After a wonderful league campaign which saw the girls finish on top of the table, the draw was made and we got to face Aghada again at home in the East Cork A-grade semi-final. On a cool very blustery Monday evening under the lights at H.Q. the girls showed once again why it is they finished on top of the table in a very tense, tight affair (as most semi finals usually are). It was only a few short months ago that these teams met and played out a hard fought draw so both teams were a little apprehensive going into the game.
The game started out at quite a fast pace with Youghal getting out of the blocks early with Aine Walsh scoring a lovely point – no, you are not seeing things – a point! This settled the nerves a little for Youghal but Aghada looked dangerous every time they broke into the Youghal half. The Youghal nerves were settled a little further when a lovely flowing move started with Emily Gallogoley playing the ball forward to Aoibhe O’Flynn who in turn played the played to Kaiah Bulman who then played the ball across to the irrepressible Aine Walsh to score her first goal of the evening. If the Youghal nerves were settled slightly by the goal, they were certainly very frayed by the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half where Aghada enjoyed a period of dominance where they scored 3 unanswered points including a beauty by their midfielder. In truth were it not for some heroic defending from Cassie Irwin, Caoimhe McMahon, Carragh Connolly and Lucy Nicholson and a wonderful save from Ellie Atkinson in goals, the score could have been very different following Aghada’s period of dominance.
The second half saw Youghal weather the storm and ever so slowly they began to put pressure on Aghada and started to get a foothold in the game. The Youghal girls were running themselves into the ground with Aoibhe O’Flynn, Ciara Hanna, Emma Hickey and Mary Flavin working particularly hard for their teammates. This hard work resulted in a further 2 goals from Chloe O’Connell and yes you’ve guessed it, Aine Walsh. As Aghada pushed forward in search of scores a lot of space opened up in the middle of the park and it was Jenny Doyle who fed the ball into the excellent Hannah O’Keeffe who in turn played the ball to Aine Walsh who fittingly got the final score of the match when she put over a point for a fantastic personal tally of 2-2 from play.
But in reality this was a fabulous team effort from the girls who demonstrated a wonderful “never say die” attitude to knuckle down and do the hard work and subsequently reap the rewards. This is nothing new of course as the girls have been doing this all season long and hopefully will continue to play football like this for a long time to come. The entire U10 squad have been the reason the girls have reached this final and it is a credit to them that they have done so playing some beautiful football along the way.
Our thanks as always go to the supporters who turned out in droves to help their team along and we look forward to seeing you all again for the final against Glanmire. Congratulations again girls on what is a fantastic achievement and best of luck in the final.
Team: E Atkinson, L Nicholson, C Irwin, C McMahon, C Connolly, J Doyle, E Gallogoley, C O’Connell, A O’Flynn, H O’Keeffe, C Hanna, E Hickey, K Bulman, M Flavin, A Walsh
Subs: L Daly, C Kennedy, B O’Flynn, N Kilgannon, M Tobin, R Walsh, A Cashman, K McCarthy, C Whelan, J Nicholson, C Hannon, E Kinsley