Patsy Thornton League – Shield Final, October 19th 2019.
It started late, delayed due to the previous match running into extra time. The nerves, already at breaking point we’re stretched that little bit further. The girls continued their warm up drills under instruction from head coach Larry Mulligan.
Having met the Nick’s twice before this season and coming out successfully both times gave the Joe’s a confidence that was shaken early on. An extremely strong Nick’s side started well and showed their strength.
Every girl was giving 110% and at half time, we were 2 points up thanks to scores from Catherine and a pointed 45′ from Eimear.
A fiery team talk from Larry sent the girls out for the 2nd half and dreams of glory. Worryingly, Nick’s showed their resilience early on and the scoreboard ticked ominously in their favour. A point down with only 2 minutes left saw the Joe’s girls having to dig deep. Points from Naoise and an equalising score from Avah brought the whistle, and preparations for Extra Time began.
With more encouragment from Larry, John, Ronan, Sheila and Skid ringing in their ears, our girls went to battle once more.
In a pulsating extra time the game was in the balance until the final seconds. The large supporting crowd added their encouragement. A point from Naoise gave us the lead. A save from Aine, a superb clearance from Megan and the whistle.
Wild celebrations on the field began. Hugs, backslaps and tears all intermingled from players, coaches an parents. The unbridled excitement in a bunch girls made all the work worthwhile.
From Collon we moved the party back to Cluskey Park and then the trip around Darver and Dromiskin, horns blaring, lights flashing and smiles beaming.
This was a team, a girls club, that didn’t exist ten months ago. More than half of our players hadn’t kicked an O’Neills ball before March. The efforts they have put in over the last few months, the pain of losing matches with the redemption of an odd win brought them to a point yesterday that they were not leaving without what they deserved.
And they really, really deserved their win.
That little trophy will spur them on, give them joy for what’s gone on this year and encouragement for the months and years ahead. The future for our girls’ football teams is bright in Cluskey Park.
Joe’s Abú !!!
Our U12 panel yesterday (and apologies if I’ve missed anyone or spelling incorrect)
Aine, Nessa, Megan, Eimear, Rachel, Ella, Lilly, Orla, Rachel, Naoise, Avah, Catherine, Sinead, Eva Nicole, Sian, Mia, Katie, Hannah, Naoise, Kayleigh, Regan, Evie, Eryn, Grace, Beibheann, Gràinne
Hard luck to the Nick’s, they played ther hearts out, their day will come.
Special thanks to the Newton Blues (Orlaith) for organising the competition, and to Mattock for hosting the finals.
G’WAN THE JOES