Thomastown United 1
(aet - Tullaroan won 5-4 on pens)
IT WAS penalty woe at the double for Thomastown United, but a season-ending treble for the women from Tullaroan.
Already holders of the Women’s Shield and the Division One league title, Adrian O’Dea’s side completed a domestic clean sweep when they added the Cup to their bulging trophy cabinet at Derdimus on Monday.
While Irene Guilfoyle’s sudden death spot kick sparked scenes of great celebration in the Tullaroan ranks, it capped a thoroughly miserable weekend for United. Twice in three days hopes of silverware bit the dust in a shoot-out, the men’s junior A team exiting the McCalmont Cup on penalties to Newpark.
After a tentative start, Tullaroan hit top gear when they grabbed the lead on 19 minutes. Breda O’Neill, who saw an earlier effort skid narrowly wide, turned provider when she chased down a ball into the corner and delivered a cross into the box.
United tried to clear their lines, but the ball broke to Tullaroan skipper Ann Kavanagh. She had time to control it, then smash it to the net.
Stung into action, Thomastown pushed for an equaliser. Niamh Bolger went close with a glancing header, while Grace Brennan saw her fierce 32nd minute drive fly straight at netminder Jen Russell.
The disappointment was shortlived, as Brennan made amends with her next chance five minutes before the break. Pouncing on a poor Russell kick-out, the striker used her first touch to set the ball up, her second to tuck it past the netminder.
United went looking for another goal in the second half, but despite their best efforts the breakthrough wasn’t forthcoming. Strong work from Lisa Carey and Grace Brennan created a good chance on 72 minutes, but Niamh Bolger hit the side netting from the narrowest of angles.
Tullaroan were under the cosh, but lifted the siege long enough to go close to scoring themselves. Laura Carroll’s tigerish tackle in midfield saw her side win possession and storm upfield, Breda O’Neill flicking the ball on for Ciara Carroll to race on to, but Aine Lannon was on hand to make the last-ditch tackle.
Lannon had a major influence on the game - she was deservedly named the Player of the Match after the final whistle - and almost grabbed a winner three minutes from time. Fouled outside the D she took the resulting free and curled it over the Tullaroan wall, but Jen Russell made a super save, diving to her right to push the ball to safety.
It was Tullaroan who dominated extra-time, but despite their best efforts they couldn’t grab a winner. Aine Sheehy had to act smart to keep Rachel O’Carroll’s close range shot out, while Aisling Costelloe was on hand to clear Laura Carroll’s goal-bound header off the line.
The sides couldn’t be separated when it came to penalties either. It was 5-5 at the end of the opening 10 kicks, before Jenny Lannon missed from the spot. Irene Guilfoyle stepped up to take the 12th penalty and made no mistake, scoring high into the net as Tullaroan clinched their memorable treble.
Tullaroan: Jen Russell, Katie Maher, Maggie O’Dea, Laura Carroll, Edel Harding (Ann-Marie O’Neill, 68 mins), Irene Guilfoyle, Sinead Burke (Joanne Walsh, 75 mins), Ann Kavanagh, Breda O’Neill, Ciara Carroll (Trish Mullally, 75 mins), Jemma Komer.
Thomastown United: Aine Sheehy, Niamh Whelan (Sinead Whelan, 52 mins), Aisling Costelloe, Aine Lannon, Nicola Dunphy, Jenny Reddy, Jenny Lannon, Lisa Carey, Grace Brennan (Leanne Walsh, 69 mins), Niamh Bolger, Rachel O’Carroll.
Referee: Pat Walsh.
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