Monday, June 6, 2016

Orla Benson Cup Final

Boston Shamrocks 3-5 Connacht Ladies 1-4

The ladies footballers had their first outing of the season with Boston Shamrocks and Connacht Ladies taking the field on a wet, drizzly afternoon to decide who would take the Orla Benson Cup.  The game was evenly contested with Jane Ward leading the way for Connacht Ladies and for the Shamrocks it was Mairead O’Driscoll the playmaker.  With the game tied half way into the second half, the Shamrocks hit with two quick goals to effectively decide the contest.   

2016 Orla Benson Cup Champions - Boston Shamrocks
The teams were all square at the end of the first half.  The Shamrocks got off to the early lead courtesy of a Mairead O’Driscoll goal from a penalty.  O’Driscoll was adjudged to have been shoved from behind in the box, and the center forward put the ball away herself.  Jane Ward had pointed for Connacht Ladies with a well taken effort, and was followed by Jackie McDonagh who finished a nice move.  The game moved from end to end with the defences largely holding the upper hand, however, as things moved on, each side started to find a groove.  O’Driscoll put back to back efforts over the bar to restore the Shamrocks lead, but just before the break the sides were level.  Ward pumped a free from about 40 yards into the box and the ball found its way into the back of the Shamrocks net.  A goal and two each at the break.

Jane Ward and Cathy McEleaney tangle.
The teams traded two points each to get the second half off the mark, Ward and Catherine Boyle for Connacht Ladies and O’Driscoll and Maebh Barry for the Shamrocks.  The Shamrocks then hit with 2 goals in quick succession.  The first was a result of Ciara Murphy and Elaine McLaughlin combining well.  McLaughlin broke through the last line of defence and hit the back of the net with her shot.  Murphy worked hard to block a clearance for the second goal and fed Louise Larkin who finished well.  

Now in the drivers seat the Shamrocks turned it up a notch.  The half back line mopped up well, with Ann Marie McDonnell working hard, and O’Driscoll was to be found also helping in defence.  O’Driscoll made it a three score difference with a calmly taken point and time was running out on Connacht Ladies.

The Orla Benson Cup is played in memory of Orla Benson, an Irish student visiting Boston for the summer, who was brutally murdered in 1995.

Connacht Ladies:  J. Moen, J. McDonagh, A. Kerr, O. McDonagh, K. Kenneally, J. Ward, A. Corrigan, E. Kelly, M. Meehan, M. Mullen, I. Green, C. Boyle, A. Feeney.  Boston Shamrocks:  E. Kerin, S. O’Dowd, B. Maguire, L. Larkin, M. Collins, E. McLaughlin, C. McEleaney, L. McCrystal, A. McDonnell, M. O’Driscoll, M. Barry, C. Murphy, V. O’Brien.

By Rory O'Donnell

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