LGFA U14 Football Championship. Division 3 - Final. Skryne overcome St. Ultans to claim dramatic victory!! | Skryne GFC
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LGFA U14 Football Championship. Division 3 – Final. Skryne overcome St. Ultans to claim dramatic victory!!

By Rowanaldinho Sun 27th Sep

LGFA U14 Football Championship. Division 3 – Final. Skryne overcome St. Ultans to claim dramatic victory!!
LGFA U14 Football Championship. Division 3 – Final. Skryne overcome St. Ultans to claim dramatic victory!!

Skryne overcome battling St. Ultans to claim Division 3 title

Skryne 5-08 St. Ultans 4-09

LGFA U14 Football Championship. Division 3 – Final 

The Covid 19 restrictions prevented many supporters from witnessing what will surely go down as one of the classic finals. The word ‘surrender’ clearly doesn’t exist in the Skryne or St. Ultans U14 girl’s vocabularies. Skryne lead by a 7 point margin at one point during the second half and all looked to be lost for the St. Ultan’s girls, but they managed to reduce the deficit to four points as the game broke for the second half water break. A last quarter push saw the the Ultans hit 2-03 to 1-01 for Skryne to see them snatch the lead with a minute of normal time remaining. It was now Skryne’s turn to display their battling qualities and this they did when they launched an attack in search of an equaliser. The ball was contested inside the St.Ultan’s penalty area and an Ultan’s girl who was was under pressure from the Skryne attackers, grabbed the ball while she was on the ground and the referee had no choice but to award a penalty to Skryne. Megan Cowley stepped up to take what was her second spot-kick of the game. Cool as a cucumber, Megan slammed the ball into the top right corner of the net to put Skryne 2 points ahead. The Ultans had no time to respond and the sound of the final whistle sparked wild celebrations among the Skryne girls and supporters alike who finally got their hands on the trophy they deserved.
Skryne had played the Ultans earlier in the Championship campaign in the last group game on a wet evening in Cortown and came away with a single point victory. The Ultans were determined to reverse this result in the final in Skryne. However, Skryne had extra firepower available to them in the final as player of the match Kate Gibbons made a welcome return to the Skryne team after returning from a leg break that looked set to have ruled her out for the whole campaign. However, this girl cannot be kept down and even with a leg cast on, she would probably have attempted to play in this final. She gave her Dad James, who arrived at the match with a big blue and white flag in tow, seven reasons to wave the flag when she notched up a personal tally of 1-06, the goal a spectacular effort after she soloed around 30 metres from the right hand side before unleashing an unstoppable shot over the Ultans keeper into the far corner of the net.

Skryne showed some early nerves in this game and it was the Ultans who got off to the better start opening the scoring with 2 early points. Kate Gibbons hit her first score of the game when Shauna Hogan broke up an Ultans attack and sent the ball down to Sara Pentony who passed inside to Kate who made no mistake with a simple tapover. Ultans added another point to lead by 0-03 to 0-01 as the game paused for the first half water break. 

Ultans stretched their lead with another point after the resumption. A Kate Gibbons free kept Skryne in touch. This was not a game for the faint hearted and Skryne were battling hard all over the pitch with Laura Mangan, Beth Shanley, Aisling O’Connor, Katie Purcell, Síne Smyth, Aoife McLoughlin and Shauna Hogan in the thick of things. Ultans added a fifth point with 20 minutes on the clock, but Skryne took over for the remainder of the half hitting 3 points on the trot (2 points from Kate Gibbons and one from Megan Cowley) before the half time whistle blew. Half-time: Skryne 0-05, St. Ultans 0-05.

The third quarter was somewhat of goalfest as the 2 teams hit five goals between them, Skryne with 3 while the Ultans had 2. Kate Gibbons got the scoreboard moving with an early pointed free. Áine Keogh hit the back of the net for Skryne a minute later as Skryne began to turn the screw. With only 4 minutes gone in the half Megan Cowley fetched a ball in the Ultans penalty area and was dragged down as she turned to take a shot. The referee blew the whistle to award a penalty and Cowley stepped up to strike the ball into the top corner of the net to put 7 points between the teams. Ultans reply was almost instantaneous as they launched an attack down the field. The Ultans forward ran across the edge of the penalty area before hitting a lovely shot into the bottom left corner of the net. Caoimhe Giles struck a point for Skryne as the game swung from end to end. Ultans hit another goal and a point and also forced a brilliant point blank save from Skryne keeper Katie Keane as they reduced the deficit to a single point. However, it was that girl Megan Cowley again who struck her second goal of the match just before the referee paused the game for the water break. Skryne 3-07, St. Ultans 2-06. 

The last quarter as mentioned above was full of excitement. The full back line of captain Rebecca Clarke, Destiny Carty and Emily Kelly were put under severe pressure by the marauding Ultan’s forward line, but they stood up to the test superbly. Carty plucked one ball out of the sky that John McDermott in his heyday would have been proud of, while Clarke and Kelly worked tirelessly throughout to snuff out attacks from the dangerous Ultans forward line. Final score: Skryne 5-08, St. Ultans 4-09.

Skryne had contested 6 finals since the return of football after the lockdown and this was the first victory. This was particularly sweet for this team who were on the receiving end of a defeat in last year’s final in Dunganny. The win was also a welcome boost to the U14 Division 8 team who had been training with their Division 3 counterparts all year and after their earlier defeat in their final, it was nice to see them all smiling again. A special mention to Manager Teresa Mangan who couldn’t contain her joy after this victory. Teresa has worked tirelessly with both U14 teams throughout the year and deserves huge credit for the improvement in both teams who have excelled under her tutelage.

Well done to all the girls on a fine victory!!!

 Team: Katie Keane; Rebecca Clarke, Destiny Carty, Emily Kelly; Katie Purcell, Síne Smyth, Shauna Hogan; Beth Shanley, Aisling O’Connor; Laura Mangan, Aoife McLoughlin, Caoimhe Giles(0-1); Sara Pentony, Megan Cowley (3-01, 2 pens), Kate Gibbons (1-06, 2fs), Áine Keogh(1-00).


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