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Kelly Flanagan intercepts Eryn O’Leary’s solo run with the ball. Photography by Eugene McCafferty

O’Callaghan calls the tune for Shannon Town

A resilient Shannon Town held off the challenge of Corofin Harps to win the U-16 girl’s shield final on Sunday.
Thantra O’Callaghan’s well taken goal midway through the first-half gave Shannon a lead they did well to preserve during what at times was a thrilling encounter.
Corofin created plenty of chances and put their opponents under huge pressure.
But they could not find a way past Shannon’s hard working defence and goalkeeper Ella Henchy who produced a series of excellent saves.
Both sides served up a terrifically entertaining contest and plenty of moments of quality in last season’s postponed decider.
Corofin centre forward, Grainne Burke, a threat throughout, came close to giving her side the lead in the 7th minute when her curled effort hit the cross bar.
Burke and the impressive Keelan Fitzgerlad were both involved in a flowing move that ended with Ella Henchy saving Elisha Twomey’s half volley.
But anchored by Ella Kelly’s classy performance in midfield, Shannon started to cause Corofin problems of their own and took the lead in the 23rd minute.
Kelly’s corner found Thantra O’Callaghan in space at the back post and the hard working winger calmly finished to the net.
The teams traded more chances before half time.
Corofin’s Kate Singleton did well to win back possession close to the Shannon goal but saw her powerfully hit strike tipped over by Henchy.
Ella Kelly then went close for Shannon after being teed up by O’Callaghan.
Corofin pressed hard for the equaliser after the break.
Another nicely constructed move involving Twomey, Keelan Fitzgerald and Kate Singleton almost resulted in a goal before Ella Kelly was denied by Corofin goalkeeper Lauren O’Connor in the 51st minute.
Shannon’s Ava Richter produced a great block to halt Twomey before Saoirse Flanagan and Keelan Fitzgerald were both thwarted by more dogged defending from Caoimhe Nolan and her colleagues at the back.
The game’s final quarter produced more drama.
Henchy produced perhaps her best save of the day in the 64th minute when she got down quickly to keep out Burke’s low drive.
Shannon Town had their moments on the break as Corofin pushed forward.
They had to endured one or two goalmouth scrambles but Shannon Town held on for victory.

Shannon Town: Ella Henchy; Enya Kelly; Maeve Begley; Jess Clancy; Caoimhe Nolan; Thantra O’Callaghan; Rebecca Punch; Aoibhinn Nolan; Emma Mahony; Eryn O’Leary; Ava Richter; Ella Kelly; Millie Keane

Corofin Harps: Lauren O’Connor; Kelly Flanagan; Chloe Murphy; Ellen Carey; Jessica O’Connell; Elisha Twomey; Keelan Fitzgerald; Faye Clancy; Grainne Burke; Saoirse Flanagan; Kate Singleton; Lisa Murphy; Katie O’Callaghan; Anna Steigerwald; Kiera Fitzgerald; Amy Fitzgerald; Caragh Fitzgerald

Referee: Frank Coote

by Ronan Judge

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