Wednesday, May 22, 2024

St Columba’s Comprehensive School lift All-Ireland football crown in style

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St Columba’s Comprehensive, Glenties created a bit of history with their first All-Ireland title in an exciting final in Tubbercurry against Dunmore CS, Galway.

The Glenties girls probably played second fiddle in the first half but still led by two points at the break. But they cut loose in the second half with captain Mia Bennett unstoppable at full-forward.

There were super performances also from midfield pairing Cora Doherty and Ava Caulfield; Jessica Gallagher, Aoife McDermott up front while Rionach Doherty was a rock at the back and Kayla McHugh was instrumental with her runs forward.

Kalya McHugh on the attack for St Columba’s

With a rip-roaring atmosphere provided by the noisy supporters of both sides, the girls on the field served up a cracker.

Megan Healy had Dunmore ahead on three minutes but St Columba’s hit back with their first goal on five minutes,  Kayla McHugh starting the move and Jessie Gallagher finished to the Dunmore net.

Lily Kearney and Rebecca Noone had the Dunmore girls back on terms on 14 minutes but within a minute the Glenties girls had their second goal, Doherty going through the middle to team up with Bennett and she set up Eve Boyle Carr for a tap in.

Sofie Campbell was unlucky to see an effort for a point come back off an upright as Megan Healy cut the lead to the minimum by the 23rd minute.

Both sides were guilty of wides with Dunmore the biggest offenders. Bennett had St Columba’s first point and the Glenties goal had a narrow escape when an effort from Healy came off the ‘keeper’s hands onto the crossbar bus was bundled away to safety.

Bennett almost had another goal at the other end, her effort taken off the line, but then a great run from McHugh won a free and Bennett put three between the sides.

But Dunmore came again and Rebecca Noone got through the centre to find the net and level matters.

St Columba’s finished the half well with points from Rebecca McDermott and Caoimhe Gallagher to lead by two at the break.

Half-time: St Columba’s CS 2-4, Dunmore CS 1-5.

Two Rebecca Noone frees had Dunmore level within four minutes but Caoimhe Gallagher (free) and Bennett (free) had Glenties ahead again and in between those scores Bennett rattled the crossbar.

Megan Healy had a point before St Columba’s went on the goal hunt, hitting 3-1  in a 10 minute spell. Mia Bennett started the scoring from a quick free; the second one followed quickly with Jessica Gallagher on hand to score from close range and  Bennett added the third on 49 minutes for a 5-7 to 1-8 lead.

St Columba’s would lose Emma McDevitt and Caoimhe Gallagher to yellow card sin bins in the final quarter but were never troubled.  Bennett fittingly had the final point from a free.

St Columba’s scorers: Mia Bennett 2-5,3f; Jessica Gallagher 2-0; Eve Boyle Carr 1-0; Caoimhe Gallagher 0-2,1f

Dunmore CS scorers: Rebecca Noone 1-5,4f; Megan  Healy 0-4; Lily Kearney, Chloe Costello 0-1 each.

St Columba’s CS, Glenties: Emily Whittington; Rionach Doherty, Orla Molloy, Reiltin Doherty; Kayla McHugh, Caitlin Sweeney, Emma McDevitt; Ava Caulfield, Cora Doherty; Sofie Campbell, Jessica Gallagher, Aoife McDermott; Caoimhe Gallagher, Mia Bennett, Eve Boyle Carr.

Subs: Sinead Porter Murry for Reiltin Doherty; Shauna Molloy for K  McHugh; Caoimhe Early for C Sweeney

Dunmore CS: Ella Burns; Eva Daly, Alicia Costello, Shannon Kilgarriff; Emma Concannon, Meadhb Hanley, Chloe Diskin; Katie Slattery, Isabelle Murray; Rebecca Noone, Megan Healy, Emma Heneghan; Lily Kearney, Grace Dooley, Amy O’Connor.

Subs: Sarah Hartnett for Kearney; Chloe Costello for Dooley; Erika Diskin for Burns.

Referee: Gus Chapman (Sligo)

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