R.O. Cóilín Duffy presented the Cup to UCD3 joint captain Meadhbh Johnston (Darielle Ronan was also co-captain), with Maynooth native Roisín Forde awarded the Gourmet Food Parlour Player of the Match.


Scorers for University College Dublin: Diana Farrell (1f) 2-3; Roisin Forde (1f) 2-1; Molly Price, Deirdre Scully 0-1 each.


Scorers for Mary Immaculate College: Caoimhe Ni Cheallaigh, Emily Corcoran (2f) 1-2 each; Aisling Ryle, Muireann Boyce (1f) 0-2 each; Aobha O’Gorman, Keelie O’Connor, Aisling Baumann 0-1 each.


UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN: Lauren McCormack (Westmeath); Niamh Rowan (Westmeath), Jess Fitzgerald (Waterford), Medb O’Keane (Wicklow); Grace Heffernan (Waterford), Áine Cahill (Wicklow), Aoife Madden (Cork); Aine Lynn (Westmeath), Laura Bruen (Wexford); Meadhbh Johnston (Dublin), Roisín Forde (Kildare), Aoife Coyle (Tyrone); Sadhbh Nic Uileagoid (Dublin), Molly Price (Westmeath), Diana Farrell (Dublin). Subs: Deirdre Scully (Galway) for Bruen (21); Emer McNally (Monaghan) for Nic Uileagoid (36); Rose Mernagh for Heffernan (37); Ruth Weakliam (Dublin) for Price (45); Cliodhna Duggan (Dublin) for Scully (59).


MARY IMMACULATE COLLEGE: Shauna Coakley (Waterford); Maeve Ryan (Waterford), Kate Dillon (Clare), Hazel Shanahan (Tipperary); Sadhbh Lally (Cork), Christine Cooper (Kerry), Cliona Maguire (Cork); Caoimhe Teahan (Kerry), Caoimhe Ní Cheallaigh (Galway); Aobha O’Gorman (Kilkenny), Aisling Ryle (Cork), Aisling Baumann (Waterford); Keelie O’Connor (Kerry), Emily Corcoran (Tipperary), Muireann Boyce (Kerry). Subs: Shauna Fleming (Roscommon) for Lally (21); Roisin O’Driscoll (Cork) for O’Connor (37); Sarah Phelan (Laois) for Corcoran (41); Muireann Egan (Kerry) for Baumann (51); Muireann O’Connell (Tipperary) for Ryle (58).


REFEREE: Niall McCormack (Laois)


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