St Patricks Crowned 2023 Senior Champions

St Patrick’s banished the memories of their Senior Final defeat 12 months ago as they were crowned County Champions after a thrilling decider against Cooley Kickhams on Sunday 8th October.

St. Patricks 2:11 – 2:07 Cooley Kickhams

Report by Dermot Woods | Photos by Warren Matthews

The Lordship side turned in a magnificent display of passion and desire matched by no little skill and, crucially, composure in a hectic finish that saw them leave Dunleer with a thoroughly deserved win.

A first ever senior title is in itself sufficiently sweet but even more sweet a even more satisfying having been achieved against their peninsula rivals and they team who dashed their dreams in 2022.

The jubilant scenes as Captain Caoimhe O’Hare held the cup aloft were a recognition of the hard work put in at the club over many years by many people who all contributed to this success.

Cooley may quite rightly rue the fact that fortune did not favour them on a day when they lost Lauren Boyle and Laura Traynor to injury.

Despite this, they produced a heroic effort in the closing stages that might have earned its reward against a lesser team.

Entering the final quarter, Kickhams were seven points in arrears but showing the determination of champions they cut the deficit to just two and had their opponents on the ropes.

However, in the end there was no denying the Pats girls who admirably regained their composure and held out for a thoroughly deserved victory to complete a league and championship double.

This was the very essence of a team success with each one of the starting 15 and subs playing their part under the astute guidance of ex Kilcoo star Donal Kane, Ger Butterly and Nuala Barry.

Carrie Keenan scooped the Player of the Match award with a display that typified the spirit, craft and togetherness of the squad. However, there were many heroes on a day in which other highlights included goals from Aisling O’Doherty and Kate Flood along with a stunning fingertip save from Rebecca Lambe Fagan in the closing stages when Cooley were pushing for victory.

From the outset it was clear that the Pats were going to take some stopping as they came flying out of the blocks with early points from Grace Treanor and Kate Flood.

Eibhlin Rice got Cooley then off the mark from a free in the fourth minute, but Pat’s continued to dominate and hit five of the next six points with Meg Woods, Kate Flood (2) Grace Treanor (2) on target  to lead 0:7 to 0:2 after 25 minutes.

Cooley did have chances as first Niamh Rice burst through the Pat’s but her fisted effort came back off the post.

Keeper Coirin Rice was then quickly off her line to deny Meg Woods but just seconds later the girls in green and white did get their reward as Aisling O’Doherty smashed the ball into the net from close range as the Lordship side led by 1:7 to 0:2 after 27 minutes.

After a Eibhlin Rice was denied by the woodwork from a free, Kickhams received a major boost just before the half time whistle when Eibhlin Rice fielded a high centre from Katelyn Murphy and her rasping shot nestled in the to reduce Pat’s lead 1:7 to 1:5 at the break

Cooley rang the changes during the interval with the introduction of Ann Marie Murphy and Roisin McDaid and added an early point from a Rice free with Flood replying in similar fashion at the the other end following a defensive error

As the game ebbed and flowed Pat’s keeper Rebecca Lambe Fegan performed heroics as she diverted Eibhlin Rice’s vicious shot away at the expense of a ‘45’’

Rice did add a point before some wonderful play by Carrie Keenan and Meg Woods set up Kate Flood who give Coirin Rice no chance, her low shot finding the corner of the net.

Anne Marie Murphy and Flood then exchanged points as Pat’s led 2:9 to 1:5 midway through the half. Cooley had the next two scores from Lauren Boyle and Ann Marie Murphy, with Murphy’s palmed effort appeared certain to find the net only to be miraculously touched over by keeper Rebecca Lambe Fagan.

Cooley weren’t to be denied for long as Lauren Boyle won possession and her accurate pass found her sister Ciara in space who slammed the ball into the back of the net with the comeback seemingly on 2:9 to 2:7 on 25 minutes

Cooley tried all they knew but couldn’t find a way past a resolute Pat’s defence as late points from Aine Breen and Kate Flood ensured a first ever title for the Lordship club.

St. Patricks: Rebecca Lambe Fegan, Melissa O’Hanlon, Caoimhe O’Hare, Dearbhle O’Doherty, Ellen Barry, Anna Whyte, Niamh Butterly, Aine Breen 0:1, Saoirse Butterly, Carrie Keenan, Grace Traynor 0:3, Aisling O’Doherty 1:00, Niamh Holland, Kate Flood 1:06, Meg Woods 0:1

Subs: Chloe Barry for S Butterly, Maebh Butterly for A Whyte, S Butterly for D O’Doherty.

Cooley Kickhams: Coirin Rice, Katie McDonald, Claire Donnelly,Hazel Malone,  Shannon Walker, Laura Traynor, Chloe McCarragher, Aoife McDaid, Laoise McElroy, Niamh Rice, Katelyn Murphy, Lucy White, Lauren Boyle 0:1, Eibhlin Rice 1:4, Katie O’Rourke

Subs: Ciara Boyle 1:00, Ann Marie Murphy 0:2, Roisin McDaid

Referee: Sean Doherty (Kilkerley Emmets)