Ulster Ladies Minor Club Champ SF – Killygarry 4-08(20), Errigal Ciarán Tyrone) 1-05(8)
The Club and our Minor ladies were entering territory we’d never been in before, so nobody knew what to expect before this game. As it happened, the ladies seemed to treat this as just another game. They played their normal game and as the game progressed, they wore down their rivals to come out convincing winners well before the final whistle sounded.
Errigal Ciaran scored the first point of the game and were very threatening in the early stages but a solid defence ensured that they did not add any more scores until Aishling Walls converted a free in the 6th minute. A minute later she punished some lax defending and had the ball in the back of the net to well and truly settle any nerves that the team had. Eimear Cahill added another point from play before Errigal Ciarán pulled one back from a free. It was still a very close game and the Killygarry defence was earning a lot of credit from their tight marking and accurate distribution of the ball. They were also showing cool heads under pressure and retaining possession well until a better option presented itself.
Scores were hard to come by as the game entered the second quarter. Aisling Walls got a point from play and Faith Galligan was unlucky to see an effort come off an upright. It wasn’t until the latter stages of the half that Killygarry made the scoreboard a bit more comfortable in their favour. Aisling Walls converted a free and then Deirbhile Lynch was on the end of a very good move to score a point from play. The point came from very patient build-up play between all the midfield and forward players. Just before half time Molly O’Meara broke down an Errigal Ciarán clearance. The ball fell to Faith Galligan who passed it on to Aisling Walls. Aisling looked up and popped a precision pass into the path of Ally Cahill who picked up the ball on the run and slotted it into the bottom corner of the net to give Killygarry a substantial advantage when the half time whistle was blown. The score at the break was Killygarry 2-05(11), Errigal Ciarán 0-02(2).
Killygarry had the advantage of the wind in the first half so they would have known there was still work to be done to ensure Errigal Ciarán didn’t get a foothold back into the game. Deirbhile Lynch gave us the perfect start when she was on the end of another patient build-up to slot over a point from play. The scores dried up for a while until Errigal Ciarán got a point and enjoyed their best spell of the game midway through the half. Although Faith Galligan got a point from play during this spell, Errigal Ciarán added another goal and a point.
But Killygarry were not going to let this game slip away. Going into the final quarter another incisive move ended in the hands of Faith Galligan. She popped a pass across to Deirbhile Lynch who was brought down in the square just as she was about to pull the trigger for a penalty. She took the responsibility herself and coolly slotted the penalty home to the goalie’s right. A minute later an almost copycat move cut open the Errigal Ciarán defence again. This time Eimear Cahill nipped in from the wing and her pass into the goalmouth area was punched home by Deirbhile Lynch for her second goal in as many minutes. Emma Comiskey who had come on as a substitute then coolly stroked over another point from play. Legs on both sides were getting tired at this stage after a gruelling game. Errigal Ciarán scored the final point of the game but they were never allowed to get any momentum going. Amy Galligan showed her competitive streak in the dying minutes when she threw herself on an attempted shot to block the ball. Amy and Ava Shiels were awesome in defence throughout the hour. Gráinne Cahill swept up any dangerous moves coming through the centre and Kaoini Tu’ipulotu was her usual terrier-like self. She was the link between defence and attack with those mazy solo runs up the left wing. She won turnovers too with some tenacious tackling. Everyone should take great credit from their performances in this encounter. The substitutes who were introduced also played their part in the win. The management team can also take great pride in the fruit of their efforts with the squad. The ladies will now play Bredagh (Down) in the Ulster Final on Sun 1st Dec and everyone is looking forward to what will be a great occasion in the history of our Club.
Killygarry Squad: Joanne Reilly, Maria Lovett, Amy Galligan, Ava Shiels, Gráinne Cahill, Eimear Kennedy, Dearbhla Brady, Molly O’Meara, Ally Cahill (1-00), Aisling Walls (1-03, 2f), Deirbhile Lynch (2-02, 1pen), Kaioni Tu’ipulotu, Emma Comiskey (0-01), Faith Galligan (0-01), Emer Cahill (0-01), Aoife Lovett, Clodagh Kennedy, Shauna Gilsenan, Maeve Young, Katie Sheanon, Aoibheann Morrisson, Emma Smith-Delaney, Katie Lynch, Keelin Burke, Sophie Smith.