Awesome Aoife is star of show
Joy for Aughrim/Annacurra
AUGHRIM/ANNACURRA won the under-16 shield with a hard earned victory over Knockananna in Arklow last sunday.
Four first half goals from Aoife Connolly ultimately proved the difference between two well matched teams.
Aughrim/Annacurra started in the ascendancy and only some superb goalkeeping from Kayla Tighe in the Knockananna goal kept them out.
Eventually on eight minutes Connolly opened the scoring after cutting in from the right and striking over. A minute later Connolly gathered a ball and stormed through the Knockananna defence before rattling the games first goal.
Knockananna responded immediately with their own full forward Niamh Byrne plundering a goal.
With 15 minutes gone the game was tied for the only time in the contest when centre forward Aobha Hannon snaked through a gaggle of bodies to point superbly on the run.
However this led to a run of scoring for Aughrim/Annacurra. Connolly drilled a rasping accurate shot from 25 yards for her second goal, midfielder Eimear O’Toole pointed a free and Connolly completed her hatrick after corner forward Hallie Barnes intelligent flick put her in on goal and the full forward drilled past Tighe.
Roisin Byrne pulled a goal back for Knockananna after a rampaging run through the middle of the defence.
Alice Mulhall pulled another point back . However Aughrim/ Annacurra closed the first half scoring when Emma Murphy sent a pinpoint pass into Connolly and the full forward powered to the net from an acute angle.
Knockananna got on top in the early stages of the second half with Erin Byrne marking Connolly tight and Eimear Mutton mopping up alot of ball in the half back line.
After O’Toole pointed another free for Aughrim/Annacurra Knockananna clawed their lead back bit by bit.
Firstly Niamh Byrne pointed a long range free then Roisin Byrne showing tenacity and skill gathered possesion before launching the ball 50 yards into Mulhall who hammered to the net.
Mulhall added a point from a difficult angle and when Roisin Byrne got another there was only one point in the game with ten minutes to go. The Aughrim/ Annacurra management made an important change at this time dropping star forward Connolly to fullback to curb Mulhall’s influence.
With the match in the melting pot it was left to Aughrim/Annacurra’s wingback Kasey Byrne to take the bull by the horns. She gathered a sloppy clearance 25 yards from goal and powered a skidding shot off the turf to the Knockananna goal.
Both teams had scoring chances in the closing stages however Connolly and Ava Whelan were superb in defence.
An enjoyable contest with really nothing between two well matched teams. For Knockananna Aobha Harmon, Eimear Mutton, Alice Mulhall and Niamh Byrne were superb
For the victors they had fine performers all over the pitch. Ava Whelan, Emma Murphy and wing forward Hannah Doyle were excellent however whether she played full forward or full back Aoife Connolly was the difference between both teams and was a deserving player of the match with a personal tally of 4-1.
Scorers - Aughrim/Annacurra: Aoife Connolly 4-1, Kasey Byrne 1-0, Eimear O’Toole 0-2
Knockananna: Alice Mulhall 1-2, Roisin Byrne 1-1, Niamh Byrne 1-1, Aobha Harmon 0-1
Aughrim/Annacurra: Holly Byrne; Emma Shannon, Ava Whelan, Erin O’Toole; Kasey Byrne, Doireann O’Brien, Laura Doyle; Emma Murphy, Eimear O’Toole; Leah Gearthy, Shauna O’Shea, Hannah Doyle; Aoife Campbell, Aoife Connolly, Hallie Barnes. Subs: Saidhbh Byrne, Kirsty Byrne
Knockananna: Kayla Tighe; Siobhan Mulhall, Jodi Murphy, Eimear O’Sullivan; Eimear Mutton, Erin Byrne, Tara McDonald; Roisin Byrne, Alice Mulhall; Eimear Furlong, Aobha Harmon, Eimear Breslin; Anne Marie Lambert, Niamh Byrne, Jane Keogh
Referee: Pat Hickey (Arklow)
Aughrim/Annacurra, winners of the Under-16 Shield.
Aughrim/Annacurra’s captain Emma Murphy receives the shield.