The following SuperValu West Cork Schoolgirls Cup final match report was published in the Southern Star on Thursday March 23rd 2014.
It featured a Lyre Rovers team chasing a Schoolgirls League and Cup ‘double’ plus a talented Riverside Athletic squad eager to claim the prestigious trophy. Enjoy. – Ger McCarthy.
LYRE ROVERS 1
RIVERSIDE ATHLETIC 0
A solitary Aoife Barry goal proved enough for Lyre Rovers to win the SuperValu West Cork Schoolgirls U16 Cup at the expense of a gallant Riverside Athletic at Canon Crowley Park last Monday.
Riverside bossed the opening exchanges and forced the Lyre defence into a succession of hurried clearances thanks to Sinead Caulfield and Rochelle Scannell’s hard work.
Rovers took their time to settle but could have grabbed a 4th minute lead when a Mary Jo Williams turn and pass found an unmarked Aoife Barry on the edge of the 6-yard box. Only the quick reactions of Ciara Whyte prevented Barry from netting a certain opener and the Riverside goalkeeper produced another important stop 2 minutes later to deny Williams at the near post.
Muireann O’Driscoll and Samantha Shorthall’s committed defending repelled Lyre’s early advances and Riverside were relieved to see a Melissa Wilson free-kick fly narrowly wide of the target as the newly crowned league champions ended the opening quarter on the attack.
Athletic threatened sporadically with Kellie and Kirstie Scannell prompting a succession of counter-attacks that failed to breach Rovers’ well-drilled back four. Holly O’Sullivan and Mary Hurley’s resolute defending allowed Lyre to dominate much of the opening half yet an inability to create any clear-cut chances meant Riverside remained in contention despite living off meagre possession.
Aoife Barry, Mary Jo Williams and the hard working Moira Barrett each spurned half-chances in quick succession before Athletic enjoyed their best spell with Sinead Caulfield, Rochelle Scannell and Sinead Duggan stretching their opponents back four with determined runs in the final third.
Mary Jo Williams fired a long range effort inches past the upright before Danielle Carroll cleared a shot off the Riverside goal line as the first half ended in a welter of excitement.
The sides changed ends still scoreless but the pace of a thrilling final rarely relented during an end-to-end second period. Defences remained on top with Sarah Hayes enjoying a superb individual display in the heart of Lyre’s back four and Danielle Carroll equally as impressive for Athletic at the other end of the pitch.
An engrossing final remained evenly poised until Lyre Rovers finally made the breakthrough 10 minutes into the second half. Mary Jo Williams gained possession on the edge of the Riverside penalty area and found Aoife Barry with a superb through ball. The Lyre striker took a touch before thundering a marvellous shot under Ciara Whyte to push Rovers 1-0 ahead.
Riverside responded positively to falling behind and launched a series of counter-attacks in search of a leveller. Lyre weathered a difficult period and came close to doubling their advantage with Ciara Whyte having to go full length to deny Melissa Wilson and Ciara Barrett in consecutive attacks.
Athletic continued to pour forward in the closing stages, forcing a series of corners and free-kicks but were still unable to find a way through Lyre’s excellent back four of O’Sullivan, Hurley, Hayes and O’Donovan. The Ballineen side were camped in Lyre Rovers’ half right up until the concluding minutes yet couldn’t conjure up an equaliser despite Sinead Caulfield, Kellie Scannell and Rochelle Scannell’s best efforts.
The final whistle brought an end to a hugely entertaining cup decider with Lyre Rovers running out deserving 1-0 winners but Riverside Athletic also played their part and produced one of their best performances of the season despite losing by a solitary goal.
Best for the runners-up included Ciara Whyte who had a terrific afternoon between the sticks with defender Danielle Carroll deservedly taking the SuperValu Player of the Match award. Kellie Scannell and Sinead Caulfield also impressed up front for the Ballineen side.
Lyre Rovers brought the curtain down on a memorable double-winning season thanks to the efforts of strikers Mary Jo Williams and match-winner Aoife Barry. Moira Barrett was Lyre’s best player on the day and Melissa Wilson also caugh the eyeinthe centre of the park. Rovers’ success was built on the defensive solidity of Mary Hurley and Sarah Hayes.
SuperValu Player of the Match: Danielle Carroll of Riverside Athletic.
Lyre Rovers: Cassandra O’Sullivan, Holly O’Sullivan, Mary Hurley, Sarah Hayes, Alison O’Donovan, Moira Barrett, Leanne Calnan, Melisa Wilson, Ciara Barrett, Aoife Barry Mary Jo Williams, Karina Lavery, Hannah O’Hea, Catherine Lordan, Sinead Mears, Yvonne Collins, Clara Crowley, Maggie O’Hea and Aoife Crowley. Coaches: Gretta Cormican and Leonard Cooke.
Riverside Athletic: Ciara Whyte, Samantha Shorthall, Muireann O’Driscoll, Danielle Carroll, Caoimhe Hennessy, Kirstie Scannell, Sinead Duggan, Laura Mannix, Kellie Scannell, Sinead Caulfield, Rochelle Scannell, Fiona Everard, Katie Hennessy and Claire Hickey. Coaches: Michelle Harrington and Mary O’Driscoll.
Referee: Richie Collins (WCSL)
Assistant Referees: Tadgh Sheehan and Martin Coakley (WCSL).