Portlaoise Girls triumph in County Final
PORTLAOISE LADIES U 14 “A” CHAMPIONS OF LAOIS
PORTLAOISE 3-11 SHANAHOE 0-01
The girls of Portlaoise finished off the year in style with an emphatic victory against Shanahoe in the “A” championship final.
In almost perfect weather conditions both teams served up a very entertaining final. The score does not reflect the battling performance a well-drilled and physical Shanahoe team produced.
From the very start Portlaoise were on the front foot with midfield pairing Amy Byrne and Julia Cahill cutting through the Shanahoe defence. Tara Byrne at full forward was a constant thorn in Shanahoe’s side and it was her point that got Portlaoise on the scoreboard. Two points from centre forward Alanah Doheny and Amy Byrne contributing three more saw Portlaoise take a six-point lead into half time.
The second half continued in the same vein with Portlaoise threatening every time they were on the ball. With two lightning quick corner forwards in Leah Loughman and Grainne O Reilly Portlaoise continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Portlaoise however did not have everything their own way and were it not for some resolute defending from Keva Davis , Sinead Quinn , full back Sarah Fleming and two exceptional saves from Jasmine Burke it would have been a different score line.
Further points from Amy Byrne, Julia Cahill and Leah Loughman and the creative running of Rebecca Reddin gave Portlaoise a firm grip on this contest and with some clinical finishing Ciara Conroy, and Claudia Cregan found the back of the net.
The Portlaoise half back line was outstanding. It was the superb trio of Kirsten Keenan at centre back flanked admirably by Ciara Byrne and Anna Healy that was the platform for nearly every attack .The Portlaoise defence has a never give up attitude and work tirelessly for the team. It’s no surprise to hear that, Portlaoise, in their seven previous championship matches conceded a miserly 4-08, while at the other end the Portlaoise forwards done untold damage with a tally of 30-84!
Portlaoise began to spring players from the bench with Maria Carroll fitting seamlessly into the defence. Sinead Finnegan and Laurna Skehan coming on to pull the strings at the other end. Shauna Dooley made an emphatic entrance by calmly dispatching the ball low and hard into the Shanahoe net.
This finished off what has been an extraordinary year for Portlaoise u14 girls. They are the current Feile champions of Laois, All-Ireland Kilamcud Crokes sevens Plate champions and the icing on the cake County champions!!
Jasmine Burke, Keva Davis, Sarah Fleming, Sinead Quinn, Ciara Byrne, Kirsten Keenan, Anna Healy, Amy Byrne (0-06), Julia Cahill (0-01), Ciara Conroy (1-0), Alanah Doheny (0-02) , Rebecca Reddin, Grainne O’Reilly, Tara Byrne (0-01) , Leah Loughman (0-01) , Laurna Skehan, Claudia Cregan (1-0), Sinead Finnegan, Maria Carroll, Shauna Dooley (1-0), Faith Bennett, Sarah Guilfoyle.