Salthill Devon clinch FAI Women’s U17 Cup
Devon dominated the early exchanges, forcing four corners in the opening quarter. Claremorris weathered this early pressure and otherwise limited Salthill to long-range efforts from Kaelah Tobin and Lauren O' Donnell, both sailing just wide.
Devon's fifth corner in the 27th minute nearly broke the deadlock, Claremorris somehow scrambling clear before O' Donnell shot agnoisingly wide. For all Devon's pressure, Claremorris were first to hit the target Katie Clarke prompting a smart save from Salthill stopper Frances Hardy.
The tension mounted after the turnaround and both teams survived dicey moments in the box as the game became more open. The outstanding Bree Hession went close for Claremorris who were on top now.
However, after 15 minutes dug into their own half Salthill broke smartly and won a corner from their counter-attack.The out-swinger caused pandemonium. Devon shot twice, Heffernan saved twice but she was powerless to stop Rhia Stone who pounced on the second rebound to steer Devon ahead in the 64th minute.
Credit Claremorris, buoyed by a boisterous May crowd they continued to press. Caoilinn Walsh caused problems on the left wing and Hardy had to be at her best twice to deny her. Hession and Roisin Horkan were on top in the middle and the former got her just reward in the 79th when she equalised from a classy 25-yard free. 1-1.
The weather, the contest and the occasion told as the game drifted slowly towards extra-time. The first period offered no chances. Claremorris probed in the second period but Hession was twice denied by the alert Hardy. Penalties followed and Devon were perfect from the spot, hitting four from four to become the U17 Women's FAI Cup Champions.
Salthill Devon: Hardy; Daly, Costello, Banke, Fahey; Brennan, Tobin, O' Connell (c), O' Donnell Stone; Elle Browne (Summerville 76)
Claremorris: Heffernan; Ashling Cummins, McNulty, Ronayne, Emma Walsh; Jessica Higgins (Cara Higgins 32), Amy Cummins, Horkan, Caoilinn Walsh, Hession; Clarke (Alyssa Murphy 58)
Referee: Paudie Hayes.