Riverstown 3 Douglas Hall 1
RIVERSTOWN claimed the GE Healthcare CWSSL Senior Women’s Premier League title by defeating Douglas Hall 3-1 in a title decider at the Mayfield Community School last Tuesday evening.
That win made it a season to remember for the club who also captured the Challenge Cup only three days previous to make it a league and cup double this year.
This was only the second time that Riverstown had captured the Senior Premier League trophy following their initial success two years ago.
A league title playoff with Douglas Hall was needed to decide the league winners as both teams finished the short season with 12 points, with four wins out of five games played.
This was a cracking match played at a fast pace with an all-or-nothing outcome with both teams giving an excellent performance and showing just high the standard of senior women’s football has reached in recent years with attacking football, solid tackling and exceptional teamwork, with the scoreline not doing justice to the Douglas Hall team on the day such was the closeness between both teams.
Douglas Hall’s Aoibhe Noonan had a chance in the first few minutes which went wide of the posts, followed by Riverstown’s Shannon Carson’s effort forcing Allie Mullins O’Keeffe to push the ball out for a corner, while at the other end Ciara Desmond’s half volley was pushed away by the Riverstown keeper Claire O’Donoghue.
Douglas Hall were now applying pressure, attempting to find a way through, with O’Donoghue doing well to save right at the near post from 8Rebecca Walsh in the 19th minute.
However, Riverstown managed to break away and opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Charley Moore’s 35-yard free-kick found Sophie Hudner at the far post who managed to stab the ball into the net from eight yards.
Douglas attempted to get back into the game, keeper O’Donoghue saving well from an incoming Alison O’Connell on two occasions with the forward having another attempt blocked by defenders.
Chances fell to O’Connell and Katie Long whose ambitious chip went over the bar as the half came to a close.
Douglas Hall came forward again, but found themselves two down in the 54th minute when Shannon Carson found herself 10 yards out and made no mistake from that range to double her teams score.
A majestic 25 yard shot from Lauren Murphy in the 62nd minute increased Riverstown’s lead even further as Riverstown were coming forward themselves, with Caoimhe Mulcahy’s effort coming off the post five minutes later.
Douglas Hall were eventually rewarded with a goal in the 77th minute when Amy McCarthy managed to get behind he Riverstown defence and prod the ball past O’Donoghue`to leave the final 15 minutes on a knife-edge.
Douglas battled hard looking for a second, but could not break through and were reduced to 10 players two minutes from time as Riverstown held on for the win and a famous double for the club.
Claire O’Donoghue, Aoife Mitchell, Michaels O’Rourke, Chloe Aherne, Caoimhe Mulcahy, Rachel O’Donovan, Sophie Hudner, Ellen Whelan, Shannon Carson, Charley Moore, Lauren Murphy, Ellen Murray Coughlan, Amy Cuthbert, Jess Geasley, Sharon Eager, Mareike Weihrauch, Faye Lonergan.
Allie Mullins O’Keeffe, Rachel Compagno, Carissa Murphy, Miriam Reardon, Amy McCarthy, Stacey Paul O’Regan, Ciara Desmond, Rebecca Walsh, Katie Long, Aoibhe Noonan, Alison O’Connell, Lydia McCarthy, Claire Cooney, Stephanie Murphy, Sharon Ring, Casey Grace.
Referee: Dan Deady.