Drumragh U16 girls made it a fantastic weekend for the club last Sunday morning when they reached the championship final.
The team showed plenty of character, heart, and no little skill to overcome a good Galbally side in a hugely entertaining semi-final clash.
Twin sisters Rhianna and Jemma Barrett each scored a goal as Drumragh made a strong start to the game. Rhianna’s goal came straight from the throw-in. Mia Feeney won the ball, drove through the home side’s defence and slipped the ball off to Rhianna who finished expertly past the goalkeeper.
Dana Coyle added a nice point from play, with Galbally soon registering their first score of the game at the other end of the field.
Genevieve Norris converted a free after Dana Coyle had been fouled, but Galbally responded with a goal to close the gap to a point.
Excellent defending from Lily O’Kane, Oonagh Pancott and Anna Clarke led to a quick Drumragh counter-attack, which ended with a great score from Rihanna Mullin.
A goal from Galbally gave them their first lead of the game, but the Drumragh reply was instant. A good kickout from Chloe McGale found Caitlin McCarron in space, who carried the ball forward. Cora Walsh and Rihanna Mullin were also involved in the build-up, and when the ball went in long to the square, Jemma Barrett did brilliantly to win the ball under pressure, and find the back of the net.
Mia Feeney then kicked a wonderful point to extend the lead, after she had won a kickout. Drumragh were exerting a lot of pressure on the Galbally defence, and Rihanna Mullin and Roisin Gormley forced the goalkeeper into a couple of excellent saves.
Galbally were on target once again, but Drumragh hit back through a placed ball from Rihanna Mullin after a foul on Genevieve Norris. Rihanna added another free, while Roisin Gormley sent the ball over the bar following good play from Dana Coyle and Jemma Barrett. All that left Drumragh with a three-point lead at half-time.
The second half was more of the same, with both sides contributing to an enjoyable contest. Roisin Gormley got Drumragh off to a dream start with their third goal. Roisin did well to turn the ball over in the full-forward line before firing to the net. Caitlin McCarron won the ball from the kickout, and drove towards goal. Caitlin was fouled, but Rhianna Barrett was able to send the free between the posts.
Galbally came back strongly into the game, and approaching injury time, they managed to level things up. The momentum was very much with the home side. But Drumragh, as they have done on a number of occasions this year, showed great determination, and a refusal to accept defeat.
The defence did not allow Galbally to score again with Cara Kerlin, Grace McCusker and Fionnuala Barrett making some vital interceptions. Mia Feeney, Amylee Burt and Cora Walsh combined to put Genevieve Norris through on goal. Genevieve was fouled and Drumragh were awarded a penalty. Rihanna Mullin stepped up, displayed no nerves whatsoever and coolly slotted the penalty into the bottom corner of the net.
Drumragh were quick to add an insurance point. Roisin Gormley, Olivia Kelly and Cobhlaith Murphy combined to get the ball to Caitlin McCarron who was fouled close to goal. Rhianna Barrett put the resulting free over the bar. And with that, the referee blew the full-time whistle and Drumragh were deservedly into the final.
SCORERS: Rihanna Mullin 1-3, Rhianna Barrett 1-2, Roisin Gormley 1-1, Jemma Barrett 1-0, Genevieve Norris 0-1, Mia Feeney 0-1, Dana Coyle 0-1
TEAM: Chloe McGale, Anna Clarke, Grace McCusker, Lily O’Kane, Oonagh Pancott, Cara Kerlin, Cora Walsh, Mia Feeney, Caitlin McCarron, Rhianna Barrett, Rihanna Mullin, Roisin Gormley, Jemma Barrett, Genevieve Norris, Dana Coyle
SUBS: Amylee Burt, Katie McCann, Cobhlaith Murphy, Fionnuala Barrett, Olivia Kelly, Eireann Boyle, Roise McDevitt, Dearbhaille McLaughlin, Aoibhin Dolan, Fionnuala Clarke