TelLab Carlow Ladies Senior Football Final
Bennekerry/Tinryland 2-6 Old Leighlin 0-5
Bennekerry/Tinryland senior Ladies are back at the top of Carlow Ladies football when they upset the pre match favourites and Co. champion’s in an absorbing final at Netwatch Cullen Park on Saturday 30th September. When these teams met in the group stages on 30th August Old Leighlin laid down a marker and won on their home patch by 3-15 to 1-9.
BT manager Niall Barrett walked out of Molaise park that evening and he told this scribe that he had a plan if BT could beat Eire Og in the final group game. The ladies duly despatched the Carlow town team and Niall was now able to carry out his plan which was delivered to perfection against their old rivals.
From the throw in BT went on the offensive and when Sinead Hayden won a free after 2 minutes Cliodhna Ni Shea duly put her team into a lead that they never relinquished. Straight from the kick out Aoibhin Webb doubled the BT advantage and when Ruth Bermingham came forward to score her team’s 3rd point in the 4th minute after good play by Aoibhin Webb BT supporters in the crowd began to dream of an upset.
Old Leighlin opened their account in the 8th minute when star player Rachel Sawyer converted a free but amazingly this was to be the champions last score for 34 minutes as the BT defence dealt with everything the ladies from Molaise Park threw at them. Old Leighlin did enjoy a lot of possession during that first half but in a controlled display against the strong breeze it was BT that added to their account. Audrey Murphy who had a great game won a valuable free in the 22nd minute and Cliodhna duly despatched the ball over the bar. At the other end strong pressure from the disciplined BT defence kept the champions at bay forcing error after error and one could see the frustration creeping in just before referee Jonathan Murphy sounded the half time whistle. Half Time score Bennekerry/Tinryland 0-4 Old Leighlin 0-1
When the 2nd half began Fiona O'Sullivan increased the advantage after 3 minutes following great work by Orla Woods, Audrey Murphy, Sinead Hayden and Katie Bullen. After no return since the 8th Minute the champions eventually doubled their account in the 42nd minute when Rachel Sawyer raised a white flag. BT then got a major boost in the 50th minute when a sideline kick from Cliodhna Ni Se deceived OL goalie Nicole Hanley and BT were now ahead by 6 points. Rachel Sawyer lofted over another point in the 52nd minute but BT then got another boost when recently introduced sub. Sarah Nolan deflected a pin point cross past the Old Leighlin goalie and BT could certainly now dare to dream holding an 8 point lead with 7 minutes remaining. Old Leighlin went in search of much needed goals but every attack was dealt with and their only reward was a final Sawyer point as BT put the icing on the cake with a Sinead Hayden point. After 5 minutes of stoppage time BT were back at the summit and team captain Nuala Mohan lifted the Jenny Kelly Cup and paid great tribute to her manager Niall Barrett and his backroom team of Niall Lowry, Chris Townsend and Alisson Millar. To cap a great day BT taliswoman Cliodhna Ni Se was presented with the player of the match award.
Bennekerry/Tinryland will now play in the Leinster club championship in 4 weeks time and on this performance they will be a match for any club in Leinster.
Bennekerry/Tinryland had many heroes in this game from goalie Orla Delaney to corner forward Audrey Murphy and a great defence marshalled by Elaine Ware, Leah Mullins, Ruth Bermingham, Nuala Mohan, Clodagh Mahon and the evergreen Deirdre Tomlinson and Liz Lowry.
IN the centre Cliodhna Ni Se and Fiona O’Sullivan were tremendous while up front Orla Woods ran herself to a standstill and was ably supported by Leah Mullins, Sinead Hayden, Katie Bullen, Aoibhin Webb and impressive sub Sarah Nolan who scored the 2nd valuable goal with 10 minutes remaining.
The other subs introduced were Sinead Thompson and Alanah Guerin who both did well when introduced.