U12A East Cork Championship Final Youghal 2-4 Erins Own 1-5
History was made on Sunday 16th November in Magners Hill when the Youghal Ladies U12 team won the first ever A championship title for Youghal Ladies Football and Youghal GAA Club. Youghal previously met Erins Own in Magners Hill on a wet and windy August evening in the East Cork League semi-final to decide who progressed to either A County or B County Championship with the visitors winning by 1 goal on that evening. Erin’s Own went onto to lose narrowly to Inch in the A County Final and the Youghal girls lost narrowly to eventual County B champions Eire Óg in the semi-final.
With both sides still awaiting silverware for the 2014 season an enthralling contest lay in store for the large gathering of parents, grandparents, family, friends and supporters under the glorious November sunshine. The previous Monday, Gael Scoil Choráin were narrowly defeated by Glounthaune NS(Erin’s Own) in the DF1 Sciath na Scoil Final in Pairc Úi Chaoimh, with many members of both teams playing on the day.
Once the referee threw in the ball, both sets of supporters were treated to an outstanding exhibition of Ladies Football with both sides playing with passion and spirit of the game. The Youghal girls struck first with a well worked goal started from centre half-back, Cara, up through mid-fielder Eabha which was excellently finished by full-forward Niamh Flavin. Erins Own responded with a point to keep both sets of supporters on their feet. With the Youghal full-back line of Jenny, Rebecca and Mary fighting and winning the majority of ball, the platform was set for our next decisive score with once again Niamh polishing off a well worked goal to put us 5 points in front. With sustained pressure Erin’s Own responded with a point and were starting to get into the game. Two excellent point blank saves by Niamh Galvin kept our lead and we responded with a well taken point by Ciara. With Hannah tirelessly marking one of the Erin’s Own dangerous half-forwards the Youghal girls started to get on top of the game. With Sarah playing a selfless role in spoiling the sweeper system the Youghal girls kept up the pressure and created many scoring opportunities. On the next attack Erin’s converted a free to leave just 4 points between the sides. On the stroke of half time with a well worked move from Lesley to Kate and on to Ciara, where she once again scored a point to leave the half-time score 2-2 to 0-3 in favour of the home side.
The atmosphere in Magners Hill was electric as the game resumed on the referee's whistle. As expected Erin’s Own drove into the game and cut the lead to 4 points after the first attack of the second half. With Sorcha and Chloe cleverly combining, the Youghal girls were rewarded with a free which Niamh converted to restore our 5 point lead. Scores were at a premium in the 2nd half with both sets of defences on top of their game. With Aoibhe replacing the hard working Hannah the Youghal girls kept up the hunger and took the game to Erin’s Own, Caoimhe narrowly missing a goal. The switch of the Erins Own's cente-back to midfield brought dividends with an excellent solo goal and made it a 2 point game. Knowing that the game was in their grasp the Youghal girls upped their effort and were rewarded with Kiah(replacing Sarah) setting up Niamh for a point to give us a 3 point lead. Erin’s Own quickly responded to cut the deficit to 2 points, a dangerous lead in any game. With tiring limbs Youghal brought on Emily and Sara to freshen things up. With time almost up and Erins Own pressing for that winning goal the Youghal defence ably assisted by centre-forward Sorcha defended heroically and forced each Erin’s Own attack wide. After 4 agonising minutes of injury time the referee finally blew his whistle which resulted in high emotion and jubilation from players, management, parents, family, Club members and friends not seen since the Youghal Intermediate Hurlers brought home the
County last year.
East Cork Ladies Football Chairman, Tomas Goggin presented the cup to captain Eabha Walsh, congratulating both teams in an excellent exhibition of football amid jubilant scenes and rapturous applause from all the Youghal supporters. Afterwards all players and parents celebrated in style in Club Aras, many thanks to all parents who provided food on the night.
Finally to all girls, your effort and attendance at training all year paid off. Thank you for the memories from this year's championship, you deserve all you achieved and you did Youghal proud. From the Management.
Team: Niamh Galvin, Jenny Doyle, Rebecca Geary, Mary Flavin, Hannah O'Keffee, Cara McCaughney, Lesley Cashman, Kate Galvin, Eabha Walsh (Cpt), Ciara Kiely, Sorcha Connelly, Chloe O'Connell, Caoimhe O'Mahoney, Niamh Flavin, Sarah O'Sullivan, Kiah Bulman, Aoibhe O'Flynn, Emily Gallogey, Sara Hogan, Hannah Fitzergerald, Cara Connolly, Ellie Atkinson, Lucy Nicholson, Emma Hickey.