Tullylish Girls defy odds to claim U14 Championship title

Tullylish Girls U14s 1-7

Newry Shamrocks U14s 1-5

TULLYLISH U14 Girls travelled to Loughinisland on Saturday to take on Newry Shamrocks in the final of the County Down U14 Championship.

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The Tullylish girls earned their place in the final when on Tuesday last they battled and won against the odds to beat Bryansford 1-7 to 1-5.

The persistent mizzling rain left the pitch slippy and the ball heavy but the local girls took the conditions in their stride. The first 15 minutes of the game was a total impasse with neither side prepared to give anything away.

Shamrocks were particularly strong in the midfield but the two Ciara’s for Tullylish – Grimly and Hendron blended their own strengths and matched the Newry girls with speed, skill and sheer persistence.

Play boomeranged from one end of the pitch to the other and it was Shamrocks that broke the deadlock with a point and then an opportunist goal.

Mise Connolly ensured that Tullylish got onto the scoresheet in the first half with a well placed point and at the other end of the pitch Ursula McClatchey headed a blanket defence aided by Claire Weir and Sinead McCartan to thwart Shamrock advances.

With the score at 0-1 to 1-2 in favour of Shamrocks the half time whistle sounded and the Tullylish support anguished over scores which should have been.

The second half was a mammoth battle between the two sides. Tullylish half backs McCartan, Donnelly and Brady kept Tullylish in contention with tremendous support play and selfless passing.

Ciara Hendron advanced on a Shamrock kick out and sent the ball over the bar to take the first point of the second half. Shannon Owens stretched for every ball and when she found Mise Connolly on the run she delivered a sweet little flick to her and secured the next point for Tullylish to put them within two points of the lead.

Tracey May, Niamh Toner and Shauna Muir contested every ball in the forward line and were unlucky not to take more scores.

Ciara Hendron and Ciara Grimley took two more points from play but Shamrocks dropped a kick into the square which landed just under the bar to give them a goal and the Championship.

Tremendous performance from the Tullylish girls who were disappointed on the day but have to be proud of the way they have represented themselves and their Club throughout the season.

Tullylish: Chloe, Claire Weie, Sinead McCartan, Ursula McClatchey. Mary McCartan, Lauren Donnelly, Caomihe Brady, Ciara Hendron, Ciara Grimley, Mise Connolly, Sophie Burns, Shannon Owens, Tracey May, Niamh Toner, Nicole Fegan.

Best of luck to the Ladies who won the Junior Championship and now represent Down in the Ulster Junior Championship when they play Convoy, County Donegal on Sunday October 3 in Donegal, throw in at 2.30pm.