Heartbreak for Skryne Ladies in Leinster Final
Skryne 3-06, Longford Slashers 3-10
Leinster Ladies Intermediate Football Championship – Final
After an excellent first-half where both teams battled and traded scores like two prize fighters, Skryne couldn’t keep the momentum going in the second-half and the more experienced Longford Slashers took control of proceedings and did enough to see off a spirited challenge from the girls in blue and white.
Skryne supporters were out in force in the well-appointed Kinnegad venue. The weather was almost perfect apart from a strong breeze which favoured Longford Slashers in the opening half. The Slashers didn’t hang around and were straight out of the traps with three points in the first three minutes with Kyana Lee, Kate Shannon and Jessica Barry(a free) all finding the target. Skryne responded with two quick-fire goals, the first from Ciara Smyth whose pointed effort dropped in under the crossbar to level matters before Amy O’Dowd won the kick out from the first goal and soloed past a number of Longford Slashers defenders before dispatching the ball to the left of the keeper to put Skryne ahead with just 5 minutes on the clock. Longford Slashers response was immediate after they won their kick out and attacked up the field. Kyana Lee found space in front of the Skryne goal and shot low past the advancing Rachel Whelan to level the game. Kara Shannon edged the Slashers ahead with a fine point from the right-hand side. Skryne added a third goal when Amy O’Dowd picked up the ball on the right-hand side. She hit a pass over the top of the Slashers defence to Ciara Smyth. Smyth had to battle for the possession, but came away with the ball and slalomed past a number of Slashers defenders before hitting a low shot into the far left corner of the net. Skryne added a point after Liz Morland won the ball back superbly in midfield before working it forward to Amy O’Dowd who soloed forward before stroking the ball over the crossbar. Two pointed frees from Jessica Barry reduced the deficit to a single point midway through the half. Fiona O’Rourke who covered every blade of grass in the first-half sent a sweet pass to Ciara Smyth in the 17th minute. Smyth rounded her opponent before tapping over. A minute later Grace Shannon, who had a fine game for the Slashers, made a run deep into the Skryne defence before laying off to Jessica Barry who had found space in front of the Skryne goal. Barry hit a low shot to the back of the Skryne net to wrestle back the lead from Skryne. Ellie Murphy leveled matters again with a pointed free after Ciara Smyth was fouled on the 21-metre line. Kate Shannon bagged her second point of the game when a Jessica Barry free dropped short into the Skryne penalty area. Aisling Cosgrove won possession and laid it off to Kate Shannon who popped it over with her left boot. Skryne replied with a fine point from Caitriona Keogan after Fiona O’Rourke sent a nice pass into Roisín McManus who rounded her marker before passing to Caitriona who lofted a monster kick over the bar clearing the nets behind the goal leaving the sides level for the third time in the half. Longford Slashers edged ahead again with a minute remaining in the half when Jessica Barry added her fourth free of the half. The referee blew the half-time whistle in a half that nobody wanted to see end, such was the quality of the football from both sides. Half-time: Skryne 3-04, Longford Slashers 2-08.
Skryne had the wind advantage in the second half, but despite this, it was Longford Slashers who took control of the game, pinning Skryne back for most of the third quarter. After showcasing excellent free-taking skills in the first-half Jessica Barry was guilty of missing two early frees as Slashers looked to capitalise on their early pressure. Kate Shannon finally opened the scoring 7 minutes in when she stroked over a free. Skryne too spurned some chances in the third quarter and then lost Ciara Smyth to a soft yellow card 16 minutes into the half at a crucial point in the game. The Slashers made the most of the extra player scoring a goal and a point during the period with Jessica Barry pointing a free before she got on the end of another Slashers attack after player of the match Orla Nevin passed a ball over the Skryne defence to Barry who despite a number of Skryne challenges, managed to get a shot away which found it’s way into the Skryne net. This put six points between the sides with 9 minutes remaining. Skryne began to up the ante and pushed forward in search of scores to reel the Slashers in. Roisín McManus pointed a free before second-half substitute Ruth Moore hit a lovely point from the left-hand side with just 3 minutes remaining after good work from Roisín McManus and Niamh O’Brien. Unfortunately for Skryne, the clock was against them and the Slashers dug in and repelled the remaining Skryne attacks to prevail on a scoreline of Longford Slashers 3-10, Skryne 3-06.
Skryne will be very happy with their season after securing the Intermediate Championship in Meath and putting in some excellent performances in the Leinster Club Championship. Ultimately, they came up against a strong Longford Slashers team who were runners-up in the Leinster Championship last year and had a big point to prove in today’s final after last year’s disappointment. With a team full of young blood, this is just the beginning for Skryne who can look forward to playing Senior Championship Football next year.
Well done to all of the girls and to Mick O’Dowd and the Management team who have provided the Skryne fans with lots of highs over the last few years. Finally, congratulations to Longford Slashers. We wish them the very best of luck in the All-Ireland Club Championship semi-final.
Skryne: Rachel Whelan; Ciara Cowley, Steffi Finnegan, Alana Cooney; Nicola O’Reilly, Lisa Browne, Niamh O’Brien; Caitriona Keogan(0-1), Elizabeth Morland; Samantha Clarke, Amy O’Dowd(1-1), Fiona O’Rourke; Ellie Murphy(0-1, 1f), Ciara Smyth(2-1), Roisín McManus (0-1, 1f)
Subs used: Sophie Finnegan, Ruth Moore (0-1), Laura Mangan
Skryne panel: Aoife McLoughlin, Niamh Cowley, Caragh Conway, Ava Purcell, Miriam Hayden, Emma Loftus, Aisling O’Connor, Destiny Carty.
Longford Slashers: – Emer Casey; Laura Kenny, Emily Reilly, Grace Kenny; Orla Nevin, Eimear O’Brien, Clare Farrell; Aoife O’Brien, Aisling Cosgrove; Lisa Nolan, Grace Shannon, Kyana Lee (1-1); Kate Shannon (0-3, 1f), Jessica Barry (2-5, 5fs), Kara Shannon (0-1)
Longford Slashers panel: Oyinda Sotunbo, Adrienne Mulligan, Jill Glennon, Grace O’Donnell, Shauna Reilly, Lara O’Connor, Isabelle Sweeney, Ciara Smith, Caoilainn Morgan, Rachel Briody, Aileen Briody, Kate O’Connell, Maya O’Toole, Maggie Maguire
Fancy a flutter!! Why not play Skryne GFC’s online BLOTTO. Jackpots of up to €10,000. Click here to play.