U 16 O’Meara Sliotars B Cup Final
Kinnitty/St. Sinchills came good in the second-half to be crowned the U 16 O’Meara Sliotars B cup champions having produced a performance of sheer steel to win after being behind by six points at half time.
In a game that had everything, seven goals, eighteen points and nine scorers, and a single point win, spectators were treated to a real humdinger game.
Chloe Hennessy opened the game with an electric start raising a green flag just 57 seconds into the game. Kinnitty/St. Sinchills captain Shauna Byrne pointed moments later to get her sides scoring underway.
In a battle of the free takers, Clodagh Leahy and Shauna Byrne showed immense talent for both their teams with their deadly accurate free taking. Leahy stood up to point her first point of the game as Lus/Drum led by three with only four minutes played.
Shauna Byrne converted a free to keep her side in touch however this was cancelled out by a Grainne Kennedy goal as the wing forward broke through to blast the ball into the back of the net. Byrne continued her form pointing another free for Kinnitty/Sinchills as this would prove to be influential in the game.
The ever-determined Kin/Sin side never give up as Aoibhinn Bergin rattled the net to provide her side with a lifeline to stay in the game. Lusmagh/Drumcullen did not fret however as they dusted themselves off to score 1-3 in the final ten minutes, three of these points coming from the stick of Clodagh Leahy while nippy corner forward Hannah Clarke punished in front of goals. Lusmagh/Drumcullen led by six at the half time break.
At the restart, Kin/Sin hit a slight purple patch scoring 1-2 with no reply. Shauna Byrne added a point from a free while corner-forward Sarah Dillion found space in the danger zone to score a crucial goal for her side and along with a Jennifer Higgens point to bring Lus/Drum’s lead back to a single point.
Lus/Drum did their utmost to stay ahead as Clodagh Leahy pointed in a bid to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and pulled the game back from Kin/Sin. The game’s turning points may well have come as the momentum started to shift in the Kin/Sin’s favour.
Laobhaoise Glynn pulled the strings in the middle of the pitch moving the ball from defence to attack to set up scoring opportunities. Discipline costed Lusmagh/Drumcullen as Shauna Byrne’s free-taking was exceptional. Byrne played a captain’s role pointing two frees to level the game at the 40th minute.
In a one-point game, it is impossible to discuss merit but Kinnitty/St.Sinchills did not go behind from the 45th minute which proved crucial in the game. Shauna Byrne slotted a 24th minute free and never gave up that lead, despite the savage efforts of their valiant opponents. In player of the match style, Clodagh Leahy pointed a free from a difficult angle as the sides were level for the second time in the second half.
The final ten minutes were nail-biting stuff as Higgins goal which provided St.Sinchills with breathing space. Four minutes later, Chloe Hennessy would score her second goal of the game making the game a draw with only two minutes of normal time remaining.
The telling factor would be in the final four minutes as Shauna Byrne stood up to score a point 50 metres out and to quote the competition sponsor Sean O’Meara “with pinpoint accuracy” to put her side ahead by one. Rebecca Moyles would score the winning point as although Clodagh Leahy did everything for her team her final point would prove too late as Kinnitty/Sinchills were crowned u16 B champions.
Lusmagh/Drumcullen: Chloe Hennessy 2-0, Clodagh Leahy 0-7, Grainne Kennedy 1-0, Hannah Clark 1-0
Kinnitty/St.Sinchills: Shauna Byrne 0-9, Aoibhin Bergin 1-0, Sarah Dillon 1-0, Jennifer Higgins 1-1, Rebecca Moyles 0-1
Player of the match - Clodagh Leahy. Other contenders were teammate Laobhaoise Glynn. Shauna Byrne, Jennifer Higgins and Miriam O’Neill for Kinnitty/Sinchills.