19 May 2009

St MacNissi’s Garron Tower      8-3     St Mark’s Warrenpoint   6-1


Sheer determination saw St MacNissi’s Garron Tower collect the Ulster
Colleges’ Under 14 title for the second time in three seasons on Monday
after they edged out first-time finalists St Mark’s Warrenpoint in a
high-scoring shoot-out in Casement Park.

Sinéad Cosgrove’s hat-trick in the last six minutes of play finally nailed
the title for the Tower after St Mark’s put it up to the north Antrim

It was really nip and tuck from start to finish.  St MacNissi’s seemed to
have the initiative in the opening half, but each time they hit the net,
St Mark’s seemed to hit back with a similar score within a minute.

The Cosgrove sisters, captain Soracha and full-forward Sinéad hit early
points for the Tower, but then Colleen Fearon raced through to fire home
St Mark’s first goal.

Sinéad Cosgrove responded by getting on the end of two good moves and
blasting goals.

However back bounced St Mark’s with two fine strikes from Leona McGarry,
and although Soracha Cosgrove found the net direct from a 30 metre free,
St Mark’s edged ahead with a scrambled goal right on half-time.

Garron Tower had a strong opening to the second half when Shauna Kelly and
Catherine Marshall set Sinéad Cosgrove up for another double strike.

That tested St Mark’s resolve, but they tightened the screw at the back
and after 10 minutes were back in the match with a beautiful goal from
their captain Colleen Fearon.

Play swung from end to end for the next 10 scoreless minutes before St
MacNissi’s created the openings for Sinéad Cosgrove to clinch the tie with
her late hat-trick.

St Mark’s struck back with a Fearon goal direct from a free, but time ran
out on them and the north Antrim school made it seven titles from their
last seven appearances in provincial deciders on a 8-3 to 6-1 score-line.

The Cosgrove sisters accounted for all the scores – but it was a complete
team performance from the Garron Tower youngsters with coach Séamas
McAleenan claiming that every one had upped their game.

“At the start of the competition we built this team around the experience
of Shauna Kelly and Soracha Cosgrove.  Every player though has progressed
and they all rose to the challenge today.”

“They really needed to, because St Mark’s are a great team.  It was their
first final appearance – but they will surely pick up titles in the
future.  I just hope it is not at our expense.”

This was a highly entertaining final that went right to the wire – but
when it came to the last five minutes, Garron Tower’s greater experience
of finals told and they managed to edge home.

St MacNissi’s : Cailin Quinn, Oonagh Ward, Shannon McLaughlin, Soracha
Cosgrove capt.1-2, Tierna Carson, Shannon McCormick, Erin McAleese, Róisín
O’Kane, Ciara Kerr, Shauna Kelly, Catherine Marshall, Sinéad Cosgrove 7-1.
Subs : Aisling Mulvenna for S McLaughlin, Michaela McIlwaine for C Kerr,
Hannah McIlwaine, Hannah Fergie, Kerrie O’Boyle, Aoife O’Connor, Ellen
Jones, Lauren O’Boyle, Niamh McKendry, Leah Cosgrove.
St Mark’s : Orla Caldwell, Roisin Mulholland, Rebecca Mussen, Michaela
Fagan, Shannon O’Hagan, Laura Grant 0-1, Michaela O’Neill, Patrina Lively,
Colleen Fearon 3-0, Jenna Boden, Leona McGarry 2-0, Jane McAleenan 1-0.

Pictures : Successful St Mac Nissi’s College winning under 14 squad

Captain Soracha Cosgrove left accepts the Ulster under 14 Colleges’ Cup
from former Association President Lily Spence with St Mark’s captain
Colleen Fearon centre.