LGFA U14 Football League
Glenavy 6-7 All Saints 6-6
St. Joseph’s Glenavy staged the comeback of all comebacks in this goal-fest at Chapel Hill to pip an excellent All Saints Ballymena in the U14 football league in a game that had everything good about Gaelic Football.
The Ballymena girls totally dominated the opening half and looked to have things wrapped up at the halfway stage when they led 4-5 to 0-4 at the break with Glenavy keeper, Sian McNamara pulling off a couple of excellent saves to prevent the deficit from being even greater.
In the proverbial game of two-halves it was the team in black and orange that came strong in the second half with a Jessica Hotchkiss point with virtually the last kick of the game snatching victory for the home side.
It was All Saints who dominated the opening half with Meabh O’Kane, Caitlin Kelly (2-0) and Kara Dillon rattling the Glenavy net and Dillon, O’Kane and Kelly sharing the visitor’s points.
Glenavy looked off the pace during the opening thirty minutes but Niamh McDowell, Aoibhe O’Hare (0-2) and Orla Nelson got their names on the score-sheet while Sian McNamara’s excellent save would prove vital in the end.
Still it all seemed pointless (if you’ll forgive the pun) when Aimee Watt fired home All Saints’ fifth goal on the restart but the St. Joseph’s girls picked themselves up of the floor and a goal from Orla Nelson brought them to life.
It still looked a long way back as Watt added a point before Caitlin Kelly fired home All Saints sixth goal but the home side refused to give up despite facing what looked like impossible odds.
Summer McCallin began the comeback as she hit 2-1 in quick succession and as the visiting defence came under increasing pressure, Aoibhe O’Hare found a way through for another goal and suddenly the complexion of the game had changed dramatically.
The visitors would not score again as Jessica Hotchkiss added two more goals for the Chapel Hill side and an Aoibh O’Hare’s point tied the contest and we looked to be heading for a draw.
There was one last moment of drama left in this enthralling contest however and Jessica Hotchkiss became the Glenavy hero as she fired over the winning point with virtually the last kick of the game.
A very entertaining game of football and in the end it was a shame there had to be a loser. Despite conceding 6 goals each, both keepers played their parts and both Sian McNamara for Glenavy and All Saints Freya McGreevey brought off excellent saves over the hour.
Glenavy: 1 Sian McNamara, 2 Sophie O’Sullivan, 3 Katie Grant, 4 Nellie Ryder, 5 Kiera Duffy, 6 Meabh Culliton, 7 Martha Denny, 9 Emma Rice, 10 Orla Nelson, 11 Tiama Paton, 12 Niamh McDowell, 13 Katie Smith, 14 Aoibh O’Hare, 15 Summer McCallin, 17 Jessica Hotchkiss
All Saints: 1 Freya McGreevey, 2 Leigha McCaughren, 3 Neveah Dowds, 4 Maeve Hendron, 5 Aoife MacRory, 6 Ursula O’Loan, 7 Abi Innes, 8 Meabh O’Kane, 9 Kara Dillon, 11 Caitlin Kelly, 12 Lyia Brady MacRory, 13 Mya Miskella, 14 Natalia Wojewoda, 15 Ruby Hendron, 16 Aimee Watt, 17 Cassie McErlean,