Presentation Killina are Junior National Cup Winners!!
Killina Presentation Sec Sch 2- 1 St Patrick’s, Lacken Cross.
The Girls’ Soccer teams in Killina retained their National Junior ‘B’ title in fine style in Athlone last Wednesday to complete a unique Senior/ Junior All-Ireland double. The fact that all bar two of the Senior winners featured on both squads shows the quality of this extraordinary group, and while their pathway to the final was relatively serene, they absolutely earned this title the hard way against a very good St Patrick’s College, Lacken Cross, from Killala in County Mayo.
En route to the final, the girls breezed through the early rounds of the Leinster Competition, and won the Leinster Final on a comprehensive 4-0 scoreline against Ramsgrange Community School. A 3-1 win over Ulster champions Coláiste Ailigh saw them through to the final to face the best in the West in St Patricks, and it proved to be an intriguing battle.
Killina settled well into the contest, and exerted early pressure on the Westerners, and were rewarded on 11 minutes when Ellen Dolan steered home a Becky Watkins corner. The game ebbed and flowed, with St Patrick’s probing in search of an equaliser. Killina needed to be vigilant to contain the dangerous Ailbe McHale, who came close to a very quick reply when her well-hit freekick was palmed away by Killina custodian Ciara Glackin. However, the crucial moment in the match came in the 17th minute, when the dangerous Becky Watkins was fouled for a penalty, which she duly despatched herself, despite St Patrick’s goalkeeper Joanne Gallagher getting a hand to it.
This provided a degree of breathing space for Killina, but Ciara Glackin had to be on her toes on more than one occasion to maintain the clean sheet. The Killina back 4 of Kaithlynn Spain, Ciara Heffernan, Demi Leigh Colsh and Sophie Davern needed to be at their best to repel wave after wave of St Patrick’s attacks, with Heffernan doing a superb job in marshalling the danger woman McHale.
The two Emmas- Dolan and Hand- were working overtime in midfield to help out the defence and help launch counter attacks, while dealing capably with the threat of Alice Gilvarry and Deirbhle McHale. Up front, Becky Watkins, Ava and Ellen Dolan and Saorah Doyle were constant threats and kept the Mayo outfit honest at the back. Megan Daly and Rachel Dillon augmented the Killina challenge when they made their appearances.
A cliffhanger finale was ensured when that woman McHale eventually made the breakthrough, ensuring a nervy final 10 minutes for the Killina girls. However, they weathered the storm, and a brave St Patrick’s team were left disconsolate as time ran out, and Killina could celebrate a remarkable double-double at Junior level, and a Senior and Junior double.
Teams and squads: Killina- Ciara Glackin, Kaithlynn Spain, Ciara Heffernan (Capt), Demi Leigh Colsh, Sophie Davern, Emma Dolan, Emma Hand, Becky Watkins, Ellen Dolan, Saorah Doyle, Megan Daly, Ciara Wyer, Sarah Dillon, Rachel Dillon, Katelynn Murphy, Amy Kelly, Lauren Leonard, Eivile Jankunaite, Katie Hennessy, Niamh Fenlon, Saraid McDonald, Emma Condron, Louise Molloy, Orla Bryant, Ava O’Reilly, Katie O’Rourke, Libby English, Ava O’Brien.
St Patricks: Joanne Gallagher, Aoibhin Bilbow, Sarah Costello, Karen Higgins, Majella O’Boyle, Alice Gilvarry, Keeva McDonnell, Laura Bilbow, Deirbhle McHale, Ailbhe McHale (Capt), Alison Langdon Long.
Footnote: The tsunami of soccer success shows no immediate signs of receding as the U15 girls recorded a comprehensive 8-2 win over Larkin College, Dublin, and are now in a Leinster final. We wish them th e best of luck also as they follow in very illustrious footsteps.