Stunning Extra-Time Shield Semi-Final Victory For Ladies Footballers
(02 Sep 2020)
Castleknock 5-13 Fingallians 4-11 (AET)
They’ll be talking about this Ladies Football Junior ‘C’ Shield Semi-Final against Fingallians for a long time to come as Castleknock came from seven points down at one stage to win by five, courtesy of two superbly well-worked goals in the second-half of Extra-Time, under lights in windy Somerton this evening (Sept.2).
This was a Castleknock performance to savour as the players played their hearts out from beginning to end with substitute Cliona Killilea scoring two goals in the space of 60 seconds and 3-1 overall to crown a fine team display.
Admittedly things didn’t look too good for the first 20 minutes when Fingallians direct running pushed them into a 2-5 0-4 lead. Bronagh Quinn kept Castleknock in touch with three of those four points, the other coming from Niamh Mulroney.
In the final ten minutes of the half Castleknock enjoyed something of a purple patch begun by points from Orla Kindlon and Orla Boyle before Orla Kindlon was again on hand to drive the ball low to the Fingallians net.
That score gave Castleknock a huge boost and when, in one of her trademark runs, Lauren Manning ran half the length of Somerton to score a terrific point, it was really game on with Castleknock only one point adrift at the interval 1-7 2-5 thanks in no small part to a number of excellent Sophie Browne saves.
In the second-half of normal time the play ebbed and flowed. Substitute Aoife Delaney whose work rate was admirable pointed with her first touch but Fingallians still managed to open up a four-point lead as the game entered the final quarter.
Then came Cliona Killilea. Barely on the field she rolled the ball past the Fingallians goalkeeper for goal number one and then got on the end of a great move to smash the ball into the top corner of the visitors goals to give Castleknock a 3-8 2-9 lead, ahead for the first time in the game.
Aoife Delaney and Bronagh Quinn points gave Castleknock what looked an unassailable four point lead, 3-10 2-9 but credit to Fingallians who continued to fight on and got their reward with an injury time penalty award which levelled the scores at 3-10 3-10 and sent the game to Extra-Time.
A Bronagh Quinn point on the resumption was quickly followed by a Fingallians goal and so Castleknock trailed by two points at Half-Time in Extra-Time 3-11 4-10. The Castleknock display in the second ten minutes of Extra-Time was however nothing short of heroic as into the wind they swept forward time and again.
Bronagh Quinn started it all with another point, her sixth in all, and then came two of the game’s best moves, the first ended with another substitute Rachel Slater driving a low shot to the Fingallians net and then a minute later amid intense excitement Cliona Killilea was in the right place to claim her third goal of the evening to give Castleknock the breathing space needed to see out the game.
Fingallians still did everything they could to save the game but the Castleknock defenders were quite superb in maintaining their discipline and keeping the opposition at bay.
It was a marvellous performance, full of outstanding support play, the only pity being that because of Covis-19 restrictions there couldn’t have been more there to enjoy it because this was the very essence of football at its entertaining best.
Castleknock: Sophie Browne; Sarah Byrne; Aisling Rafferty; Siobhan Roche; Molly Hong Ming; Suzanne McCarthy; Zoe Fitzmaurice; Niamh Kiernan; Lauren Manning (0-1); Niamh Rafferty; Orla Kindlon (1-1); Niamh Mulroney (0-1); Orla Boyle (0-1); Bronagh Quinn (0-6); Aisling Kenny. Subs: Aoife Delaney (0-2); Rachel Slater (1-0); Amadine Hong Ming; Cliona Killilea (3-1).
Manager: Ray Rafferty.
Report: Kevin Mallon