Ladies football: Bandon setting the pace in minor championship

West Cork LGFA minor and U16 competitions are up and running
Ladies football: Bandon setting the pace in minor championship

The Bandon minor squad that defeated Bantry Blues and Rosscarbery in the opening rounds of the 2021 West Cork Minor A LGFA Championship.

THE West Cork LGFA minor and U16 grades have produced plenty of excitement and impressive scores during the opening rounds of the 2021 championships.

Bandon have set an impressive early pace in the West Cork Minor A championship. A round-robin tournament that includes Dohenys, O’Donovan Rossa, Bantry Blues, Clonakilty, Valley Rovers and Rosscarbery has seen the Lilywhites get off to the best possible start.

A 4-13 to 0-8 win over Bantry got Bandon’s campaign up and running with Ava Long, Etain Coughlan, Rachel Butler and Ashling O’Connor finding the net.

Long also kicked 9 points during that victory and followed up with 0-8 of Bandon’s winning total in their second outing against Rosscarbery.

Hannah Buckley and Ella Cullinane goals contributed to the lilywhites’ 2-14 to 1-4 triumph over Ross.

Even after two games, it is clear that Bandon are going to have a big say in the destination of this year’s West Cork minor trophy.

Dohenys and O’Donovan Rossa’s minors will have plenty to say about that.

Similar to Bandon, the Dunmanway club has won both of their two opening championship outings.

A high-scoring encounter with Clonakilty ended 5-12 to 4-13 in Dohenys’ favour prior to defeating Valley Rovers 1-15 to 1-10 last week. Katyln Sheehan top-scored for the winners on that occasion by kicking 0-9 with Rachel McCarthy (1-2), Ava O’Donovan (0-2), Aoife O’Neill and Ciara Duggan (0-1 each) also featuring.

O’Donovan Rossa were pushed to the limit in their West Cork LGFA minor A victory away to Valley Rovers. A terrific encounter ended 3-16 to 5-7 in Rossa’s favour courtesy of 2-4 from Lia Hogan. Amy McCarthy added a third goal with Aine McCarthy racking 0-9 in a fixture Millie Coakley, Mallaidh O’Neill and Mary Whooley also featured on the Skibbereen scoresheet. An intriguing conclusion to a quality minor A championship awaits.

This summer’s West Cork minor B grade is being contested by Castlehaven, Courcey Rovers, Ibane Ladies, Kinsale and St. Colum’s. Scoring certainly hasn’t been a problem with the opening two championship games delivering a combined total of 24 goals and 38 points. Kinsale are in good form and edged St Colum’s in their first outing before delivering an bigger victory over Ibane Ladies.

The rural region’s minor C championship is up and running with two rounds of fixtures in the books. Tadgh Mac Carthaigh proved too strong for Beara and Keelnameela, registering back-to-back wins and laying down an early marker.

In the same grade, Ilen Rovers overcame a young Gabriel Rangers. Niamh Connolly (2), Leah Carey, Keelin Murphy and Emma Hurley found the net for Ilen in a fixture Amy Harte, Eimear Carey, Chloe Harte and Sarah Connolly also scored. Despite a much-improved performance, Gabriel’s fell to Beara 4-7 to 1-6 in the second round of matches. It is still early days but Tadgh Mac Carthaigh and Ilen are early favourites to contest this year’s minor C decider.

U16

The opening phase of the 2021 West Cork LGFA U16 A championship was split into two groups with four teams in each. Bantry Blues, Bandon, Dohenys and Kinsale made up Group 1 with Clonakilty, Ilen Rovers, O’Donovan Rossa and Valley Rovers contesting Group 2.

Each team played one another once in their respective groups over the past month to decide the eight seedings for the upcoming U16 A quarter-final ties.

Bantry Blues finished top of Group 1 courtesy of three wins out of three. Bandon grabbed the runners-up berth following victories over Dohenys and Kinsale while the latter overpowered the Dunmanway club for third spot.

Things have proven a lot tighter on the opposite side of the U16 A football championship draw. O’Donovan Rossa and Clonakilty finished their opening phase on six points apiece with the Brewery Town having defeated their Skibb rivals 1-19 to 4-7 in their final group outing.

Ilen Rovers entertained Valley Rovers last Sunday morning and overpowered their opponents in stiflingly hot conditions. Keelin Murphy, Abbie Caverley, Leah Carey, Eimear Carey and Saorla Carey were amongst Ilen’s scorers during a comprehensive victory.

So, the West Cork U16 A LGFA championship quarter-finals will see Bantry Blues travelling to Valley Rovers, Bandon hosting Clonakilty, Kinsale going one on one with O’Donovan Rossa in Skibbereen and Dohenys clashing with Ilen Rovers. Each of the U16 A grade’s last eight encounters had to be completed on or before last Sunday.

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