BY LARA SWEENEY AT THE DIAMOND PARK
THE girls of St Columba’s Comprehensive School in Glenties continued their remarkable run yesterday when they added the Ulster first year title to the Under-16 title they won two weeks ago.
After already winning one final in overcoming Buncrana’s Scoil Mhuire 3-2, the first years defeated Moville after a penalty shoot-out in Ballare.
The match itself was a great advertisement for all that is good about the game, with the lead being swapped on numerous occasions before a last minute Moville goal forced a 4-4 draw
The Diamond Park provided a great setting for the game, with a sizable crowd taking up every seat in the stand and producing a terrific atmosphere.
Moville settled much the quicker in the game, putting the Comp girls on the back foot from the off and were unlucky not to have been a goal up inside the first few minutes, a last ditch Shana Quinn interception and then an excellent save from Deirbhle Travers keeping the Glenties girls level.
The inevitable breakthrough came twelve minutes in for Moville with Bronagh McGuinness finishing after a super through ball from Megan McDermott.
This goal seemed to wake ‘the Comp’ girls up and they went on the offensive, with Amy Boyle Carr and Danielle McDevitt beginning to make their mark on the game. Three minutes after the opening goal Carr was fouled when bearing down on goal but Danielle McDevitt’s penalty was brilliantly stopped by Rachel McElroy.
St. Columbas followed this up with a real purple patch, Amy Boyle Carr producing two goals inside five minutes. Her opening goal was an emphatic finish and a great run down the right from Niamh Gallagher who found McDevitt and her sublime pass to Carr gave her an opportunity she never looked like passing up.
Carr followed this up with a great individual goal, receiving the ball on the touch line before powering past three players and finishing into the bottom corner.
If Carr’s goal was impressive the Moville equaliser which followed was every bit as spectacular. After St.Columbas cleared a Moville corner to the edge of the box, Danielle McDermott unleashed a piledriver that flew in off the underside of the crossbar, giving Travers no chance.
Moville passed up an opportunity on the stroke of half time to take the lead, with a free kick form just outside the box just clearing Travers’ crossbar.
Twice the St. Columbas girls took the lead through the excellent Amy Boyle Carr, with Sarah Harkin and the ever busy Danielle McDevitt involved in the first goal and a great through ball from Laoise Brennan supplying Carr with her fourth goal!
Both times however Moville showed great resolve and spirit to fight back, with Eimear McLaughlin and Bronagh McGuinness’ second goal on the stroke of full time sending the game into extra time. Here, there were chances at both ends with Travers pulling off another great save while Niamh Gallagher and Niamh O’Donnell put n numerous goal saving challenges. Att the other end substitute Tara Hegarty and Emily Ryan stood strong for Moville.
With extra time unable to throw up a winner it was on to penalties.
The quality of penalty taking on both sides must be commended, however there is always one hero in a shootout and on this occasion it was Shana Quinn – a real rock at centre back all day for the Comp girls. Quinn went in goals for the shootout and saved four penalties while managing to score one for her team!
Leah MacInness stepped up on penalty number eight to seal victoy for St. Columbas in what was a memorable final.
St. Columbas now advance on to All-Ireland semi final where co-incidently they will meet the same school at both first year and u-15 stages. Next Wednesday they play the U-15 Semi Final in Gortakeegan, Monaghan against Ard Scoil Ri Portlaoise, and on 29th April they play the same opposition the first year All Ireland semi final.
St. Columbas: Deirbhle Travers, Niamh Gallagher, Niamh O’Donnell, Shana Quinn, Caitlin Moran, Orlagh McGuinness, Laoise Brennan, Sara Harkin, Danielle McDevitt, Leah MacInness, Amy Boyle Carr. Subs: Cara McGonagle for Moran, Meabh Griffen for Travers
Moville: Rachel McElroy, Katelyn Harkin, Colleen McElroy, Caoimhe McMonagle, Eimear McLaughlin, Eimear Gillen, Danielle McDermott, Megan McDermott, Emily Ryan, Bronagh McGuinness. Subs: Tara Hegarty for Harkin, Emma McGinley for McDermott