Leinster Minor 'C' Championship Final

Ladies Gaelic football
Leinster Minor ‘C’ Championship
(Michael Forde, Leinster PRO)

Wicklow 2-15 Offaly 2-5

Wicklow minors were crowned Leinster Minor ‘C’ champions for 2009 on Sunday last in Tinryland County Carlow, Wicklow captain Amy Devereux lifting the new Leinster trophy when they over came a strong Offaly side to eventually romp home to a comfortable ten point win over the Faithful county. Offaly were also at the receiving end back in 2007 when Wicklow claimed the Leinster minor title in the final minutes of the game.
However on Sunday last Wicklow mentors Cathy Forde, Seamus Ahern and Jack Bowe had to juggle their first fifteen before the game started, due to the late arrival of a number of players, and also the loss of their influential midfielder Claire Kavanagh, Kavanagh received a foot injury in a club game and was unable to start.
Although Wicklow were first to score, with a point from Danni Brauders they got off to a shaky start, and were on the back foot for most of the first period. Offaly carved out a dream start and had registered two goals and two points (2-2 to 0-1) in the refs note book with only thirteen minutes on the clock, and like the sky over the Tinryland venue, things were looking a little grey for the Wicklow side, but their were signs that the sun may get out as the game progressed.

Wicklow were at six’s and sevens for most of the first half, and ironically it was when referee Tony McConnell produced the dreaded yellow card in the twenty fifth minute to dispatch their number fifteen Orla Byrne to the sin bin for a short break after Byrne fouled Offaly’s Kathy Martin, that the Garden county seemed to spring into life.

Wicklow adding five points, with out reply to pare the Offaly lead back to just two, with Rachel Byrne firing over the Garden counties final point of the half, to leave the score board at the break reading 0-6 to 2-2 in favour of Offaly.

The turning point for Wicklow came ten minutes from the end, with the sides deadlocked for the third time in the game at eleven points apiece (2-5 to 0-11), Player of the match Lucy Mulhall ripped through the Offaly defence to plant the ball into the back of Jenny Mulligans net to ensured that the Garden County were on their way to lifting their second Leinster minor ‘C’ trophy in three years, Mulhall’s excellent performance throughout the game, earned the Tinahely club player the player of the match award.
Four minutes into the second half Wicklow were back up to full strength, when Orla Byrne re-entered the fray, and with Aife Kavanagh and Lucy Mulhall tagging on a point a piece in the thirty fifth minute the sides were level for the second time in the game (0-8 to 2-2).
While the Wicklow forwards were getting into the scoring groove, the Garden counties back line of Sarah Miley, Hannah Kavanagh, Naomi Roche, Sarah Hogan and Jennifer O’Gorman were busy keeping Amy Devereux’s goal area an Offaly free zone, and such was their determination the Faithful county could only manage to increase their half time score by just three points, with their final point coming from the boot of Samantha Maguire to draw the sides level for the third time in the game.
With ten minute left in the game the Wicklow team slipped into top gear, with Shauna Hilley and Jackie Kinch taking ownership of the midfield area from Offaly’s Niamh Daly and Aoife Lynam, the Wicklow duo were pulling the strings in support of Claire Turner, Sophie Nolan, Danni Brauders and Aife Kavanagh, Kavanagh recorded a personal tally of six points, five from play. While Lucy Mulhall’s individual goal in the fiftieth minute turned the tide in Wicklow’s favour and the East coast county gave the knife a final twist in the final minutes when Orla Byrne made up for her sin bin offence by tapping the ball into an empty net, after the Offaly keeper Jenny Mulligan failed to hold on to a lobbed shot from Shauna Hilley. Lucy Mulhall raised the white flag for the final time in Wicklows favour to bring the game to an end.
Wicklow captain Amy Devereux was presented with the Leinster Minor ‘C’ championship cup by Dominic Leech, while Lucy Mulhall collected the player of the match trophy.
Wicklow scorers;
Aife Kavanagh 0-6(1f), Lucy Mulhall 1-4, Shauna Hilley 0-2, Danni Brauders 0-1, Orla Byrne 1.0, Rachel Byrne 0-1, Claire Turner 0-1.
Offaly scorers:
Triona McDonald 2-1, Ciara Duncan 0-3 (2f), Samantha McGuire 0-1.

Wicklow: Amy Devereux (AGB (Capt) Naomi Roche (AGB), Hannah Kavanagh(AGB), Nicole Kavanagh(AGB), Sarah Miley(An Tochar), Sarah Hogan(Tinahely), Rachel Byrne(AGB), Jackie Kinch(Tinahely), Shauna Hilley(Carnew), Lucy Mulhall(Tinahely), Sofia Nolan(Eire Og), Aife Kavanagh(AGB), Claire Turner(Carnew), Orla Byrne(AGB). Danni Brauders(AGB) Subs: Jenny O’Gorman(An Tochar) for Nicole Kavanagh, Maire Doran(Carnew) for Claire Turner.
Offaly: Jenny Mulligan(Rhode), Roisin Feighery(Shamrocks), Michelle Guinin(Shamrocks), Becky Jordan(Killeigh), Kathy Martin(Killeigh), Amy Quinn(Killeigh), Eimear Bryant(Shamrocks), Niamh Daly(Shamrocks), Aoife Lynam(Shamrocks),Niamh Moriarty(Capt) Edenderry), Riona Byrne(Edenderry),Fiona Dempsey(Killeigh), Clare Kavanagh(Tullamore), Triona McDonald), Ciara Dunican (Shamrocks). Subs; Samantha Maguire(Rhode), Cathriona Hannon(Rhode)
Referee: Tony McConnell(Kildare).

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