Hard luck to our Under 18 team who lost out to Glynn/Barntown in the championship semi-final on Wednesday, April 30th in Oylegate.
There was heartbreak when our bid to reach a fourth successive Enniscorthy Guardian Under-18 Roinn 1 championship final ended with a bitter blow in added time. We went into the game as titleholders following our victory over Ferns St Aidan’s in the delayed 2013 decider in January, but we left empty-handed after making a great comeback before being hit with a real sucker-punch with the winning line in sight.
We weren’t at our best throughout the first half and Glynn/Barntown deserved to be ahead at the break by 2-2 to 0-3, with our points coming from Hazel O’Leary after 12 minutes, Dervla Potter after 22 minutes, and team captain Róisín Tobin from a free after 28 minutes.
It was clear that some serious improvements were needed and mentors Kate Kelly (Manager), Mag Kelly, Chris Gordan and Kathleen Dooley demanded nothing less at the interval. In fairness the girls responded very well on the re-start and had the perfect early tonic when Jessie Harding fired over a brace of points inside two minutes.
Glynn/Barntown converted a ’45 but this was only a brief respite as we maintained the pressure and added three points midway through the half from a Róisín Tobin free and ’45, with an effort from play by Hazel O’Leary sandwiched in between (2-3 to 0-8).
All of the momentum was with us at this stage and we were playing very well, hitting the front for the first time in the 56th minute when the otherwise excellent Glynn/Barntown goalkeeper was deceived by a long-range strike from Hazel O’Leary which ended up in the net.
The remaining minutes were frantic to say the least and we were nearly 90 seconds into added time when tragedy struck. A Glynn/Barntown forward had her shot well saved by Chloe Mahon, but referee Damien Donovan called the play back and awarded a penalty. It had to be re-taken as the first strike hit Róisín Tobin who was making her way from the forwards to replace Maeve Doyle as one of our three players on the line. Some people couldn’t look given the tension of the situation, but the cheers of the Glynn/Barntown contingent summed it all up as the sliothar rattled the net and our dream died.
It was a very cruel way to exit the championship and we can only commend the players on the effort they put in. A special word goes to corner-back Katie Lacey who received a severe blow to the finger in the second half and sustained a chipped knuckle, fractured finger and deep cut. She was operated on in Waterford on Thursday and we wish her a speedy recovery as Katie is one of our most dedicated young players who also finds time to help as an Under 8 mentor and coached at the recent Easter camp, as well as refereeing in the Under 10 blitz last week.
Team as follows: Chloe Mahon, Katie Lacey, Maeve Doyle, Larah Campbell, Linzi Lanigan, Niamh Walsh, Geraldine Doolan, Hazel O’Leary (1-2), Eadaoin Fitzgerald, Zoe O’Leary, Róisín Tobin (capt, 0-3, 2 frees, 1 ’45), Jessie Harding (0-2), Dervla Potter (0-1), Shauna Kelly, Megan Murphy. Subs: Sadbh McCarthy for Lacey inj, Leanne Corrigan for Murphy, Fiona Kinsell for Lanigan, also Enya Byrne and Eleanor Lacey.