St Colmcilles power past Na Fianna in extra time to win pulsating Masita Junior C Championship semi-final in Piltown
HT St Colmcilles B 2.4 Na Fianna B 0.2
FT St Colmcilles B 2.6 Na Fianna B 3.3
XT/HT St Colmcilles B 2.6 Na Fianna B 3.4
XT/FT St Colmcilles B 4.6 Na Fianna B 3.5
A cracking football game to warm the spectators and coaches on a blustery Sunday afternoon. St Colmcilles won the toss and played with the strong breeze in the first half. Ellie opened her account with a trademark run through the middle to score the first point in the 2nd minute. Deanna receiving the ball from a free, spun sharply and clipped a fine point on the 8th minute. Naoife capped a spell of sustained Cilles pressure with a sweetly struck point running in from wide on the left. Na Fianna struggled to capitalise on their possession but notched two points in the 17th and 20th minutes. Ellie stamped her mark with two quick goals in the 17th and 18th minutes and another point in the 27th.
Cilles forwards had their eye for scores and Cilles backs were on top throughout the half, giving very few scoring opportunities while Ciara Kilcoyne in the Cilles goal had a huge impact; making several fine saves to keep Na Fianna at bay.
Cilles were ahead by 8 points at the break.
Cilles could only register two points from Ellie and Deanna against the wind and the tenacious tackling from Na Fianna in the second half. Na Fianna meanwhile introduced three (very) young substitutes who had an immediate impact, driving hard at Cilles and ensuring that most of the play stayed inside the Cilles 45m line. No.24 scored 3 fine goals in 6 minutes and another Na Fianna point put the teams level with two minutes to go. However Na Fianna will rue the two late missed frees which would have won them the game in regulation time.
So extra time ensued and two tired teams took to the field. Cilles made three substitutions, introducing Aiobhin, Meg and Maedbh. Again Cilles won the toss and opted to play with the wind. Unlike the first half however, Cilles could not register a score during the first 10 minutes while Na Fianna knocked over a point to give them the minimum advantage for the second period of extra time.
From the throw up Na Fianna won possession and drove at the Cilles defense. Caoimhe and Kate combined to clear the ball to Katie who advanced through the tackles and passed to Holly. A quick move upfield and pass to Coimhe opened space for a long pass to Ellie. After a storming run Ellie’s driving shot was parried by the Na Fianna keeper into the feet of Deanna who hammered the ball into the net. Advantage again to Cilles who ensured victory with another goal from Ellie in the 4th minute.
Na Fianna gave it everything and were unlucky on the day. St Colmcilles also gave it everything and took more of their chances.
Cilles will play Gael Colmcilles in the final next Sunday at 4pm in Dunganny. The teams have played out two very close games during the season and we can expect a tight and tense final.
Team and scorers: Ciara Kilcoyne, Eimear Daly (Kate Ward), Caoimhe McPeake, Caoimhe Horan (Suzanne McAlarney), Katie Connell, Sabdh Kindlon (Holly Brennan), Caoimhe Walsh, Aisling Haigney, Cloidhna Cairns, Niamh Grady (Aoibhin Butler) , Ellie Brodigan (3.3), Naoife Lenihan (0.1), Alison Boyle (Maedbh O’Sullivan), Deanna McGowan (1.2) (Meg Sowray), Jayne Kerr, Catherine Grey, Niamh Heatherington, Georgina Stevenson, Sarah McDonnell, Grainne Reilly, Saoirse McPeake, Caitlin Cudden
Match Report: Joe Daly
Photos: Brian Mulligan