(By Peter Hodgins)
Monasterevin AFC 1 2 Sallins Celitc FC
League Winners, Sallins Celtic and League Runners up and reigning cup holders Monasterevin AFC contested an eagerly awaited cup final on a perfect day for football on a pitch made for such football on the Avondale in Kilcullen. It was certainly no accident or luck needed that the two best Women’s team in Kildare met today in a well attended cup final. The football both team’s offered and gave today was a credit to themselves and their clubs.
Both team’s played great passing and attacking football, Monasterevin’s running with the ball and pressing game and Sallins quick break, long diagonal passing served up a classic.
It would be fair to say Sallins settled well and pinned the Monasterevin back line towards their goal but former winner with Portlaoise AFC, Bernie Hyland was pure class at the back and showed great leadership and tenacity in the tackle. Alas, on fifteen minutess a clearance fell to Sallins centre midfielder Sarah McGovern who unleashed a shot from 30 yards into the top corner. One nil Sallins.
Monasterevin responded very well and on another day Louise Scully’s running with the ball and tormenting the Sallins backline would have been rewarded with a goal. The half ended One nil Sallins.
The halftime team talk served Monasterevin well and they started the second half well, continuing to run at Sallins but couldn’t create a clear cut chance. Sallins came back into the game and created numerous chances but were denied by the excellent Alice Breen in goal who made save after save showing her recent KDFL Award for goalkeeper of the month was well deserved.
These saves proved crucial when on seventy two minutes Chloe Farrell equalised for Monasterevin with a shot from 20 yards. One all, game on.
Sallins responded well and adapted their game and began to press more higher up the pitch and began running at the Monasteravin defence.
On 88 mins a pass by the excellent Brooke Dunne to winger Sofia De Stefano whose mazy run and finish which her namesake “Alfredo” would be proud of, to break Monasterevin hearts.
The game finished 2:1 to now double winners Sallins. Monasterevin can be proud of their performance and on another day would be worthy winners but Sallins certainly deserved their well earned double. It should be noted with thanks from their hosts today, that both teams deserve huge credit for the spotless condition they left the Avondale and Kilcullen clubhouse.
Best for Sallins Celtic, Sarah McGovern, Brooke Dunne and the classy Sofia De Stefano. Best for Monasterevin AFC, Louise Scully, Bernie Hyland and the excellent Alice Breen