It was the anticipated final some only dared to dream of …..the Ladies Gaelic Football battle of the C’s. With many of the girls training together from Nursery and for some, their first final, it was set to be a classic.
The storm clouds abated last Sunday week in Cherryfield just as both teams took to the pitch. Some spectators commented on the fact that the occasion seemed to getting to the mentors, C1’s Donagh and Brendan and C2’s Pat and Mark, much more than the girls, who were taking the occasion in their stride. In fact the arrival of some of the club’s Juvenile boys to watch Boden’s El Clasico seemed to be of greater interest to many of the girls.
That said once the ball was thrown in both teams focused on the task at hand. The C1’s settled quicker finding the net soon after throw in. The C2’s managed to pick off some well taken points to bring themselves back level in a fast paced first half. The wind troubled both teams particularly whipping around both goals throughout the half causing many shots to veer marginally wide.
The first half ended with the C2 girls ahead by 3 points but the game was very much in the balance.
The C2’s started the second half with a brace of goals and looked to be putting the match out of reach. However the C1’s fought back bravely and their determination was clearly evident.
Unfortunately the match took a more serious turn in the last quarter, as Eabha Kelly took an accidental ball to the head which resulted in her having to come off with suspected concussion. This was quickly followed with Cathy Flanangan also landing badly on her knee and also having to be taken off. The referee, with agreement of the mentors of both teams, felt it best to bring the game to an early end.
Both girls were whisked off to hospital by ambulance. Eabha was discharged later that evening after been give with the all clear while Cathy suffered a knee injury. We wish both girls a speedy recovery.
Although the result will show that the C2’s were marginal winners on a scoreline of 4-8 to 4-7, this was a final where in truth both teams were winners. For these girls who have journeyed for many years in lower divisions with little glory and success, it was fantastic to see them all play to the best of their ability and once we were reassured that both injured girls would be ok, both teams can say that they were winners in the U16 Shield Championship, which with all things considered was probably the right result.
Thanks to Cliona Mellett for the photographs. More available here
Many thanks to the FLO’s and the parents for their support throughout the League and Championship and to the girls for an unforgettable season