THE Sacred Heart School girls senior soccer team won their Leinster Final clash with St Mary’s of Naas in dramatic fashion in Leixlip.
Leinster Girls Division 2 Senior Final
SHS, Tullamore 0
St Mary’s, Naas 0
(aet - SHS won 3-0 on pens)
Scoreless after normal time and 20 minutes of extra-time, the game went to penalties and the Offaly side held their nerve scoring three while goalkeeper Alex Davis was in superb form making three saves to keep her clean sheet going right to the end of the shoot-out.
During the course of the game the Sacred Heart School had the better of the chances and were unlucky not to win the game in normal time. They struck the woodwork twice and created a number of guilt edged chances however they could not find the all important goal.
St Mary’s struggled to create a clear cut chance of their own as the Sacred Heart School back line and midfield worked very effectively as a unit to limit the territory and possession of their opponents.
Despite holding the upper hand throughout the game, the Offaly school could not make a telling breakthrough and in front of their vocal travelling supporters in Leixlip, they had to endure the lottery of penalties.
However, having worked on their spot kicks in training before the game, the girls were prepared and they stood up to the challenge.
First up was substitute Aoife Norris who overcame an ankle injury to play her part in the game. She stepped up and drilled the ball down the middle to give her side the perfect start.
Naas’ first penalty taker then stepped up but she was denied by the first of a trio of saves from the excellent Alex Davis.
Sarah Keyes stepped up next for the Sacred Heart School and she found the back of the net despite the best efforts of the St Mary’s netminder.
With the pressure on, Alex Davis again saved the next St Mary’s kick before Rachel Keyes, twin sister of Sarah, put the Tullamore school on the brink of victory as she fired to the corner of the net to make it 3-0.
The pressure was now firmly on the Naas side and while their third penalty taker thought she had done enough to score, she was denied by a stunning save from Davis which sparked scenes of wild celebration with her team-mates running to celebrate with the net minder.
Captain Meabh Coleman accepted the cup and thanked the teachers involved with the side, Ms Ganly, Ms Brennan and in particular to the team coach Mr McFadden.
Team: Alex Davis; Chrissie Cocoman, Thaynara Da Silva, Emma Cuddy, Sarah Keyes; Rachel Keyes, Lisa Gorman, Meabh Coleman, Niamh McDermott; Kim Cobbe, Lauren Keenahan. Subs: Aoife Norris, Shauna Moran, Shauna O’Meara, Chloe Delaney, Megan O’Reilly.