Ballingarry Ladies Complete Cup Double

Premier Division League Cup Final – Ballingarry (1) 2 (O’Gorman, O’Connell) Abbeyfeale Utd (0) 0

Played on an excellent surface at Woodfield Estate, home of Newcastle West Rovers and with the sun shining throughout Ballingarry retained the Premier Division League Cup with a deserved 2-0 win over Abbeyfeale Utd. The holders were the better team for long spells of this game and created more chances which ultimately merited the success at the end of eighty minutes.

Ballingarry attacked from the off and after only two minutes a good run down the wing by right back Rachel Anderson saw her cross into the area but Abbeyfeale cleared the danger. Two minutes later Anderson was involved again and delivered another cross from near the corner flag which came to Lorna O’Connell whose shot was saved by the feet of keeper Rebecca McGuinness. The pressure was maintained as from the loose ball Joanne O’Gorman sent over a chipped cross to the back post from where Emer Hickey won a corner which came to nought. Seven minutes from this O’Connell picked out O’Gorman but her shot didn’t have the requisite power to test the Abbeyfeale keeper. The same two players were involved again soon after for Ballingarry when O’Connell was fouled outside the right edge of the box but O’Gorman’s free kick was well wide.

Abbeyfeale were finding it difficult to get behind a Ballingarry defence where Theresa Mulcaire and Sarah Crotty were excelling. On nineteen minutes they got an opportunity to do so when Melissa got the ball in midfield and played an excellent diagonal pass out to the right to Rebecca Daly who got the end line and crossed low into the box but the ball was too near keeper Catherine Murphy who gathered at the near post. Then back at the other end Emer Hickey had a free kick saved by McGuinness. With Abbeyfeale not having any clear cut chances it was vital that when they did get one they would have to capitalise on it and with eight minutes to half time they had a glorious chance when Patricia O’Leary got behind the Ballingarry rear guard with only the keeper to beat but she appeared to be caught in two minds as what was the best option with the result being that the ball ran away from her and was gathered by Murphy at the edge of the area. That miss was to prove costly as Ballingarry opened the scoring two minutes from half time when an Emer Hickey cross from the left was controlled by O’Gorman before firing to the net and at half time Ballingarry it was that had a slender year.

From the kick off for the second half it was Ballingarry who were first out of the blocks with Emer Hickey winning a corner which O’Gorman delivered to the back post where O’Connell was unlucky not to get a header on target. The holders continued to press and on forty four minutes doubled their lead when O’Connell curled a beautiful strike into the top left corner from twenty five yards after good play involving Claire Gohery and Mary Shire. Good goalkeeping by McGuinness saw her gather the ball in a crowded goalmouth following a left wing cross from Hickey and she followed this up by holding a well struck effort from Anderson. Then excellent defending by Abbeyfeale right back Dyon Keane saw her take the ball off the line following a Ballingarry corner from their right. On seventy one minutes Fiona Hickey curled an effort just over as Ballingarry remained in control. A strong run by Abbeyfeales Kris Hennessy saw her fouled just outside the box but the resultant free kick didn’t test the opposing keeper. Muireann Cahill tried very hard when introduced and on a few occasions got down the right and put over crosses but a Ballingarry defender always seemed to be in a good position to clear these. Soon after Pat O’Connor sounded the final whistle and Ballingarry had retained the premier league cup.

Ballingarry: Catherine Murphy, Rachel Anderson, Yvette Moynihan, Theresa Mulcaire, Sarah Crotty, Fiona Hickey, Mary Shire, Claire Gohery, Joanne O’Gorman, Lorna O’Connell, Emer Hickey (capt). Subs used Kristy Carroll, Jennifer Lee, Amy Harnett, Noirin Lenihan. Also Aine Tangney, Brenda O’Keeffe, Cathy Mee.