Division 5 St Brigids 5-9 Rathcoffey 2-6
By Jason Morris
On a beautiful, sunny afternoon in Hawkfield, the combined Athgarvan/Kilcullen team St Brigids earned a hard fought victory on a scoreline of 5-9 to 2-6 over a battling Rathcoffey side in a great game of open, flowing football.
After a nervy start, St Brigids scored two quicks goals, both unstoppable rockets from the right foot of the outstanding Ellie O'Toole. Rathcoffey hit back immediately, however, with two well taken goals of their own through Dervla McGinn and Eadaoin Mulligan and some smart saves were needed from the Brigids keeper Avril Glendon to keep the scores level. St Brigids gradually got on top with the Quigley twins, Laura and Kate, starting to dominate midfield.
Corner forward Tilly Morris was winning a lot of ball for Brigids and some great link up play led to four excellent points from the trusty left foot of full forward Samantha Cullen. A lovely passing move led to a goal from the ever dangerous Kayleigh Humphries before Katie Quigley added a further point. Rathcoffey once again responded with a point from Niamh Whitaker and only some valiant blocking from the Brigids full back line of Georgia Hobbs, Aoife Sully and Katie Treacy prevented further scores. At half time St Brigids were ahead by 3-5 to 2-1.
Rathcoffey gave their all in the second half, fighting to the end and staying in contention until the final five minutes. Two great points were added by their roaming full forward Aoife Harris, who proved a handful all game, while others to register scores were Eadaoin Mulligan, Niamh Whitaker and the hard working Sorcha Dolan, who combined effectively with her midfield partner Shauna Mulligan and the impressive half forward Catherine Fallon. Aisling McGovern and Sophie Masterson both did well at half back, while Muireann O'Donoghue gave her all at full back.
The second half saw a number of younger substitutes introduced for St Brigids (9 of the 22 girl panel being under 13) and Allanah Burke and Laura McMahon both performed well in the backs alongside the tight marking Kate Timmons, outstanding centre back Lisa Aspell and Lauren Hurley, who had a storming second half with a number of vital interceptions. The youngest player on the panel, Nanci Murphy, made a big impact in the forwards scoring a goal and a point, while another sub Leah Mullally produced a neat finish to the corner of the Rathcoffey net at the end. Forwards Katie Brierton, Kaitlin Hegarty and subs Amy Sully and Aveen Treacy all played their part, with the latter adding a very well taken point. It was fittingly left to joint captain Samantha Cullen to knock over the final point, her sixth in total, before she and Laura Quigley went up to collect the trophy amid great celebrations by the St Brigids girls.