We qualified for the County Final in May when we won the West Galway Qualifying Blitz in Carraroe. Our decision not to compete within the West Connemara Region in 7 a side had been the correct one and we were thrilled to be through to a genuine county final for the first time ever in girls football. On the morning of the game, Mr. Gannon announced the team. It was an unusual layout and he explained why. We talked about strategies for about twenty minutes. He singled out different players and highlighted their strengths. At the end of the discussion, we felt confident that the game plan would work and everybody knew exactly what they had to do.
Upon arrival in Renmore the first people we met were the managers of St. Pauls NS form Oughterard. They had just defeated Corofin NS in the Boys 15 a side A final. They were so happy to be bringing a county title back to Connemara. They wished us every good fortune in our final and their success gave us extra belief in our own ability. The ball was thrown in at 3 o’clock. We settled in to the task very quickly but shot a few bad wides early on. However Danielle Lydon’s goal after seven minutes settled the nerves and we went on to dominate most of the play. Danielle added two points from play before Tara Flaherty scored a brilliant individual goal after a great run which took her nearly the whole length of the pitch. Garrafrauns, to their credit battled hard all through and pulled a goal back as half time approached. The half-time score left them trailing by 2-2 to 1-0.
The last thing Mr. Gannon said to us before we took the field for the second half focused our minds on completing the job. He told us that if we got the first score we would go on and win it. We managed to do this and at one stage we led by seven points. However, Garrafrauns great tradition in football inspired them to greater efforts and they hit back with a couple of great scores of their own. In the last five minutes they dominated possession but try as they might they couldn’t find a way past Becky Heanue. She made a number of first class saves and was outstanding from start to finish. Garrafaruns defended their title with great dignity but ultimately the day was ours and when Damian Coleman blew the final whistle we knew there going to be a new name on the Shield. Everything had gone to plan and we were county champions on the scoreline of 2-5 to 1-2. Afterwards Richard Bowles presented the Shield to joint captains Chloe Walsh and Patricia Flaherty. Mission accomplished!
Written by Eagles Nest Senior Girls.
Behind The Grand Gate