AGB girls see off St Pat’s
A wonderful football final
AGB 6-06 ST PATRICK’S 5-06
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.