Munster Ladies Junior Football Final.
Murroe/Boher (Limerick) 4-06 Fermoy (Cork) 2-07.
There were scenes of wild celebrations in Kilmallock on Saturday afternoon after Murroe/Boher won their 1st ever Munster title after an absorbing contest with Cork kingpins Fermoy. This was a game that was in the balance up until the final minute of injury time when a Shauna Ryan goal finally sealed the game match and title for an ecstatic Murroe/Boher squad and supporters.
The game was preceded by torrential rain which thankfully cleared and the match itself was played in dry but blustery conditions. Murroe/Boher started well and a superb long range point from Claire Keating was the opening score after 3 minutes. Despite a bout of sustained pressure Murroe/Boher couldn’t add to their tally before a quick break from Fermoy saw the ball travel the length of the pitch before Elisa De Luca rifled an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net. With every ball been fiercely contested it was a further 7 minutes before Lisa Leonard added a 2nd point for Murroe/Boher from a tight angle following a beautiful pass from Grainne Regan. A quickly taken free by Grainne then found Lisa Leonard who offloaded sublimely to the overlapping Michelle Norris who smashed the ball to the back of the Fermoy net. Another super point from Claire Keating extended the lead but Fermoy pointed from a close in free to narrow the gap. A free flowing move saw the ball travel between Alannagh Russell Megan O Mara and Michelle Norris before it reached Niamh Richardson on the burst whose pile driver cleared the crossbar by inches. Murroe Boher introduced Kathryn Fahey into the backline after 20 minutes but it was Fermoy who closed out the half with a lovely point from Saoirse Moore to leave Murroe/Boher with the slenderest of leads 1-04 to 1-03.
The 2nd half was as close as the 1st but this time Fermoy got the dream start. 2 minutes in and Fermoy goaled after a defence splitting move and the game was on in earnest. Fermoy added another point to go 3 clear but Murroe/Boher responded superbly. Niamh Richardson curled over a sublime point from 30 yards out to leave 2 between the sides. Fermoy increased the lead back out to 3 with a breakaway point. Then in the 45th Minute Niamh Richardson lobbed in a free into the square which was met by Shauna Ryan who fisted a great goal to the back of the net and tie up the game, 2-05 to 2-05. Fermoy responded with a point to retake the lead but Niamh Richardson again equalised on the 48th minute. The contest was now extremely hard fought and Murroe Boher introduced fresh legs when Keeley Lenihan and Aimee O Brien came into the forward line to replace the injured Claire Keating and the very impressive Alannagh Russell. Fermoy retook the lead in the 54th minute from a close range free and the game was once again up for grabs. In the 57th minute a dazzling length of the pitch move ended when Keeley Lenihan burst past the full back to bury the ball in the bottom corner of the Fermoy net to give Murroe/Boher a precious 2 point lead. It is often said that a 2 point lead is the most dangerous lead to have but for the next 2 minutes of normal time and 3 minutes of extra time the Murroe/Boher girls gave an exhibition of ball retention that few teams could emulate.
Then in the final minute Shauna Ryan from midfield somehow ended up in the full forward line and after Megan O Mara had challenged for a high ball in it broke to Shauna who finished to the net to scenes of wild jubilation. There was barely time for the kick out to be taken when Referee Tony Fox called time on an absorbing contest. Murroe/Boher were Munster Junior Club Champions.
This was a fantastic advert for ladies football. For Murroe/Boher there were heroes everywhere. Aoife Barry in goals was excellent throughout with her kick outs in particular very impressive. After enduring a tough opening half the full back line were immense with Siobhan O Connor, Saoirse Barry and Aoife Meaney in fantastic form against a very good full forward line. Aisling Regan Roisin O Malley and Louise Crowley did Trojan work with the battle between Louise & Aisling Hutchings, the Munster & Irish rugby star, one of the days highlights. Niamh Richardson and Shauna Ryan gave everything to the cause and between then scored 2-03, an outstanding effort from any midfield pairing. Megan O Mara and Grainne Regan worked tirelessly both in attack and defense and helped set up many scores. Michelle Norris, was the Munster LGFA Player of the match and her performance fully justified that decision. She was everywhere and always encouraging the younger players when most needed. Alannagh Russell Claire Keating and Lisa Leonard put in a brilliant effort all day and never let Fermoy out easily. Kathryn Fahey was very influential after been introduced and Aimee O Brien and Keeley Lenihan with a very important goal all contributed to a great victory. The entire panel has played its part in this Munster success so well done also to Niamh Holmes Fiona Tooomey, Aoife O Malley Catriona Laffan Anna Ryan and Mary O Reilly.
Ian O Brien presented the Munster Cup to Louise Crowley and the celebrations began in earnest.
The Murroe/Boher team management and club would like to very sincerely thank everyone for all the goodwill messages we received before and after the match from all connected with Limerick Ladies Football. The county board and many Limerick clubs had representatives at the game and we are very grateful and appreciative of your support on the day and since.
Murroe/Boher L.G.F.C are off to Maastricht in Holland to play Belgium GAA in the All-Ireland q/f on November 1st at 4pm. All support welcome!!!!!!!!!!!
Last but not least, the cost of the trip to Maastricht will be around €8,700. We hope to receive around 2,500 from Munster and the national L.G.F.A to assist with travel costs. However there will be a substantial shortfall of €6,200. The club is collecting old clothes as part of a fundraising recycling campaign.
If any individual, business, or group can help with any financial assistance we would be very grateful. if so please contact Noel Regan 086-8109682 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org