AGB girls see off St Pat’s

A won­der­ful foot­ball fi­nal

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - At Ash­ford

AGB’S un­der-16 ladies faced old ri­vals St. Pa­trick’s of Wick­low Town in the fi­nal of the Di­vi­sion 1 un­der-16 cham­pi­onship at Ash­ford re­cently.

Hav­ing de­feated Balt­in­glass and New­town in the opening round games and with a con­vinc­ing win over Bray in the semi-fi­nal, AGB knew that this game was going to be their tough­est test yet and they were metic­u­lous in their preparation.

St. Pa­trick’s were dom­i­nant in the throw in with the amaz­ing Sinéad McGet­ti­gan tak­ing con­trol from the opening whis­tle. She ad­vanced through the AGB back line and struck the ball over the bar to give her team the opening point.

AGB goal­keeper, Ab­bie Healy was on song with her kick outs through­out the du­ra­tion of this game and her first found Laoighse Geoghe­gan who se­cured pos­ses­sion for Ark­low and launched the first at­tack which re­sulted in an equal­is­ing point from Áine O’Reilly.

Aoife Ka­vanagh, who was a thorn in the side of the Pat’s de­fence through­out the en­tire 80 min­utes which this game even­tu­ally took to play out, added 1-1 within the first seven min­utes to put Ark­low in the driv­ing seat.

McGet­ti­gan pointed a free for Wick­low’s sec­ond score and Naoise O’Reilly added an­other point from play to close the gap.

Grace Hur­ley then found the cor­ner of the net for AGB and Áine O’Reilly added the first of her two first half goals to keep Ark­low on top. An­other free from McGet­ti­gan and a point from play for Ni­amh Caf­frey kept the score board tick­ing over for Pat’s and a late penalty was dis­patched ex­pertly from the boot of McGet­ti­gan to nar­row Ark­low’s lead just be­fore half time whis­tle, leav­ing it 4-2 to 1-5 at the break.

St Pa­trick’s came back with de­ter­mi­na­tion in the sec­ond half and once again it was Sinead McGet­ti­gan that led the charge with a goal from play.

Emma Cox pointed two frees for AGB and Eve Rogers also added a point from play. A sec­ond penalty for Wick­low saw the mar­gin nar­rowed once again by Sinead McGet­ti­gan who was truly the hero for St. Pat’s.

A third goal for Pat’s lev­elled mat­ters and Ark­low had to start all over again. Áine O’Reilly re-es­tab­lished Ark­low’s lead with her third goal of the day and a penalty awarded to Ark­low saw Emma Cox step up to the spot.

If she re­alised how cru­cial this kick would be she didn’t show it as she calmly dis­patched the ball into the Wick­low keeper’s net.

Ark­low led by six. The bat­tle for pos­ses­sion was re­lent­less and as legs tired sub­sti­tu­tions on both sides were cru­cial.

A free for St. Pat’s was con­verted into a goal and a sin­gle score sep­a­rated the teams once again. Emma Cox ex­tended the Ark­low lead to four points with yet an­other well taken free and Pat’s replied with a point.

This was to be the last score of the game and after an epic bat­tle AGB were crowned un­der-16 ladies champions on a score-line of 6-6 to 5-6.

Both teams pro­vided an en­ter­tain­ing and en­joy­able game of foot­ball, strik­ing the posts on sev­eral oc­ca­sions through­out the 60-plus min­utes.

The goal­keep­ers were ex­cel­lent through­out and were de­servedly sin­gled out for praise at the pre­sen­ta­tion.

In the end there was al­ways going to be the kick of a ball be­tween these two sides as for many years now they have ri­valled each other, chal­lenged each other and ul­ti­mately im­proved the stan­dard of foot­ball played by both clubs at this grade.

The two teams were a credit to their, men­tors and sup­port­ers on a day when ev­ery girl from both pan­els played her part in a very ex­cit­ing fi­nal. Ref­er­ees selec­tion for Player of the Match was the hard-work­ing Eve Rogers from AGB who showed great lead­er­ship through­out and cov­ered a huge amount of ground in sup­port of her team.

Sinead McGet­ti­gan was un­doubt­edly the player of the day for the Wick­low side scor­ing 5-4 for her team. Emer Kelly had the un­en­vi­able task of mark­ing McGet­ti­gan which she did hero­ically while also man­ag­ing to carry ball into the Ark­low at­tack with her mid-field part­ner and team cap­tain, Sarah Gar­nett.

The Ark­low for­wards were equally re­lent­less at the busi­ness side of mat­ters for AGB with strong per­for­mances from all six, Aoife Ka­vanagh, Áine O’Reilly, Grace Hur­ley, Eve Rogers, Re­becca O’Sul­li­van and Emma Cox. Muire­ann Ní Chonchub­hair re­placed Re­becca O’Sul­li­van and im­me­di­ately con­tin­ued O’Sul­li­van’s dogged pur­suit for vi­tal scores, hunt­ing down pos­ses­sion and opening up the de­fence with pur­pose­ful de­ter­mi­na­tion.

The girls from both teams will no doubt be vy­ing for places on the Mi­nor squads that take to the field in the com­ing weeks.

AGB: Ab­bie Healy, Keelin Stafford, Caoil­fhinn Ka­vanagh, Ge­or­gia Earls, Casey Young, Ni­cole Storey, Laoighse Geoghe­gan, Sarah Gar­nett, Emer Kelly, Áine O’Reilly (3-1), Eve Rogers (0-1), Grace Hur­ley (1-0), Re­becca O’Sul­li­van, Emma Cox (1-3), Aoife Ka­vanagh (1-1), Muire­ann Ní Chonchub­hair, Ni­amh Geoghe­gan, Caoimhe Ní Chonchúir, Katie Cooke, Ni­cole Byrne, Leah Wel­don, Áine Ní Chonchúir.

St Pa­trick’s: Ellen Grif­fin, Aoife Dunne, Kelly Phe­lan, Siob­han Gor­man, Amy Ka­vanagh, Zoe Arm­strong, Sarah Evans, Lucy Hobbs, Sinead McGet­ti­gan (5-4), Emer McNulty, Naoise O’Reilly (0-1), So­phie Porter, Áine Ka­vanagh, Ni­amh McSor­ley, Ni­amh Caf­frey (0-1), Rachel Arm­strong, Ciara Fay, Chloe O’Byrne, Carla Walker, Laura New­som, Han­nah Whe­lan, Jen Bol­ger, Eva Phe­lan, Lucy Dunne, Jen Lucy, Michelle Dunne, Keelin Do­ran.

The AGB un­der-16 foot­ballers who de­feated St Pa­trick’s in Ash­ford re­cently.

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