Offaly girls claim All Ireland title with outstanding performance in cup final

Offaly Express Reporter

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The Killina team getting the cup

The Killina team getting the cup

FAI Schools Junior ‘B’ Girls National Cup Final

Killina Presentation SS, Tullamore 3 - Ava Dolan (1), Becky Watkins (26 pen), Saorah Doyle (61),

St. Clare’s CS, Manorhamilton 1 - Muireann Devaney (42)

Killina Presentation Secondary School are making a name for themselves in schools football having just added the Junior ‘B’ Girls National crown to their previously held Minor ‘B’ Girls Cup title win from last season.

Back to back wins at National level for the Tullamore side is an outstanding feat for duo Graham O’Connor and Philip Austen.

Killina defeated Manorhamilton’s St. Clare’s Comprehensive School in Athlone Town FC this afternoon with near perfect conditions as proceedings got underway.

The Tullamore team were gifted a dream start when the crafty Ava Dolan stepped through the Manorhamilton defence to slot the opener past Niamh Loughlin with less than a minute played.

Their lead was doubled mid-way through the half when Becky Watkins converted from the penalty spot to take a 2-0 cushion into the interval.

Killina’s Emma Dolan came close to extending their advantage but the youngsters effort sailed over the bar.

There was a lifeline for the Manorhamilton girls when the outstanding Muireann Devaney drove forward and netted strongly to take the tie to 2-1 with six minutes gone of the second period.

Devaney had another wonderful opportunity to equalise moments later but she let fly and the rebounding rocket was too high to cause any concern. 

The contest was out of reach for St. Clare’s just over the hour mark when Saorah Doyle scored a wonderful goal to make it 3-1.

Niamh Loughlin pulled off a brilliantly executed save to deny Watkins from close range with three minutes remaining.

Muireann Devaney was unlucky to see her strike from the edge of the box rattle off the woodwork late on but the revival wasn’t to be as Killina played down the clock for the remarkable victory. Both teams served up some delightful football and there’s no doubt these teams will be playing for more National titles in the future.

KILLINA PRESENTATION SS, TULLAMORE | Ciara Glackin, Kaithlynn Spain, Ciara Heffernan, Emma Flaherty, Rachel Dillon, Emma Dolan, Emma Hand, Ava Dolan, Becky Watkins (Captain), Megan Daly, Saorah Doyle. SUBS | Lauren Dolan (for Emma Dolan, 66), Sophie Davern, Ciara Wyer, Louise Molloy, Katelyn Murphy (for Megan Daly, 46), Amy Kelly, Saraid McDonald, Eivile Jankunaite, Hannah McDonald, Libby English, Robyn Evans, Aimee Brennan, Ava O’Brien, Marie Cantwell, Emma Condron

TEACHERS | Graham O’Connor & Philip Austen

ST. CLARE’S CS, MANORHAMILTON | Niamh Loughlin, Emma McMorrow, Máiread Clancy, Eilish Victorino, Rachel Conlon, Emma McGloin, Leah Fox, Hannah Johnston, Muireann Devaney (Captain), Elaine McManus, Erin Somers. SUBS | Maeve McMarrow, Keira Dalton, Gráinne O’Connell, Joanne Fitzpatrick, Muiréann Cullen, Roisin Keegan O’Rourke, Ashling Cullen, Rebecca Darcy, Clíodhna Boylan, Shauna Clinton, Kelly Gallagher, Clodagh McGee, Jade Harkin

TEACHERS | Niamh Gallagher & Anthony McDonald

REFEREE | Desmond McEnery (Midlands)