Primary Schools Finals: Paul’s late surge secures Shield
Well before this Girls Div 1 Shield final got underway at Pairc Tailteann on Friday supporters of both teams whipped up an noise that must have been heard well beyond the confines of the Brews Hill stadium.
"Longwood, Longwood" shouted one set of supporters. "St Paul's, St Paul's" added another in reply - and so it went on right throughout the game ensuring the football was played against the backdrop of a cracking atmosphere. While the honours were shared in the stand St Paul's stole the show on the pitch pushing on to win by 2-10 to 3-5 in what was little gem of a final, full of drama and quality football.
Longwood led 3-1 to 1-3 at the break and for much of the second-half it looked like they would win the day but St Paul's finished stronger. They were helped along the road to victory by goals from Lucy Simon in the opening half and Bebhinn Ryan but was that late surge that carried them to glory in the end with Simon, Olivia Ryan and Amber Lyons all lofting over late points that carried them over the line. Doireann O'Sullivan and Sophia Sherry were others to contribute to the Saints' haul over the 50 minutes.
Longwood NS took some time to find their momentum but once they did really made an impact particularly Ella McCann who bagged two super strikes from distance while Ainling Foran underpinned a swashbuckling display with 1-5.
The 'Wood battled bravely throughout but they couldn't prevent St Paul's from getting an extra edge in those drama-filled closing minutes.
St Paul's NS, Ratoath - Rebecca Kenny; Megan Lane, Amber Wyer; Isla Willoughby, Daisy Kehoe, Lauren Doran; Olivia Ryan (0-3 one free), Lauren Gallagher; Doireann O’Sullivan (0-1), Lucy Simon (1-3), Sophia Sherry (0-1); Bébhinn Ryan (1-0), Seóna Cunningham. Subs - Katie Lundy, Daisey Magee, Amber Lyons (0-2), Evie Wardick, Mia Dowling, Robyn Reilly, Rachel McKenna, Emily Meehan, Emily Malone, Eila Corboy, Holly Nannery, Rose Dowling, Amelia Coyne, Heidi Carey, Grace Smyth, Sarah Murphy. Mentors - Laura Bagnall, Niamh Grall, Melissa Anderson, Sinéad Casey, Marie Dennehy.
Longwood NS - Airah Alawiye; Abbie Lomax, Gabby Smyth; Tilly Leigh, Mackenzie Johnson, Róisín Murray; Aisling Foran (1-5 one free), Ella McCann (2-0); Lucy O’Sullivan, Izzy Fahey, Sarah Dalton; Kayleigh Maguire, Taylor McGee. Subs - Chloe Gill, Caoimhe Dixon, Ayda Colgan, Sadhbh Sharkey, Ciara Geraghty, Moya Molloy. Mentors - Rebecca Smyth, Una Moynihan, Luke Martyn, Val Foran, Eithne Corcoran.
Referee - Jimmy Walsh.