Meath LGFA Spring League U12 Division 2 Final🏆💙
Opposition – Oldcastle
Venue – Dunganny
FT Simonstown 1-06 Oldcastle 1-03

On a damp and breezy Sunday morning our U12 Ladies played their Final of the Meath LGFA Division 2 Spring League in Dunganny against Oldcastle.
The girls knew that despite a victory over Oldcastle in the round stage this would be a massive challenge against a very good opponent but as always, they were very determined to keep up their 100% record and put to bed the heart break of losing last years’ U11 final.
The first quarter was played by both teams at an incredible pace and Oldcastle were as expected proving to be a very skilful team. For the first few minutes the Simonstown ladies looked nervous on the ball. A fine move however up the field between Cara Cahill and Chloe Caffrey resulted in a foul on Ella Mae McDermott and from the resulting free Chloe Guinan popped over the opening point of the game. This settled the girls and they began to create some good scoring chances. Cara Cahill scored a fine point to increase the girls lead. Oldcastle were still playing some great football and from a quick break they also registered their first point to end the first quarter with only the minimum between the teams.
The second quarter began with the Simonstown girls firmly on the front foot and some fantastic defending by Chloe Brady and Mia Galligan led to a fast break up the field and Chloe Caffrey kicked a great point from distance. The confidence was flowing now and yet another surging run through the middle from Emma Brogan saw her pop the ball into Ella Mae who made no mistake and blasted the ball to the back of the net. There was no let up on the Oldcastle backs and even though they defended superbly one foul on Naomi Abu was all Molly Egan needed to open her account from the free to leave Simonstown ahead at half time on a score line of Simonstown 1-04 Oldcastle 0-01
Despite the lead this game was far from over and the third quarter proved this. Again, the girls were quick out of the blocks and Oldcastle had no answer to another driving run up the field from Cara which resulted in her second point of the game but then they hit their purple patch. Some great football and quick passing opened up the Simonstown backlines and Oldcastle scored a goal and a point in a couple of minutes to close the gap to 3 points with the final 10 minutes to play.
With Oldcastle now having their tails up we began to see another side to this Simonstown team. Feeding on the memories of last year’s final there was no way they were going to be runners up two years in a row and for the final quarter every single one of them put bodies and everything else they had on the line to defend this lead. Emma Marriage led the way collecting the ball in the half back line and driving up the field to kick over a fine point but Oldcastle replied instantly with a point of their own and still only a goal separated the teams. With Ava Hynes in for the injured Alex Connor defending superbly and Aoibheann Brady finding great space with her kickouts Ella O’Higgins and Aoishe Leddy kept moving the ball into the forward line where Chloe Guinan and Aoife Brogan kept the Oldcastle backs from breaking forward and if not for some missed frees the girls would have run out more comfortable winners. As it was they had to dig deep and Emma Brogan was again immense in her tackling and picking up loose ball to keep the Oldcastle forwards from mounting any final attacks. Finally, to the delight of the Simonstown girls and huge crowd of supporters the final whistle sounded and the girls had achieved their goal on a final score of Simonstown 1-06 Oldcastle 1-03.👏🏆👏

Team: Aoibheann Brady, Mia Galligan, Chloe Brady, Alex J Connor, Ava Hynes, Cara Cahill (Capt.) (0-02), Ella O’Higgins, Emma Brogan, Chloe Caffrey (0-01), Emma Marriage (0-01), Naomi Abu, Chloe Guinan (0-01), Ella Mai McDermott (1-00), Aoishe Leddy, Molly Egan (0-01), Aoife Bresnan. Missing from Photo Zoe Coyne

On behalf of the girls we would like to say a massive thank you to all the supporters who turned up today to support the team. This was the day they needed you all to drive them on and together we won this cup today.
As for the team what an absolute pleasure it has been to be involved with this fantastic bunch of young ladies. The effort every single player gave today was outstanding and I doubt a team has ever deserved to win a competition as much as this group of players. Their determination and togetherness on and off the field got them through today and they have played all year with a smile of their faces and enjoying what they do together. Today they got their reward and we should all be very proud of them and their achievement.
We would like to mention the big part Zoe Coyne, who was away on holidays, played in helping the team reach the final. We also want to wish Alex a speedy recovery from a pretty bad hand injury picked up today.

Thanks to all the team at Dunganny for making the finals day special for all the teams from the Executive and County Board members to all the referees and volunteers on the day. Great credit to you all on a fantastic day.

A final thanks to Stephanie and the Newgrange Hotel for providing amazing food and refreshments for the team after the game. The banners, balloons and disco made the girls feel like the winners they now are so thank you very much.

Niall & Sara

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