Templeogue United Under 18 Girls claimed the season’s first silverware for the club yesterday with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Ratoath Harps at the Oscar Traynor Coaching & Development Centre
The game kicked off in late afternoon Spring sunshine and Templeogue’s girls were immediately on the attack, looking for an early goal to settle any Cup-final nerves. With the lion’s share of possession, United’s battling midfield unit of Sinead O’Loughlin, Rianne Rowan, Katie Mahon, Niamh Leacy and Kate Dempsey all probed for the defence splitting pass which would open the scoring. A few early half chances were created, but Ratoath’s defence held out against the onslaught.
The breakthrough came on the half hour. A slide rule pass from the midfield found Emma Young who used her lightning pace to beat her marker and coolly slot the ball home left footed under the Ratoath ‘keeper.
This sparked Ratoath into life and they created a few half chances of their own but the United defence of Claire Coleman, Moya Richardson McCrea and Laura Leacy along with goalkeeper Sarahjane Hecker dealt with the threat.
The second half started with the sun dropped low in the sky and the temperature also dipping. Templeogue controlled the bulk of the second half possession again but eventually the small squad began to creak and tire a little.
With only one able bodied substitute, Veronica Kubat, who had slotted into a few different onfield roles, a gamble was taken by the management team of Greg Coleman, Ray Bailey and Dave Leacy to bring goalkeeper Sarahjane Hecker into midfield to be replaced by the ever willing Rianne Rowan, in the hope Hecker might create the little bit of magic.
Ratoath sensed this as their chance and created three good scoring opportunities but last ditch tackles from each of the back three denied them an equalizer. Ratoath continued to press and Rowan was again called on to save a good header from a corner kick. Hecker’s fresh legs were having the desired effect in midfield and chances were created.
The clinching goal came seven minutes from time. From defence Laura Leacy fed Sarahjane Hecker who spread the ball to Kate Dempsey on the right wing. Dempsey slotted the ball into the path of Sinead McCullagh who quickly passed to the confident Young. A good first touch from Young and a low right footed drive across the ‘keeper found the bottom corner of the net to make it 2-0.
Ratoath were now a broken team but to their credit continued to push until the final whistle.
Team Captain Laura Leacy collected the cup on behalf of her team and thanked the opposition for the sporting manner in which they played the match, the Metropolitan Girls League for the facilities and excellent pitch which had hosted 4 cup finals on the day prior to our game. She also thanked the Coaches and Parents for all their assistance over the course of the season.
The win was remarkable too, because on the day previously, three of the Templeogue team had represented the Metropolitan Girls League in the national Under 18 Inter-League tournament, winning the final following a penalty shootout.