Girls Minor shield Leinster Semi-final 13/05/2024

Tullow CS       2

St David’s Greystones            0

Tullow CS advance to the Leinster final of the girls u15 shield after a very impressive win at home on Monday morning. This team started out last October along with 120 other schools in Leinster in the first round of the cup and where very unlucky to lose to a strong St Leo’s in extra time. This qualified the girls along with the other 60 first round losers to the shield and they have had four very impressive wins on the way to the Leinster final.

On a very wet and miserable Monday morning this was never going to be a game for the faith hearted with heavy rain and wind making conditions very difficult it was a determined Tullow who flew out of the traps and played heavy metal football for 60 minutes. Tullow lost the toss and were turned around to play against the wind but this didn’t affect them and they flew out of the traps with each player winning their own individual battle for the full half meaning Abby Keppel never had a save to make in the half. Tullow’s first chance came inside five minutes when Maria Healy played Keelie Doyle in down the right and she hit a cracking shot from 25 yards which shaved the post. The next chance fell to the ever-running Maria Healy who beat several players and found herself inside the box with only the keeper to beat but the keeper pulled off a great save. The goal Tullow deserved finally came on the 15th minute mark and what a team goal it was. Caoimhe Dempsey won the ball back at the edge of her own box played a lovely pass into Katelyn Dempsey who then found captain fantastic Anna Cullen who played a brilliant through ball to Mia Nolan who ran 25 yards through on goal and beat two players and the keeper to slot the ball into the empty net.

Tullow continued to impress against the wind and should have doubled their lead when a great pass from Ciara Cahoon found Maria Healy in space and she beat two players before shooting just wide.

The second half saw the visitors come out all guns blazing after they must have gotten a good team talk and it took five minutes of hard work from the brilliant back four of Kate Byrne, Angie May Doran, Katelyn Dempsey and Caoimhe Dempsey to keep St David’s out. The great defence kept the visitors to long range shots and Abby Keppel dealt with them in the goal. Once Tullow weathered the storm the pattern of the first half continued and Maria Healy, Ciara Cahoon and Anna Cullen were bossing the midfield winning all the battles. They were creating lots of chances for the front three of Keelie Doyle, Lucy Kinsella and Mia Nolan and only for some brilliant goal keeping by the visitor’s keeper Tullow would have been out of sight. The second goal that was so badly needed finally came with ten minutes remaining when Hannah Coady super running cause havoc and the ball broke out to Keelie Doyle who slotted the ball past the keeper to keep up her goal scoring run.

Having seen off teams from Carlow, Wicklow, Kilkenny and Wexford Tullow will now play the winner of Loreto Rathfarnham or Tullamore College in the final sometime next week.

Tullow CS Team

Abby Keppel, Caoimhe Dempsey, Kate Byrne, Angie May Doran, Katelyn Dempsey, Anna Cullen (Capt), Maria Healy, Ciara Cahoon, Keelie Doyle, Lucy Kinsella, Mia Nolan, Hannah Coady, Una McFarland, Aoibe Collier, Chloe Davies, Orla Nolan.