Enniskerry Lions 2 Cregmore/Claregalway 0 (HT 0-0)
Report by Franuis Cahill, pictures Angela Singleton
The 22nd of March will be remembered for ever more as 1 of the greatest days of these young ladies footballing careers and they have had some memorable days .
The morning started off with great excitement as our roadtrip by coach took us westward destination Galway with early morning stop off in Athlone for brekkie . Afterwards with spirits high and tummies full off we continued on our journey finally reaching Eamon Deacy park .
Slight little issues with low bridges lol into the ground with our entourage we headed up to changing rooms , now it became real as FAI cup was there on stand outside the girls dressing room .
I dont know how the girls felt but the parents now are starting to feel the nerves out numbered by oppositions supporters the Lions supporters get the flags ,banners, horns & buntings out, ready for the battle .
The girls came out for a minutes silence for the late Ned Walsh (rip) and the national anthem, away we go first 10 minutes zip by, the tension is savage in this really close encounter both defenses are rock solid with a right battle in midfield neither side giving an inch, more of the same as we nearly reach the 20 min mark when good work from midfield slips in roaming Roisin who cracks a beauty of a shot, the keepers beaten but alas it canons off the post to safety .
On the game goes in similar fashion its halftime in a flash, light refreshments away.
We got some good passing and moving by Lions but Cregmore are defending very well and trying to break on the counter but with the meanest defense in the country of Aimee, Kerri , Hailey, Alannah and Amy (Buffon) getting through on goal was going to be some task for Cregmore.
The odd glimpse of goal chances for Lions but still no break through, then game is held up due to injury of Cregmore defender who unfortunately couldn’t continue at mid point of second half .
Momentum is starting to build for girls as we head into final 10 minutes with extra time looming the Lions have firm grip of game and are now getting on top in midfield with the bench emptied by the Lions with Shauna, Aoife and Laura, it was Shauna who made instant impact linking with Alix, Jess & Roisin up the right hand side slipping into a well marshalled Alannah but goalie saves well .
Pressure was building on Cregmore with them conceding a free 40 yards out in final min up steps Jess pulls the trigger bang it screams into bottom right corner 1 – 0 and the scenes on and off the pitch magic.
Now in injury time Shauna is flying lovely passing between Alix, Jess & Roisin, its Roisin that jinks by 3 defenders cracks a shot going in off the goalie now 2 up wild scenes with several girls getting really emotional as the final whistle goes.
Lions supporters spill onto the pitch, girls, mams, dads (not me this time lol) sisters, brothers and coaches shedding tears of joy with relief also , they’ve done it All Ireland Champions nearly 6 years in the making of this squad finally got the big 1
Massive thank you Cregmore /Claregalway club and parents for their hospitality afterwards thanks also to our own club especially Jonathon Bennet & John Massey for travelling down.
Massive thanks to people behind scenes including parents, coaches Karl Brauner John McNally & Kayleigh P especially our famous Lions Amy C ,Aimee M , Alannah M, Kerri M, Nicole K
Hailey L, Roisin Mac, Jess M, Isibeal C, Alix Mac ,Alannah Mac ,Aoife M ,Laura OT ,Shauna C
Massive thanks to our photographers Orla & Angela thanks also to coach driver getting us there and back safe and well with both FAI & Leinster Cups sitting proudly beside each other on the dashboard in what is shaping up to be an unbelievable year.
FAI run to cup rd1 5-0 Joeys , rd2 10-0 Parkvilla , rd3 4-0 Carrigaline , semis 7-1 Ucl Harps , final 2-0 Cregmore /Claregalway