U16 Leinster B Cup Final
LAOIS produced an outstanding second-half comeback to pip Carlow to the Leinster U16 B cup title at the Centre of Excellence, Ferns on Sunday.
Both sides produced an amazing standard of play from start to finish and spectators were full of praise at the end of 60 minutes of play.
The performance of Carlow in the opening half turned many heads but not those who have been following this team closely. Skills of hooking and blocking, outstanding goal-keeping, long-range points from distance left and right, speed and work rate mark them out as a special group of young girls with pride in the Carlow jersey.
Laois opened the score with a fine point from Ellen Conroy before the very effective Rachel O’Brien levelled proceeding with a fine on the run score. Karla Whelan from a 45 edged Laois ahead before Kim Doyle raised her first green flag with a point from her left side.
Anna Murphy edged Carlow ahead with another great score before Caoimhe Coady chipped over her first from a placed ball. Carlow’s work rate was in full swing now and Rhiannon Kenny and Kim Doyle added fine points from distance with Laois only managing scores from frees through the effective Andrea Scully.
Caoimhe Jordan then hit for her first goal from distance with a rip-roaring shot to the top corner. Laois appeared to gain momentum for the last five minutes of the half and hard work resulted in their first of three goals from the player-of-the-match Lucy O’Connor.
Immediately though Carlow responded and a fine clearance from Anna Nolan found Caoimhe Jordan who found the net once more with a blitstering shot to leave the half time score 2=10 to 1-7.
Laois started the second half with intent with Lucy O’Connor breaking Carlow hearts with another goal. Andrea Scully kept the scoreboard ticking for Laois with points from play and placed balls. Caoimhe Coady, who was everywhere for Carlow, pointed a free on the 15th minute and this appeared to settle Carlow with Aibha Kiernan also scoring a long-range point. However once more the highly effective Lucy O’Connor was soon to raise her third green flag and the game swung back in favour of Laois.
However Carlow never gave up and were rewarded with a goal from Anna Murphy leaving three points between the sides as Liz Dempsey blew the final whistle.
With performances like this we can be assured of a great All-Ireland campaign for both teams who had some outstanding individual performances but the work rate ethic of both sides was immense.
Carlow: Sarah Jane Doran (Myshall); Niamh Minchin (Muinebheag), Chloe Cody (Muinebheag), Muireann English (Ballinkillen); Rebecca Kelly (Muinebheag), Rebecca Sheehan (Ballinkillen), Anna Nolan (Myshall); Rhiannon Kenny (Myshall) 0.1, Aibha Kiernan (Burren Rangers, 0-1); Rachel O’Brien (Ballinkillen, 0-1), Caoimhe Coady (St Mullins, 0-3), Caoimhe Jordan (Myshall, 2-0); Emma Lillis (Muinebheag), Anna Murphy (St Mullins, 1-3), Kim Doyle (Myshall, 0-3). Subs: Orla Deacon (Burren Rangers). Other panel members: Laura Cummins (Ballinkillen), Moya Jordan (Ballinkillen), Sarah Cox (Kildavin Clonegal), Tegan Wall (Ballinkillen), Olwyn Lawler (Naomh Brid), Ellie Cody (Muinebheag), Marie O’Neill (Burren Rangers), Ava Murphy (Naomh Brid), Aoibhe Connolly (Burren Rangers), Orla Nolan (Ballinkillen), Tara O’Byrne (Naomh Brid), Claire Kavanagh (Mount Leinster Rangers), Emma Drea (Naomh Brid), Aine Irwin (Naomh Brid), Ella O’Neill (St Mullins), Hazel Doran (Naomh Brid), Michaela Donoghue (Myshall), Megan Conran (Naomh Brid), Emer O’Hanlon (Setanta)
Laois: Cara Henderson; Lorna, Phelan, Luisne Delaney, Ellen Meagher; Katie Dunican, Karla Whelan (0-1), Aileen O’Neill; Grainne Delaney, Gemma Hoare; Andrea Scully (0-10), Jill Gaughan, Ellen Conroy (0-1); Aiva Coss, Eireann Cole (0-1), Lucy O’Connor (3-2).
Referee: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny)