Ulster Girls’ win Interprovincial title
News published 10th November 2010
Ulster made history in the midlands on Sunday when they lifted the Girls’ Interprovincial title after a sterling performance in the three day match series (7 November).
The Interprovincial series is the first step in the process of selecting the FAI Schools U15 International squad for next year’s Bob Docherty Tournament so as well as provincial honours; there was plenty at stake with sixty eight of the top players in Irish schools taking part.
The dominant force in this competition over the years has been Munster and more recently Leinster as they have all experienced the taste of success in the annual event but this time around it was the Northern Province who deserved the accolade.
Nicola Roache, (St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar), Nakita Burke (Colaiste Ailigh, Letterkenny), Margaret Mulhall (Moville Community College) were the three back room staff involved in the Ulster side’s success and they were very proud of the girls achievements. It was especially poignant for Mulhall who had been involved with the Interprovincial setup for over eight years so understandably it was a joyous occasion for her personally as the title went north.
Ulster were crowned Champions in Athlone after recording a comprehensive five points with two wins and a draw in the closely contested competition. The panel of 17 players all from Donegal were exceptional with 14 goals scored and only 4 goals conceded in their three matches. A real team effort which will merit some International call ups for some of their stars to the U15 School trials later this month
In the opening game of the weekend on Friday evening, reigning Champions Leinster were pipped against Dom Coll’s Connacht.
The westerners were unlucky not to take the lead in the first half as the woodwork played a part in denying their strike partnership up front. Evvie Lowndes of Colaiste Iognaid was the driving force for the team.
Leinster’s Eireann McLaughlin opened their account much to the relief of Manager Paul Howard after twenty minutes.
Connacht captain Ciara Lynagh of Dominican College, Taylor’s Hill was on fine form as she whipped in an inch perfect pass into the box which only needed a glancing head to make contact but unfortunately the pass deserved more that her team mates could produce.
Evvie Lowndes was denied by the ever present Tamara Furlong on 34 minutes as Lowndes excellent opportunity eluded her.
The two sides were so evenly balanced that a draw would have been the fair result but Leinster scored with ten minutes remaining to take all two points from a disappointed and an extremely unfortunate Connacht selection. Shainne Swarres of Eureka Kells was the hero on song for the Leinster ladies.
The second fixture on Friday evening saw Munster take on an experienced Ulster outfit. Munster having a very high success rate in this competition faced an Ulster selection that gained confidence with their recent victory in the Gaynor Cup, it made for a tantalising tie in Tullamore.
The game definitely lived up to expectations as the spectators witnessed end to end action and the skill level on display was to a very high standard. Amber Barrett and Roma McLaughlin registered for Ulster while Megan Connolly supplied Munster’s two goals to ensure honours even (2-2) and a one point tally for each province after a pulsating 60 minutes of football.
Leinster just edged the league table on 2 points with Munster and Ulster on 1 point each as day two of the series kicked off in Willow Park FC.
Munster was out to avenge last year’s defeat to reigning Champions Leinster in the first match on Saturday afternoon.
Tensions were high but Leinster took the lead early in the first half courtesy of Chelsea Spain. Megan Connolly cancelled out Spain’s earlier effort with a classy volley as Amy O’Connor turned supplier.
Rebekah Carroll, Confey College was on hand to slot home for Leinster’s second midway through the second half. Howard was already planning his tactics for day three when Munster’s Rachel Kelleher equalised late on. A draw (2-2) being the fair result with two outstanding teams playing with determination and desire.
The second game of day two saw Connacht take on Ulster in a mouth watering tie. Ulster were however too strong for the western side and they were comfortable 5-2 winners on the day.
Ulster’s strong display against Connacht ensured that the players were growing in confidence and learning to play as a unit.
The title race was now wide open after day two’s events as Leinster shared top spot with Ulster on 3 points while Munster was gaining momentum on 2 points.
Day three saw Munster encounter the crafty Connacht contingency as this game was paramount to Munster’s title hopes. Munster needed a win with a notable goal tally while they also needed Ulster and Leinster to draw level in the final game of the contest.
Lorraine Counihan and Dom Coll’s teams were exceptional as they displayed a composed approach to the game in the first half. Munster were sitting back while Connacht were applying the pressure to register a win for the pride of the province. The game came to life early in the second half.
Early exchanges in the first period however saw Munster hit the woodwork twice. The first with Kate Fitzpatrick supplying Megan Connolly, her attempt was deemed not to have crossed the line from match official Martin Buckley. Minutes later Amy O’Connor’s thunderous shot hit the post to deny the Munster girls as the interval approached.
The second half was merited with more success as Megan Connolly and Elaine Looby connected well. Looby’s initial attempt on goal was blocked but Aisling Frawley was on hand to slot home for a 1-0 lead.
Connacht’s Ciara Lynagh was denied in front of goal as Katie Carter and Roisin Jacob impressed throughout.
Munster’s second goal was registered on 40 minutes as Megan Connolly did all the hard work for Ciara McNamara to finish well.
Ten minutes later, Lorraine Counihan’s side increased their lead with a great ball down the centre from Jessica Glavin. The high ball was met by the pacy Megan Connolly who used her tricky twinkle toes to deceive three defenders while rounding the keeper.
With only minutes left in the game, the impressive Amy O’Connor used some fancy footwork to her advantage as she flew down the middle of the park to gift Aisling Frawley with Munster’s fourth of the game.
Connacht despite losing the match, can take pride in the performance throughout the weekend. The team were solid but unfortunately couldn’t convert some guilt-edge chances in front of the posts.
They will however, take some consolation in the fact that they may be well represented with the International trials later this month as selectors Claire Wehrley (St. Flannan’s College, Ennis), Richelle O’Neill (Colaiste Choilm, Tullamore) and Jason Carey (St. MacDara’s, Templeogue) have the onerous task of attempting to whittle down the 68 Interprovincial players to a panel of thirty something for their selection process ahead of the Bob Docherty Cup.
The tournament was wide open as Munster’s 4-0 win against Connacht left down a strong marker for the other two teams in contention. If the final game of the series was a draw, Munster would be crowned Champions once again. However a win for either Leinster or Ulster would certainly mean victory for the Province.
With all that in mind, the final game of the series saw the defending champions Leinster up against the imposing Ulster side.
Leinster started the game with a flourish and enjoyed the early exchanges. It was however against the run of play when Ulster’s Roma McLaughlin gifted the lively Amber Barrett with an inviting pass down the wing with 12 minutes registered. Barrett seized her opportunity well and angled the ball past the keeper with an inch perfect shot from her left peg to open Ulster’s account.
Four minutes later Barrett stepped up again to register her second of the afternoon, this time Caoimhe McMenamin turned supplier.
The versatile Aine McLaughlin got Ulster’s third moments later after a great display of individual magic saw her slot home from close range.
Ulster’s fourth just before the break was somewhat scrappy as Nadine Crawford headed the ball into the back of the net after some confusion from the Leinster defence.
Paul Howard made a passionate plea with his side at half time to make the most of their opportunities in front of goal but the Ulster dominance in the second half continued.
Barrett secured her hat-trick early on with a superior piece of skill which saw her outclass two defenders to bury the ball past the on rushing Tamara Furlong.
Sarah Jane McDonald made it 6-0 on 45 minutes as her shot glided to the back of the net after some nice footwork in the box deceived Furlong’s rescue attempts.
Aine McLaughlin made it 7-0 eight minutes from time with an awesome display of one touch football as she rounded three defenders to guide the ball past the amused Colaiste Bride keeper.
A wonderful display from the Ulster girls was a fitting end to the tournament as Coaches Nicola Roache, Nakita Burke and Margaret Mulhall accepted the trophy from Chairman Tom Bolger.
The International management team of Jason Carey, Richelle O’Neill and Claire Wehrley will now prepare their selection in advance of the International Bob Docherty tournament which will be held in Wales week commencing 11th April 2011. The Republic of Ireland Schools team will be defending their prestigious crown so the new management team will be hoping for continued success in the competition next year.
Congratulations to all sixty eight players represented at Interprovincial level and best of luck to the International team for next season.
During the course of the weekend a special presentation was made to past FAI Schools players in recognition of the recent success of the Republic of Ireland U17 team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals in September. Congratulations were extended to Ciara O’Brien, Megan Campbell, Jesssica Gleeson, Ciara Grant, Aileen Gilroy, Dora Gorman, Denise O’Sullivan, Tanya Kennedy, Amanda Budden, Clare Shine and Rebecca Kearney. These players were all represented at Interprovincial and International Schools level and were an inspiration to the Interprovincial players present at the tournament last weekend. Dora Gorman (past captain) spoke of her experience playing schools football and the opportunities available to the young players of today. She emphasised that players should enjoy the experience afforded to them and that representing their Province is just as important as International success.
Connacht: Saoirse Burke (Presentation College, Athenry), Cadhla Gillen (Colaiste Iognaid), Roisin Jacob (Calasanctius College, Oranmore), Shauna Fox (Dominican College, Taylor’s Hill), Erina Flannary (Davitt College, Castlebar), Katie Carter (Dominican College), Stacy Muldowney (Coola PP School, Sligo), Ciara Lynagh, CAPT (Dominican College), Aoileannn Collins (St. Patrick’s College, Lacken Cross), Lisa Casserly (Seamount College, Kivara), Evvie Lowndes (Colaiste Iognaid) Aoife Connolly (Our Lady’s Bower SS, Athlone), Shauna Gallagher (Dominican College), Eleanor Stafford (Seamount College, Kinvara), Alana Moran (Dominican College), Aoife Walsh (Dominican College), Caoimhe O’Reilly (Our Lady’s Bower SS, Athlone). Management: Dom Coll, Manager (Presentation College, Athenry), Seamus Mac Eachmharcaigh, Assistant Manager (Sacred Heart School, Westport), Sean Boland, Coach and Sarah Farragher, Assistant Coach (Convent of Mercy, Roscommon)
Ulster: Carla McBride (Mulroy College), Rebekah Henry (Moville CC), Aisling McDevitt (Loreto CS, Milford), Kathy McLaughlin (Moville CC), Saorla McGarrigle (Loreto Convent SS, Letterkenny), Nadine Crawford (Loreto Convent SS, Letterkenny), Eimear Lafferty (Moville CC), Aine McLaughlin (Moville CC), Orla McAteer (Loreto CS, Milford), Amber Barrett (Loreto CS, Milford), Sarah Jane McDonald (Moville CC), Aine Coll (Pobalscoil Falcarragh), Caoimhe McMenamin (St. Columbas College, Stranorlar), Aisling McDermott (Loreto CC, Milford), Paula McGrory (Crana College, Buncrana), Melissa McDermott (Moville CC). Management: Nicola Roache, (St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar), Nakita Burke (Colaiste Ailigh, Letterkenny), Margaret Mulhall (Moville CC)
Munster: Chelsea Noonan (Christ the King Girls SS, Cork), Megan Connolly (Christ the King Girls), Olivia Dawson (St. Brigid’s Killarney), Kate Fitzpatrick, Claire Flanagan (Presentation College, Thurles), Aisling Frawley (St. Angela’s Ursuline Convent, Waterford), Jessica Glavin (Blackwater CS, Lismore), Laura Heffernan (Colaiste Mhuire, Buttevant), Megan Kelleher (St. Mary’s SS, Charleville), Rachel Kelleher (St. Caimin’s CS, Shannon), Shannon Lewis (Colaiste Iosaif, Kilmallock), Elaine Looby (Blackwater CS, Lismore), Ciara MacNamara (Colaiste An Chroi Naofa, Cork), Rebecca Noonan (St. Mary’s SS, Charleville) Amy O’Connor (St. Vincent’s SS, Cork) Michelle O’Regan, Aoife O’Neill. Management: Lorraine Counihan (Colaiste Mhuire, Buttevant), David King (Blackwater CS, Lismore), Richard Grimes (St. Caimin’s CS, Shannon), Vivienne O’Grady
Leinster: Tamara Furlong (Colaiste Bride), Mary Tyrell (Colaiste Bride), Ciara Rossister (Presentation College Wexford), Shainne Swarres (Eureka Kells), Eireann McLaughlin (Bush PP), Stephenie Troy (Riversdale CC), Keeva Keenan (St. Michael’s Finglas), Aoife Robinson (Mater Christi Finglas), Clare Farrell (Mean Scoil Mhuire), Ellie Columb (Moyne CS), Chelsea Spain (Ringsend Technical Institute), Rebekah Carroll (Confey College), Rachel Doyle (St. Joseph’s of Cluny), Georgina Canavan (St. Mary’s College, Arklow), Jessica Hunt (Loreto Bray), Sarah Hechkar (Cabinteely CS), Alannah Kelly (St. Louis, Dundalk). Management: Paul Howard (Loreto College, Crumlin), Joe Stafford (Skerries Community College), Emma Martin (FAI)
Friday 5 November (Leah Victoria Park, Tullamore)
Leinster 2-0 Connacht
Munster 2-2 Ulster
Saturday 6 November (Willow Park, Athlone)
Leinster 2-2 Munster
Ulster 5-2 Connacht
Sunday 7 November (Willow Park, Athlone)
Munster 4-0 Connacht
Ulster 7-0 Leinster
Points: Ulster 5, Munster 4, Leinster 3, Connacht 0.
BOB DOCHETY TOURNAMENT (Girls International)
Week commencing 11 April 2011 in Wales
To promote the game of Association Football in all schools, contact Diane O'Neill, National Administrative Officer, Football Association of Ireland Schools at email@example.com or on 01 8999522
Return to list