FAI Schools Junior Girls National Cup FINAL (Under 17, Large Schools)
Thursday, May 12, 2022
Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana 0-0 Presentation SS, Thurles (AET) Buncrana won 5-4 on pens
The Buncrana girls held out in the dreaded penalty shoot-out to secure the 2022 FAI Schools Junior Girls National Cup following twelve well executed spot kicks. Scoil Mhuire’s number one Hollie Ferguson saving two to ensure the narrowest of victories in a pulsating tie in Oriel Park, Dundalk this afternoon.
Bitter disappointment from the Thurles institution as they battled brilliantly throughout the game and will rue some missed opportunities to see off the Ulster girls in normal time. That’s the second National Cup title that the School miss out on having lost to Claregalway College in the Senior contest last month.
It was so difficult to call a winner in normal time and the sides couldn’t be separated in extra time so the penalty shoot-out added to the tension and drama of the day! A fantastic showcase for the travelling supporters to witness in the County Louth venue.
Ferguson was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first half with the lively Ciara Breslin and Ava Ryan causing some concern for the Buncrana defence. Set piece specialist Grace Flanagan just didn’t get enough chances in front of goal to cause damage in the first twenty minutes despite the trio’s ability to get on the ball and strike from any position.
The Scoil Mhuire defence was outstanding with Ciara McGee and Jodie Loughrey averting everything in their path.
It was probably closer to the half hour mark when Buncrana really got going and the talented Bria McGilloway tested Caithln Shelly in between the sticks but the Thurles netminder was equal to the challenge.
Shots from distance was the order of the day for Eoin Leonard’s crew but nothing hit the target as the half ended with a stalemate.
With Presentation SS, Thurles enjoying much of the action in the first period, it was Scoil Mhuire who seemed to ease into the second period a lot quicker and enjoyed some wonderful spells of possession.
Again half chances were created from Jodie Loughrey and the hard working Clióna O’Donnell but the Thurles defence was well marshalled and all danger cleared confidently.
Extra time provided the same wonderful entertainment as the tension mounted. The final ball lacked any real conviction and we were set up nicely for the ensuing penalty shoot-out.
Loughrey sisters Jodie and Keri Loughrey, Ciara McGee, Leah Deehan and Niamh Harkin were successful with their penalty conversions to see them win out with Ferguson stepping up to stop two of the six Thurles attempts.
The last time Scoil Mhuire captured the Junior Girls Cup was back in 2000. They have also won the other age categories over the years with a Minor National title in 2001, Senior title in 2004 and a First Year title in 2008. Could there be a resurgence of National silverware in this decade. There will be certainly ever opportunity with the crop of talented players at their disposal.
SCOIL MHUIRE, BUNCRANA | Hollie Ferguson, Alanna Graham, Ciara McGee, Jodie Loughrey, Leah Deehan, Keri Loughrey (Captain), Clióna O'Donnell, Heidi Gill, Bria McGilloway, Leah McCarron, Niamh Harkin
Áine McCallion, Grace McGonagle, Millie Anthony, Aoife McLafferty, Rhianna Doherty, Laura Doherty, Tegan Doherty, Ellen McFadden, Émer Cox
TEACHERS | Eoin Leonard & Paddy Carr
PRESENTATION SS, THURLES | Caitlín Shelly, Leanna Coppinger, Molly O’Dwyer, Emer Dwan, Ciara Shelly, Aoife Shelly, Missy Condron, Grace Flanagan (Captain), Chloe Shorley, Ciara Breslin, Ava Ryan
SUBS | Ellen Maher, Ella Coppinger, Holli Maher, Danielle Butler, Lucy Callanan, Roísín Dwan, Aoife O'Reilly, Caoimhe O'Sullivan, Amy Reddan, Ruby O'Dwyer, Victoria Cantwell, Rachel Ralph
TEACHERS | Barry Ryan & Cian Treacy
MATCH OFFICAL | David Hughes (Dundalk)