The sun shone brightly for the U12 Heather Cowan tournament as three games took place in Rathleague today.
Sixth class pupil Heather Cowan was a bright young footballer who passed away tragically after a battle with cancer last year. Today’s tournament was held in her honour.
Sarsfields came out on top of the ‘A’ final, while St Brigid’s and Shanahoe overcame Mountrath and The Heath, respectively.
Sarsfields 5-4 Portlaoise 3-7
U12 A final
A quartet of goals by Niamh Peake pushed Sarsfields over the line in this thrilling U12 ‘A’ final today.
Huge strides were made by both sides out the field to raise the white flags at either end, but Sarsfields managed to claw back and overturn the lead built up by Portlaoise to be crowned champions today.
Portlaoise set their stall for the off, with Ailbhe Carroll only taking 30 seconds to rattle the back of the net to show she meant business today.
Sarsfields replied through a Hollie Rafter point before Niamh Peake captured the ball from the Portlaoise kickout to find the net for the first time to edge Sarsfields in front.
Faye Brown was immense for Portlaoise, cutting out the Sarfields attack and finding Carroll whose point made it all square again.
Evanna Ryle delivered a free across the field to Rafter who raised the white flag to put a single point between the sides.
Portlaoise worked hard on picking up the Sarsfields clearances in the middle of the field, with Anna Mulligan finding Carrollwho pointed to bring the sides all square once again.
Brown was the catalyst for numerous Portlaoise attacks, and was unlucky to hit the upright after a sublime run through for goal.
The opposing number 10, Peake, found the net again after a Lorna Cronin pass to send Sarsfields three clear.
On the cusp of half-time, Mulligan found Rebecca Cahill with a free, leaving Cahill to turn and slot the ball over to leave two between the sides at the interval: Sarsfields 2-2 Portlaoise 1-3.
Portlaoise upped the ante from the minute the ball was thrown in for the second half. Cahill strove forward, kicking 1-2 in under three minutes, while Sarah Corrigan sent the ball high and over to change the game and place Portlaoise four in front on 2-6.
However Sarsfields refused to drop their heads. Julieanne Bennett drove the ball down the field and Rachel Heffernan came on the end of a goal as she toe-poked the ball in after a fantastic inital save by Portlaoise keeper Doireann Brennan.
A close-range free from Ryle drew the sides level for the fourth time while Peake added two goals to her name, along with a Rafter point set up by Ryle – to give Sarsfields 5-4.
Brown remained a huge asset on the Portlaoise attack, and her hard work paid off in a goal as she rattled the top corner of the net to give Portlaoise 3-6.
Chloe Byrne added a point to put just three between the sides but Sarsfields held on to become victors in Rathleague today.
SCORERS – Sarsfields: Niamh Peake 4-0, Rachel Heffernan 1-0, Hollie Rafter 0-3, Evanna Ryle 0-1 (0-1 frees) Portlaoise: Rebecca Cahill 1-3 (1-0 frees), Ailbhe Carroll 1-2, Faye Brown 1-0, Sarah Corrigan 0-1, Chloe Byrne 0-1
SARSFIELDS: Aoife Grehan; Nicole Dunne, Lucy Burke, Emer Conroy; Nicole Mathews, Caoimhe Fitzpatrick, Katie Dunne; Torri Lee, Julieanne Bennett; Niamh Peake, Evanna Ryle, Hollie Rafter; Rachel Heffernan, Aoibhe Foyle, Lorna Cronin. Subs: Sarah Thompson, Lily Murphy, Lucy-May Bancroft, Roisin O’Reilly, Alisa Holohan, Ashley Greene, Sally Morgan, Ellie Flanagan
PORTLAOISE: Doireann Brennan; Emily Conroy, Aoife Morris, Dayna Doheny; Lara Culleton, Lily Gavin, Faye Byrne; Anne Mulligan, Rebecca Cahill; Faye Brown, Ailbhe Carroll, Sarah Corrigan; Cara Culleton, Chloe Byrne, Leah McEvoy. Subs: Leah Brennan, Tiarna McCormack, Ruby Doyle, Sarah McDonald, Abgail Lewis, Abbey-Louise Byrne, Abbie Brennan, Leah Hanlon, Sadhbh McGrath
St Brigid’s 5-11 Mountrath 1-3
U12 B final
ST BRIGID’S: Sarah Behan; Katie Kealy, Jennifer Wall, Sarah Wall; Laura Walsh, Katie O’Reilly, Maria Day; Megan Phelan, Ella Murphy; Anna Harrington, Tessa Hannis Byrne, Ella Robinson; Faye Dunnican, Molly Brennan, Hannah Dunne. Subs: Ann Morin, Aoife Loughman, Claudia Casey, Emily Murphy, Hannah Dunne, Holly Amond, Laura Graham, Lauren Power, Le Clarke, Leah Power, Megan Phillips, Sarah Wall, Sarah Dunne, Tressa Donoghue, Toni Davis, Leah Fallen
MOUNTRATH: Tamara Callaghan; Eva Meally, EJ Ward, Laura Scott; Aoibhinn Russell, Ella Phelan, Emma Callaghan; Rachel Bohan, Sarah Dunne; Amy Daly, Katie Costigan, Katie Kavanagh; Emily Dodey, Erin Fitzpatrick, Aoife Hyland. Subs: Ella Sheridan, Katie O’Brien, Caoimhe Dunne, Abbie Fitzpatrick, Megan Jones, Caoimhe Drennan, Sarah Kiely