BBSE  3-7   Naomh Jude 1-10
Torrential rain overnight meant there was a late change from a water logged PUM to the All Weather in Sancta Maria on the morning of the U16 Div 1 Championship final between Boden and St. Judes. There has been great rivalry between these two teams over the years, in both football and camogie, so both sides were ready to go and wanted to play the final, even with the late change of time and venue.
And off they went, roared on by the now very large crowd gathered along the sideline and terraces, ironically in t-shirts and sweltering heat!
The first half was extremely tense, girls from both sides getting used to ‘the bounce’ and size of the all weather pitch. And plenty of final match day nerves. Cara Cosgrove opened the scoring with a brace for Boden. Jude’s, playing with a slight breeze, responded well and started to get on top, working hard to go into a 5 points to 2 lead as half time approached. The work in the full back line during this period and throughout by Ruby Cummins, Rachel Vaughan and Eabha Ryan was resolute and dogged, limiting Judes to scores from distance and frees. Lauryn O’Brien Jennings in goal was brave and calm, getting all her kick outs away safely despite the ‘full-press’ from the opposition. Gradually, as the half wore on, captain Ruby Murphy, Áine Corser and Olivia O’Brien got their hands on ball in the half-back line and bravely took the ball up the pitch. Karrie Rudden, Rachel Heavey and Maggie Donaghy made hard yards and started to get ball in to Rachel Moloney and Rachel Lawlor, both of whom worked tirelessly and seemed to cover every blade of artificial grass. This resulted in 2 points just before the break from Emma Fogarty and Emma Moran, keeping Boden in touch at 5 points to 4 down at half time.
Jude’s opened the scoring in the second period, before Sarah Furlong, introduced after halftime, won a ball in the corner and made her way skilfully past two players to finish to the top corner to give Boden a one point lead. Emma Fogarty and Karrie Rudden tacked on scores and it looked as if Boden might at last have the upper hand. But, to their credit, back came Jude’s with points of their own to make it all square at 1-6 to 0-9 and then, with 15 minutes to go, what looked like the decisive blow with tiring legs, a thunderous goal for Jude’s, greeted by a massive roar by the travelling supporters. This was getting tense, and physically draining.. and that was just on the sideline. Carla Callan, also introduced after half time had an immediate impact around the middle of the pitch. Millie Larkin, unable to play today, but a core part of this team, played a huge supportive role and covered ground with the water bottles to players at every opportunity. Aoife McLoughlin and Anna Horan subbing up from the u15s urged their teammates on. Both teams hit the post, Boden rattled the crossbar.. but then, the break we needed (and an even louder roar from the terraces), when an Emma Moran shot dipped perfectly just below the crossbar for a goal and all square!
The teams again traded points, all square at 2-7 to 1-10 heading towards injury time. Jude’s came forward in waves bearing down on goal with a two v one only to be intercepted incredibly, twice in as many minutes by the heroic
Niamh O’Hara as the last line of defence. And these Boden girls weren’t done, they worked the ball through the hands, up to Maggie on the 45, she looked up and kicked to Karrie on the edge of the square, who beat two players and finished neatly past the keeper into the bottom corner. Boden up by a goal.. and again back came Jude’s into what seemed like endless injury time, lobbing balls into the square. All hands on deck, the Rubys, the Rachels, Olivia, Áine, a last high catch by Lauryn… and the final whistle.
This fantastic group of Boden girls won out in the end, a very tight match that could have gone either way. Hard luck but full credit to Jude’s.
For our 2006 girls, a great way to finish their last year together as a single age group, by completing a Division 1 League and Championship Double.
And in a very fitting finale, the presentation of the cup to captain Ruby Murphy afterwards was made by Boden Senior Dual player and team mentor, Hannah Hyland, the last Boden player to lift this same trophy for the club in 2014.
Mná Buadáin Abú!!
Pics by Cliona Mellett here