St Paul’s NS Ratoath’s Megan Lane clears the danger despite pressure from St Oliver’s Katie Carry during the Girls Div 1 final at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday. Photo: David Mullen/

Cumann na mBunscol Finals: First Div 1 title for Ratoath girls


Clinical St Paul's Ratoath were the dominant force throughout as they claimed the Girls Div 1 title with an emphatic victory over St Oliver's Navan in Pairc Tailterann on Sunday.

Defences were cerainly on top and scores were scarce in the opening half, but there was still plenty of quality football with St Paul's deservedly shading the verdict at half-time.

After a spell of end-to-end football it was St Paul's who opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Seona Cunningham somehow managed to find the net through a forest of legs and from the narrowest of angles.

That lead lasted just two minutes as St Oliver's launched attack after attack and were rewarded when Siobhan Shiels shot from distance deceived goalkeeper Sarah Murphy, who was blinded by the low setting sun, and landed in the net.

St Paul's continued to pepper the St Oliver's goals and they were rewaded again in the 11th minute when Cunningham tackled the ball out of Abby Egan's hands and as the ball fell it crossed the goalline for a bizarre lead goal.

It took another 11 minutes for the next score as both sides went close, but four minutes before the break Shiels landed a superb point from distance to close the gap to 1-1 to 2-0 at half-time.

St Paul's signalled their intentions immediately after the restart as they applied intense pressure and forced Egan into a fine save to deny Katie O'Brien.

It took the Ratoath girls to find their stride with the wind at their backs, but once they did they were unstoppable and when Cunningham bagged hers and her teams third goal with 18 minutes remaining it put the issue beyond doubt.

A flurry of points quickly followed with Holly Nannery and Daisy Kehoe both firing over in the 35th minute and when Nannery landed her second point five minutes later it pushed St Paul's 3-3 to 1-1 clear.

Captain Kehoe extended that advantage three minutes later and even though Anna O'Rourke pulled a point back from a free for St Oliver's there was no way through the superb Ratoath defence as St Paul's coasted to their first Div 1 title after winning the shield last year.

St Paul’s NS, Ratoath - Sarah Murphy; Megan Lane, Lauren Doran, Amelia Coyne; Isla Willoughby, Daisy Kehoe (0-2), Lydia Jordan; Doireann O’Sullivan, Sophia Sherry; Eliza Prior, Holly Nannery (0-2), Bébhinn Ryan; Lauren Richardson, Seóna Cunningham (3-0), Katie O’Brien. Grace Smyth, Maya Moran, Amelia Cooley, Ellen Daughton, Rebecca Kenny, Amy Rickard, Heidi Carey, Emma Ginley, Emily Malone, Hannah McCue, Rose Dowling, Rose Newman, Caroline Woods, Alice Deheene Edge, Holly Dowling, Ellie O’Gorman, Nina Mooney, Holly Dowling, Rachel Smyth, Ellie O’Leary, Eila Corboy. Mentors - Shane Mulvany, Niamh Grall, Sinéad Casey, Sean Hogan.

St Oliver Plunkett’s NS, Navan - Abby Egan; Muireann Farrell, Leah Clynch, Happiness Onifade; Aisling Clynch, Anna O’Rourke (0-1 free), Grace Griffen; Caitlin Reilly, Siobhan Sheils (1-1); Anna Carry, Lauren Kennedy, Katie Carry; Christine Lynch, Alexa Wimsey, Rachel Larkin. Grace Cahill, Chloe Davies, Isabelle Gibbs, Abby Hirtes, Erin Ratty, Robyn Galvin, Isabel Wallace, Mia Prochnicka, Ruby O'Hare. Mentors - Emer Carley, Sinead Flanagan, Ronan Carley.

Referee - Gerard Dwane (St Michael’s NS, Trim).