Kilcullen AFC claimed the KDFL Rooney Coaches Womens Cup for the second year in succession when they overcame Bridge United Ladies by the narrowest of margins in a repeat of last year’s final at an excellently prepared Suncroft AFC grounds on Saturday last, writes Michael Casey.
Rooney Coaches Womens Cup Final
Bridge United: O
Kilcullen AFC: 1
Bridge United opted for five across the back to counter the strong offensive prowess of the Kilcullen led by Sara Murphy and Ciara Pembroke.
This gave the Athy side in a less attacking role for the first half. Three early mix ups between centre back Siobhain Doyle and Donna Hickey could have seen Bridge concede but they regained their composure quickly to snuff out any early danger.
The wind provided nothing for either team and they never looked like scoring, and so went in at half time scoreless..
The second half saw a big increase in the tempo of the game and Bridge United, reminded of their defeat to Kilcullen last season in the cup came out all guns blazing and pushed forward with Mary Lawless and Rhona Mulhall taking a more attacking role.
Having the wind at their backs they pressured the Kilcullen from the off and forces a series of frees within the first ten minutes both from Lawless however the Kilcullen wall held firm to snuff out any danger and a second which was well saved by Jayne Peacocke in the Kilcullen goal.
Bridge were on the offensive at this stage and again missed further chances to break the deadlock through Lynsey Donovan and Colleen Leigh.
This combination of missed opportunities by Bridge seemed to give Kilcullen more confidence in going forward and eventually got back on top in the last quarter.
With ten minutes remaining Kilcullen took the lead deservedly when they won a free 20 yards out.
Emma Doyle floated in a superb ball. Bridge ‘keeper Donna Hickey called for the ball however a mix up between Hickey and her defence allowed Clare Kelly in to sneak the all important goal and put Kilcullen 1-0 up.
Bridge for the last ten put the leaders under enormous pressure however their back line of Clare Kelly, Aoife Whelan, Brenda Murphy and Karen Bell held firm for a historic victory for the Tadgh Shanaghan managed side who now look almost certain to clinch the League and Cup double over the coming weeks.
Best for the winners were woman of the match Karen Bell and Brenda Murphy in defence and Emma Doyle and Clare Kelly in midfield while for a disappointed Bridge United Ladies Nicola Lawless, Mary Lawless and Siobhan Doyle excelled.
Jayne Peacocke, Clare Kelly, Aoife Whelan, Brenda Murphy, Karen Bell, Emma Doyle, Laura Gibson, Clare Kelly, Ciara Pembroke, Sara Murphy, Yvonne Schwer, Gemma Collins, Riadhain McBride, Alana Barrett, Emma Hannon, Andrea Condon, Fran Wade.
Donna Hickey, Zara Moriarty, Danielle Foley, Laura Pender, Siobhan Doyle, Nicola Lawless, Lynsey Donovan, Colleen Leigh, Mary Lawless, Rhona Mulhall, Louisia Fennell, Karen Hickey, Amy Mulhall.