Rossas Win U 15 County Final in thrilling contest with Glen
Rossas U15 Ladies produced a fantastic performance at Ballymaguigan on Friday night to win the County Title with a one point victory over a very strong Glen team. The game was a classic with both teams contributing to what was a great advertisement for the ladies game.
Glen started strongly and raced into a four point lead after ten minutes, dominating in all sectors and Magherafelt looked to be in trouble. Magherafelt gradually began to find their feet however and Leonie McErlain and Nira Walls in midfield began to win possession and drive forward to great effect. The lively Courtney Brown opened the Rossas account with a well taken point and corner forward Aoife McAleenan then capitalised on a mistake in the Glen defence to score a great goal and bring the teams level. Rossa were now dominant and the half forward line of Siobhan Comer, Aideen Fullen and Niamh Kerr caused Glen problems with their strong running and workrate. Points followed from Courtney Brown and Niamh Kerr (2) and when Courtney Brown took a good pass from Ellie McGuckin to fire an unstoppable shot to the net Magherafelt were six up . Glen responded with 3 points on the trot before Aideen Fullen scored just before the break to leave the half time score Rossa 2-05 Glen 0-07.
Glen came out much the stronger in the second half and reduced the deficit to two points after ten minutes. The Maghera team were now well on top and took the lead again with a well worked goal. A point followed quickly and at this stage Magherafelt were 2 behind and in trouble, once again however the reds responded and Leonie McErlain began to dominate the midfeld sector winning plenty of ball and running strongly at the Glen defence. The impressive Niamh Kerr fired over two points to level matters and the same player then lobbed a dangerous free into the Glen square which managed to end up in the goal. Rossas were now 3 ahead and when Aideen Fullen fired over a good point they were 4 points up entering the last 10 minutes.
The reigning Feile champions were in no mood to give up however and once again the pendulum swung towards Glen as they brought the game to Magherafelt. At this stage the Rossa defence was immense with captain Ciara Monaghan leading by example ably supported by Claire Shields and Lauren Hughes in the half back line who fought to keep Glen at bay. Glens pressure then paid off when their full forward scored a great goal to leave the minimum between the teams again. The intensity of the game then began to tell with several players succumbing to cramp and when referee Joe Mulholland signalled that there would be 10 minutes injury time it looked as if Glen had the momentum to go on and win the game. Several chances were squandered however and Magherafelt keeper Lauren Kearns lifted the siege with some intelligent kick outs won by the hardworking Nira Walls. The last 5 minutes were nailbiting and the Rossa full back line of Eadaoin Smylie,Katie McGuckin and Maria McVeigh all made important clearances. Niamh McGarry who was unable to start for the Rossas through injury used her experience to steady the defence in the last few minutes and when the final whistle sounded Magherafelt had won on a 3-08 to 2-10 scoreline.
County Board representative Paddy McIvor presented the trophy to Rossa captain Ciara Monaghan with the player of the match award going to the excellent Leonie McErlain. Overall this was fantastic game between two well matched teams who now doubt will meet again in the years ahead.
Magherafelt : Lauren Kearns, Eadaoin Smylie, Katie McGuckin, Maria McVeigh, Lauren Hughes, Ciara Monaghan (C),Claire Shields, Nira walls, Leonie McErlain, Siobhan Comer,Aideen Fullen, Niamh Kerr ,Ellie McGuckin, Courtney Brown, Aoife McAleenan Subs, Niamh McGarry, Kerry Martin, Claire Lynch,Aislinn McGuckin, Shauneen McGuckin,Annie McAllister, Megan Mackle.