Colmcilles laid down their marker with a first minute goal in sunny St Albans from Fiona Kennedy. Claddaghs tried to counter however Laura Fitzpatrick came in with an excellent block. Some very quick feet from Niamh Gallagher ensured the ball travelled back up the pitch for another score from our Fiona. With the sweltering temperature on the pitch, the referee called a much needed water break whilst those on the side-line grabbed a chance to fill back up their glasses with ice and Magners. As play resumed, Maz for Colmcilles seems entirely elusive from her marker as she completely controlled the middle third of the pitch. Unfortunately Maz took a break from the pitch and Ann Griffin came on to replace her. Some excellent scoring from Colmcilles including one which knocked off the post and over the bar for Niamh Gallagher. In the final seconds of the first half Claddaghs began their scoring with a lovely point.
Claddaghs approached with a new lease of life and sent a warning signal to the hosts with a great goal. As soon as the ball was kicked back out, it was intercepted by Claddaghs and went straight over the bar. As if that wasn’t enough to instil fear into Colmcilles, Claddaghs scored another goal. Undeterred from their mission to keep that championship trophy in St Albans, Colmcilles marched back down the pitch, only to have a goal disallowed due to a square ball. Colmcilles were awarded a free thirty yards out. Ann griffin stepped up and sailed the ball high in towards the goal. It dipped beautifully and hit the back of the net. Jackie, Claddagh’s keeper, was kept incredibly busy and pulled off some excellent saves for the visitors. Maz returned to the pitch and resumed her excellent dominance of the middle of the pitch. Claddagh gained their third goal of the match shortly before another well-earned water break. Claddagh Gaels started off again like they did the second half with a blistering goal and point in quick succession. Claddagh showed incredible spirit by getting back within three points of the hosts. Colmcilles remained valorous in their 3-in-a-row objective and responded with a goal before Fiona finished the game off with a lovely hand pass over the bar.
The final score was 4-16 to 4-8 in favour of the hosts. Claddagh had five different scorers on the pitch with Colmcilles having six. A sunny sensational spectacle of football which illustrates the ever-increasing quality here in Glo-Herts.
Claddagh Gaels: 1. Jackie Sheridan 2. Erin Sheridan 3. Edel Brady 4. Rachel Nicholis 5. Alex Brennan 6. Shauna McSweeney 7. Louise Gibbons 8. Clair Corcoran (1-1) 9. Yvonne Lennon 10. Shauna Maloney (1-1) 11. Fiona Friel (1-0) 12. Jacqueline McGoldrick (1-3) 13. Sarah Calpin 14. Souxsie Eiles 15. Natalie Flynn (0-2) 16. Madeline Mitchell 17. Mary Mulcranny 18. Karen Fahy 19. Caoimhe Barett 20. Aisling McAree 21. Maria Sexton
St Colmcilles: 1. Kate Rougheen 2. Verity Townsend 3. Laura Fitzpatrick 4. Rebbeca Oliver 5. Bebhinn Kennedy 6. Eilis Moran 7. Hannah McCorkindale 8. Niamh Gallagher 9. Claire Maher 10. Sophie Veal (0-6) 11. Erika Fealy (1-3) 12. Grace Beaker 13. Maz Home Botel (0-2) 14. Fiona Kennedy (2-3) 15. Cat Regan (0-2) 16. Ann Griffin (1-0) 17. Niamh Mangan 18. Jude McAteer 19. Helen Taggart