Two titles in the space of four days for talented local teams

Pres College, Athenry 3

Kingswood CC, Dublin 0

Mike Rafferty in Athlone

PRESENTATION College, Athenry became the fifth Galway school to win the FAI Minor (U-5) Girls National Cup final in the past nine years as a powerful second-half performance eased them past the Leinster champions in Athlone last Wednesday.

Matters were scoreless at the break after Athenry had faced the elements, before three goals in an eight-minute spell quickly turned the final in their favour on the resumption. From there on, they cruised to a comfortable victory as the school added this title to U-17 national honours collected recently.

The inclusion of an Irish international in any squad is a wonderful benefit and in Abbie Duffy, Pres Athenry have a player of exceptional talent and it was the central midfielder who notched all their goals with a hat trick.

Indeed, it was her second trio in successive games, for along with Amira Bouhlel McNamara, they both struck three in their 6-1 semi-final win over Carndonagh Community School.

Despite facing the wind in the first-half, it became clear early on that Athenry were the better side and while scoring chances were hard to find, they generally controlled matters as the Dublin girls failed to make an impression in the last third of the park.

Alongside Duffy in midfield, Anna Jordan was another impressive performer as the joint captains kept their side on the front foot. Up front, Amira McNamara led the line well as she linked play with her supporting colleagues and tested goalkeeper Sophie Farrell on a number of occasions. Otherwise, off target efforts by Sinead Feeney, Abbie Duffy and Tegan Kilkenny were the closest they went to a breakthrough.

Kingswood Community College were limited in their attacking abilities as just a Abigail Quinn effort tested Jane Brennan. Indeed Quinn along with Caitlin Curtis, Ciara McGuire and Katie McGovern continued to challenge the Galway side but, in reality, their duties were mainly defensive ones, as Athenry did most of the pressing.

Pictured: The Presentation College, Athenry girls soccer squad which won the All-Ireland U-15 (large schools) National Cup. Back row, left to right: Aisling Higgins, Amy Gilmartin, Isabel Furey, Gemma Cloonan, Lia Corcoran, Aoife Burke, Lauren Kearney, Brooke Corcoran, Saoirse Counihan, Jane Brennan, Tegan Kilkenny, Elsa Heaney, Angel Gbadamosi, Áine Duffy, Ailbhe Mannion. Front row: Ciara Doyle, Cadhla Fox, Amira Bouhlel McNamara, Sophie Murray, Lily May Feeney, Kacie Lally, Anna Jordan, Abbie Duffy, Sinéad Feeney, Susie Ó Loan, Aoibhín Hannon.


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