06 Nov 2014

Terrific Tintern girls stand tall

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Tintern 1-2 Ballindaggin 0-1

A close encounter was expected in this year’s Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn B Girls Football County Final as Ballindaggin came looking for back to back crowns after their Roinn C title last year and Tintern came on the back of good form in their recent semi-final win versus Adamstown. This was always going to be nip and tuck for the full fifty minutes.

From the off you could see that these were two very fit and well drilled teams who knew their way around the football field and that made for fantastic viewing. The Ballindaggin defence were called into action from the start with some early pressure from the Tintern girls who showed great attacking flair in the middle of the field. Even at this early stage though, Ballindaggin defenders Claire Doyle and Shauna Nolan were more than comfortable as they mopped up each attack. Speedy attacker Clodagh Foran broke through a few times in the opening plays but her efforts were blocked down time and time again by some brave defending. Lauren Roche and Aisling Power were also lurking dangerously inside but could not break the deadlock until Lauren won a free that Clodagh converted to give her team a slender halftime lead.

This was truly a remarkable game in that it produced so many exciting passages of play and entertainment yet still produced very few scores.

Ballindaggin emerged for the second half a far more confident team and some small halftime changes seemed to work as they put a lot of early pressure on the leaders. Tintern netminder Jessica Ryan marshalled her square with great composure during these attacks to ensure her team kept the lead. Ballindaggin midfielder Katie Bates was proving hard to handle as she constantly pumped ball in on top of the Tintern defence to create these chances. Good players rise to the occasion however and the Tintern dynamic duo of Aoife Cullen and captain Shauna Hackett did so when the pressure came on.

The crucial goal came in the 11th minute when Shauna kicked a ball into Lauren Roche who then unselfishly returned a good pass to set up Shauna for a neat bottom corner finish. This was especially frustrating for Ballindaggin as they had in fact created most of the second half chances.

Ballindaggin went on to play some of their best football as they chased the game and attacker Lauren Roban got the game’s only point from play when she turned sharply to slot over from distance. Ballindaggin’s Breda Cushen and Aine Redmond created further chances in the final quarter but several times their efforts were thwarted by Neamh Mulligan, Aisling Ryan and Heather Roche who led the way in the Tintern defence.

Tintern stood tall despite this late pressure and another Clodagh Foran pointed free sealed the deal on a good night’s work. It was great to see two top teams really go at each other for the hour and both teams should be commended for their outstanding defensive play that resulted in such a low scoring affair. The moment of magic that produced the goal proved to be the difference between the teams on the night but Ballindaggin can hold their heads high after a successful first year in the Roinn B division.

Tintern: Jessica Ryan, Neamh Mulligan, Aisling Ryan, Heather Roche, Aoife Cullen, Shauna Whitty, Shauna Hackett, Clodagh Foran, Ann-Marie Roche, Niamh Astley, Ella Cahill, Lauren Roche, Aisling Power, Rachel Styles, Emily Sinnott, Emma Whelan, Jenna Myler, Emma Kehoe, Cora Hackett, Maeve Duffy, Aisling Gabbett

Ballindaggin: Aoife Dunne, Claire Doyle, Shauna Nolan, Emilia Fortune, Kerri Doyle, Leah Fitzhenry, Aine Redmond, Breda Cushen, Katie Bates, Aoife O’Leary, Laura Conroy, Katie Breen Sherlock, Laura Roban, Katelynn Cowman, Aoife Pender, Katie Smith, Niamh Dobbs, Michelle Kearns, Jessica O’Donovan, Hannah Kavanagh, Ciara Tobin, Shauna Kavanagh