Riverstown make history by upsetting the odds against Wilton to lift Challenge Cup

Riverstown make history by upsetting the odds against Wilton to lift Challenge Cup
The Riverstown team celebrate after capturing the CWSSL Challenge Cup following their victory over Wilton in St Colman's Park. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Riverstown 3 Wilton United 0 

RIVERSTOWN captured the CWSSL Challenge Cup for the first time following a comfortable 3-0 win over Wilton in the 2019 Cup Final which was played in St Colman's Park in Cobh on Sunday afternoon.

The original final was postponed due to inclement weather at Turner's Cross some months ago, and with everything at a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was only now played with he opening of restrictions across the country.

Riverstown's Aoife Mitchell clashes with Wilton's Laura Lynch. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Riverstown's Aoife Mitchell clashes with Wilton's Laura Lynch. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Riverstown were certainly the better team on the day, and fought for every ball and defended to the las, thwarting any Wilton forward moves who were certainly well below their usual high standard which has seen them capture numerous trophies over the years.

Shannon Carson of Riverstown pictured with her niece Cassidy McSweeney. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Shannon Carson of Riverstown pictured with her niece Cassidy McSweeney. Picture: Howard Crowdy

The match was played in front of a large crowd who were treated to an exciting game with some excellent team play in ideal conditions, although the swirling wind played a contributing factor in two of Riversowns goals.

The game was five minutes old when Riverstown took the lead courtesy of Sophie Hudner whose very acute cross from the right-hand side went over the arms of Wilton keeper Ailbhe Moloney and sailed into the far top corner aided by the swirling wind.

Stunned by the early goal, Wilton attempted to get back into the game but were met with a stern Riverstown defence who cleared everything that came their way and were not letting their more illustrious opponents anywhere near their penalty area.

By the 15th minute, Riverstown had doubled their lead when Ellen Baker’s long-range shot from 35 yards out went over the head of Moloney and into the back of the net as the Riverstown team were well in control.

Wilton pressed forward, and two chances by Laura Lynch in a minute were either wide of the posts or cleared, while at the other end Riverstown’s Aoife O’Brien free kick from 25 yards out was well covered by Moloney as play was going from end to end.

Riverstown attempted to build on their lead and had a chance to make it three when Lauren Murphy charged down the right-hand side only to see her effort blocked by Moloney and subsequently cleared by Deirdre Callana in the six-yard box.

Stephen Mulcahy, CWSSL, presents the CWSSL Challenge Cup to Riverstown joint captains Shannon Carson and Aoife O'Brien. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Stephen Mulcahy, CWSSL, presents the CWSSL Challenge Cup to Riverstown joint captains Shannon Carson and Aoife O'Brien. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Wilton’s best chance in the first half fell to Murphy, her free kick on the edge of the area being parried away by Claire O’Donoghue who was rarely troubled in the first half as the half drew to a close.

Wilton pressed forward at the resumption but were dealt a further blow in the 47th minute when Shannon Carson chased the ball into the Wilton area and availed of a mix up between keeper and defenders and duly slotted the ball home from 18 yards for Riverstown’s third.

Wilton’s Laura Lynch had a chance on goal attempting the utilise the wind which was blowing in her favour, but her shot was well saved by O’Donoghue.

In the 51st minute, Wilton's Saoirse McCarthy was fouled in the area, but Barbera O’Connell's spot-kick was well saved by O’Donoghue who dived to her right and covered the ball.

Wilton continued to press and had a shot cleared off the goal line moments later, while at the other end Riverstown’s Shannon Carson’s effort clipped the Wilton crossbar which would have sealed Wilton's fate.

Wilton pressed forward, confining Riverstown into their own half and testing O’Donoghue on a couple of occasions as they looked to get back into the game.

Wilton’s McCarthy’s cross was met by Ava Ronan whose wind-assisted effort was well met by O’Donoghue who was certainly the busier of both keepers in the second half.

Riverstown almost added a fourth late on in the game when Carson’s chip came off the Wilton post, but in the end the Riverstown team played out the remainder of the game and kept Wilton at bay to claim their first Challenge Cup trophy.

Player of the match was Shannon Carson of Riverstown who also received the trophy with joint captain Aoife O’Brien from Steve Mulcahy, Fixtures Secretary, CWSSL.

RIVERSTOWN: Claire O’Donoghue, Micaela O’Rourke, Aoife Mitchell, Aoife O’Brien, Chloe Ahern, Charley Moore, Mareike Weihrauch, Ellen Baker, Lauren Murphy, Shannon Carson, Sophie Hudner, Emma Coughlan, Jess Geasley, Amy Cuthbert, Jess O’Leary, Kate McCarthy, Ellen Whelan, Faye Lonergan.

WILTON: Ailbhe Moloney, Deirdre Callnan, Zoe Murphy, Niamh O’Regan, Barbara O’Connell, Ciara O’Connell, Laura Lynch, Susan Edmunds, Jenny Coughlan, Saoirse McCarthy, Nora Dennehy, Emma O’Driscoll, Abi Hurley, Ava Ronan.

Referee: Pat Cronin.

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