Murroe/Boher Ladies are crowned All Ireland Junior Football Champions.

Murroe/Boher are crowned All Ireland Junior Football Champions.

Murroe Boher 3-11 St Ciaran’s 1-01.

On a historic never to bee forgotten day Murroe/Boher Ladies Gaelic footballers captured the All-Ireland Junior Club title in their 1st year competing at adult level. A powerhouse display of fast attacking football completely overwhelmed Roscommon outfit St Ciaran’s in Ballinasloe on Saturday afternoon. Murroe/Boher signalled their intentions from the off with Shauna Ryan scoring a long range effort after 3 minutes. Niamh Richardson added a 2nd after 9 minutes before the 1st decisive moment of the game. A strong run by Grainne Regan opened up the defence before she offloaded to Michelle Norris. Michelle, from 25 yards out hit a sweet shot which crept in under the bar to register the games 1st goal. Claire Keating added a superb effort from distance a minute later and suddenly Murroe/Boher led by 1-04 to no score. The next 15 minutes were scoreless but the game itself was enthralling. End to end attacks with both defences outstanding. Niamh Richardson prevented a certain goal after tracking back 6o yards to dispossess Elaine Daly as she bore down on goal. Aoife Meaney was marking Roscommon star Laura Fleming and held her scoreless. Siobhan O Connor was in fantastic form and totally dominated Fiona Connell and Saoirse Barry had an outstanding day on rising Roscommon player Rachel Fitzmaurice. Aisling Regan had a great match as did Kathryn Fahy and were the platform for most of Murroe/Bohers attacks. As the half time whistle approached Shauna Ryan scored another fantastic long range effort and as the half ticked into injury time another decisive moment occurred.15 year old Lisa Leonard, only passed fit to play on the morning of the game received a lovely hand pass From Claire Keating who had intercepted a St Ciaran’s pass. Lisa, from a tight angle, hammered the ball into the top right hand corner of the net to put Murroe/Boher 10 points ahead. Then St Ciaran’s got a lifeline. In the last seconds of the half St Ciaran’s intercepted a pass and Aoife Bandon rifled home a fine goal to give the Roscommon girls hope at the short whistle. This was the 1st score Murroe Boher had conceded in 106 minutes of championship football and highlighted was a superb defence they are. The 2nd half was only 5 minutes old when Lisa Leonard responded fastest to a rebound from the crossbar to brilliantly finish to the net to restore the 10 point advantage. Keeley Lenihan tapped over another point before Rachel Fitzmaurice responded with an excellently taken point. This was to be St Ciaran’s final score of the match and Murroe/Bohers fitness really came to the fore. In the 48th minute Grainne Regan scored a great point after a 40 yard run and this was added to by a Niamh Richardson free a minute later. Niamh giving a player of the match performance then added another a minute later from play before Grainne Regan tapped over a close in free. Kathryn Fahy burst up from wing back to get in on the scoring notching an excellent long range effort and Murroe Boher had scored 5 points in a row in just 5 minutes. Keely Lenihan added another point in the 56th minute to complete the scoring on the day and leave Murroe/Boher 3-11 to 1-01 victors. Indeed the score line would have been better for Murroe/Boher had not the St Ciaran’s net minder and Captain Paula Daly not have such a superb match. She stopped 3 certain goals in the 2nd half and could do very little about the goals conceded.

Special mention to Aoife Barry in goals who was in devastating form. Her kick outs were the Launchpad for many attacks and the variety and scope of her shot selection totally confused St Ciaran’s. Niamh Richardson and Shauna Ryan in midfield totally controlled this vital area. Megan O Mara and Michelle Norris were outstanding throughout and Grainne Regan’s direct running had St Ciaran’s in trouble from the outset. Alannagh Russell and Claire Keating were tireless workers and the turnover stats from these two super players were staggering. Lisa Leonard took her goals well and impressed in general play also. Keely Lenihan and Aimee O Brien took over the corner forward duties during the game and fitted in seamlessly turning in fine efforts. Sisters Roisin O Malley and Aoife O Malley firmed up the defence when introduced. Fiona Toomey took over from Claire Keating at full forward and impressed. Mary O Reilly, Anna Ryan Catriona Laffan and Niamh Holmes have played important roles in the championship and can be very proud of their efforts all year.

Captain Fantastic Louise Crowley after another stunning performance on the pitch accepted the cup on behalf of her teammates and the celebrations began in earnest.

The homecoming at the Muintir Na Tire hall had to be seen to be believed. A Garda escort, beautiful fireworks display, a guard of honour from the girls in the Camogie club, lovely speeches by Fr Tom Ryan, Fr Simon Sleeman Noel Regan and Louise Crowley added to the occasion. The girls were visibly emotional at this display of community spirit and were so grateful for all the effort people had put in to welcome them home. Lovely tea and sandwiches with music by Paddy and Sean. Sure what more could you ask for. Sincere thanks to the GAA Club, the camogie club, the ICA, Community Council, Kathleen Gunning Denis Holmes, John Buckley, Eileen and Jodie and all the other people whom i have forgotten here.

What a day. All Ireland Champions