REPORT: Cregmore/Claregalway win FAI WU14 Cup
Cregmore/Claregalway 3-2 Kilmore Celtic
For the duration, the Galway side were the better team as they build up a three goal advantage early in the second half, but a spirited recovery by the Dublin visitors made it competitive until the final whistle.
The home outfit made the perfect start when Saoirse Healy put them ahead on 4 minutes with a cracking solo goal, as she cut in from the wing and placed a low shot beyond Robyn Murray to make it 1-0.
With Challene Trill and Sara Cogley outstanding at the back for Cregmore/Claregalway, the visitors were getting little chance to impress in attack, as home custodian Hannah Walsh was afforded great protection.
With Player of the Match Shauna Brennan, Aoibheann Costello, Kate Slevin and Healy a constant threat, the home side continued to create the majority of chances. They made it 2-0 on 31 minutes, when an Allannah Griffin free kick was pushed away by Murray, only for Brennan to return the ball to the danger area and Healy had the easiest of tap ins for her second of the day.
Now the Galway side appeared to have put the game to bed when they made it 3-0, just four minutes after the restart. Again, Brennan was the provider as Costello applied the finish in a one on one situation with Murray.
Quickly Kilmore Celtic responded to the challenge and with Tirin Hand, Fiona Maddigan, Dominique Darby and Lara Phillips to the fore, they pulled one back on 46 minutes when Keisha Hutton volley home a cracking effort from the edge of the box.
The margin was reduced to the minimum just three minutes later, when a free kick from out near the sideline by Rugile Auskalnyte flew into the far corner of the net to close up matters at 3-2.
The set back did not appear to upset the home side as they continued to pour forward and it was only the excellence of goalkeeper Robyn Murray that kept the contest alive. Twice she made terrific saves to thwart Costello, before also denying Laura Scanlon.
Finglas based Kilmore Celtic almost rescued it in the closing stages when an Emma McGrath shot got the better of Walsh, but the outstanding Challene Trill got back to clear the goal bound effort off the line.
The outcome saw Cregmore/Claregalway crowned champions and the victory was a fitting reward for a small club in a rural area about five miles from Galway City.
CREGMORE/CLAREGALWAY: Hannah Walsh, Chloe Flaherty, Eabha O’Riordan, Sara Cogley, Challene Trill, Allannah Griffin, Laura Scanlon, Kate Slevin, Saoirse Healy, Aoibheann Costello, Shauna Brennan.
Substitutes: Emma Burke, Annagh Moran, Ailbhe Sexton, Ruby Duggan, Ciara Culliane.
KILMORE CELTIC: Robyn Murray, Charlie Murray, Tegan O’Shaughnessy, Rugile Auskalnyte, Tirin Hand, Fiona Madigan, Emma McGrath, Dominique Darby, Lara Phipps, Michaela Gavagan, Keisha Hutton.
Substitutes: Roisin Ahmed, Roisin Brady, Goodness Agbinosun, Ella O’Toole, Emma Lester, Zoe Matthews.
Referee: John Mulroe (Mayo).