Angela Hearst Cup Final
Combined Counties 3
Carlow League 0
THE Combined Counties League team just had too much for the Carlow side as they came away with victory in the FAI Angela Hearst Cup final at Leah Victoria Park, Tullamore.
Played in perfect conditions, Carlow started off brightly and had the first real opportunity when captain Aisling Behan took a shot from the edge of the penalty area and forced the home side’s ’keeper into a good save. In a half of few chances, Carlow’s defence was dominant, as Annie Dunne and Kelly Nolan stood out in the back line clearing any danger on the Carlow goal.
Things seemed to get worse for the home side when one of their players broke a leg. However, the long break needed to deal with the injury was to prove negative for Carlow as they lost their momentum. With half-time approaching, Elaine Ware had the last good opportunity for Carlow when she went through on goal and took a shot, which beat the ’keeper, but the Crettyard player’s effort went the wrong side of the post and into the side netting; 0-0 at the break.
The second half began like the first with neither side being able to create any clear-cut chances. Twenty minutes into the half, the Combined Counties broke the deadlock when Carlow’s goalie Ciara Moore was judged to have taken down a forward in the penalty area and the penalty was scored.
This seemed to rock Carlow and as they pushed forward for goals, they were hit on the break twice to make the score a little flattering. While it is disappointing to lose the final, there is plenty to suggest that a similar run could be in the equation for next season as women’s soccer in Carlow continues to grow from strength-to-strength.