14 Nov 2015

Blackwater and Kilmore play out extra time thriller

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Blackwater 5-10 Kilmore 4-4

It was a memorable encounter in this year’s Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League MiniSevens Girls’ football final as it took extra time to separate Blackwater and Kilmore. Packed full of lots of drama, end-to-end action and 9-14’s worth of scores, this game really did encapsulate the benefits of small sided games for our young players and provided much entertainment for the crowd who braved the cold on the night.

Kilmore started the game much stronger and had luck on their side when a long ball from Nel Bates produced a goal after hitting the crossbar and then the unfortunate goalie’s back. A point from the same player gave Kilmore an early four point lead and with Shannon Doyle at the other end of the field defending as if her life depended on it, the early signs looked ominous for Blackwater. However, three quick points in four minutes, one from Millie Nolan and two from Clara Molloy, put them right back in it at halftime.

The second half was a manic ten minutes. Now playing with a significant breeze, Millie Nolan equalized with a point after Niamh Cullen sent in a brilliant long ball. Blackwater got their own lucky goal when a Clodagh Whelan sideline kick from distance was deflected into the Kilmore net and gave them the lead for the first time. Proving her abilities as a long range free kick specialist, Clodagh then slotted over a 45 and Millie Nolan got two more points to put six between the teams. Up to this point, Blackwater had contested each breaking ball with venom, but this newfound lead caused them to relax ever so slightly and this let Kilmore back into the game.

The warning shot came when Nel Bates got a point on the break. The game was then blown apart when she blasted a free from her hands into the top corner of the Blackwater net. In true MiniSeven’s form the momentum had now shifted and moments later Nel combined with Joely Doyle and Aimee Bates Crosbie to finish a brilliant team goal. Frantically, Blackwater tried to claw their way back into the game and it took a Millie Nolan last second free kick to save their bacon.

Extra time saw Blackwater compose themselves once more and retake the initiative. This time they played at full throttle until the end and this left Kilmore with no chance. In the first five minute half they outscored Kilmore 2-1 to 0-1 with both goals involving multiple players and some slick passing. The winning scores came early in the second half of extra time when Ella Wright pointed and Clara Molloy lobbed the keeper from distance. Late scores from Nel Bates and Aimee Bates Crosbie kept Kilmore in touch but a final Blackwater score through Ella Wright ensured that the cup was heading north.

Blackwater: Evelyn Burke, Niamh Cullen, Clodagh Whelan, Ella Wright, Ciara Molloy, Hannah Murphy, Millie Nolan, Amber Wright, Laura McGuinness, Shauna Byrne, Ava Murphy, Amelia Deane, Rebecca Byrne, Laura Doyle

Kilmore: Maeve Byrne, Grace Lambert, Shannon Doyle, Joely Doyle, Kennedy Cullen, Nel Bates, Aimee Bates Crosbie, Winnie Rath, Éabha Crosbie, Eimear Fortune