ST PAT’S dug deep against Fern Celtic to win a tightly contested under 16 cup final on Sunday.
A final that flowed back and forth between two well matched sides was eventually settled by Lauren Conway’s late winner for St Pat’s.
The centre back’s close range effort capped a fine comeback by St Pat’s who trailed Fern Celtic 1-0 at half time.
In a game adorned by two spectacular strikes, Hannah Mai Neylon gave Fern the lead before Edel McNamara levelled matters in the 54th minute.
There was plenty of quality on display in a first-half that saw St Pat’s go close to taking an early lead. Lively striker Teegan Wade picked put Edel McNamara but her shot was saved by Fern goalkeeper, Kylah Hickey.
There was little to separate the sides in the opening quarter but Fern started to gain the upper hand after the first water break.
A testing spell for the St Pat’s defence started with Alyssa Wealeans doing well to save Ciara Killeen’s shot.
Aoife Lavelle shot narrowly over the bar in the 26th minute after excellent work from Hannah Gleeson. The St Pat’s defence withstood everything Fern had thrown at them but were finally breached in the 34th minute.
Meabh Griffin’s hard work created the opening for the excellent Hannah Mai Neylon who lifted the ball to the top corner to give Fern the lead.
Despite some sharp combination play and fine moments of individual skill, Ferns could not find a way to double their lead before half-time.
After the break, Lauren Conway, Lisa Killeen Aimee McNamara and Anna Mae Kelly Killeen continued to provide a solid defensive platform for St Pat’s as they went in search of the equaliser.
Aine Bonfield was starting to have big influence with the St Pat’s midfielder’s skill and range of passing creating openings for her teammates.
Emer Finucane went close before Edel McNamara’s strike from distance levelled the game at 1-1.
Bonfield shot over the cross bar minutes before Kylah Hickey produced an excellent save to deny Aoibhe Hehir.
The prospect of extra-time loomed before St Pat’s scored the cup winning goal in the 62nd minute.Aine Bonfield’s corner bounced dangerously in the six yard box and Lauren Conway reacted quickest to smash the ball home.
Fern threw everything at it to try and get back into the game, but it was to be St Pat’s day.
St Pat’s: Alyssa Wealleans; Lisa Kelly; Aimee McNamara; Anna Mae Kelly Killeen; Lauren Conway; Rhianna Frawley; Edel McNamara; Aine McNamara; Emer Finucane; Elise O’Leary; Teegan Wade; Lauren Kampff; Katie McMahon; Aoibhe Hehir; Sophie O’Gorman; Olivia Stubiovka; Karine O’Leary; Aine Bonfield; Heather Murphy.
Fern Celtic: Kylah Hickey; Ciara Killeen; Anna Wheelan; Aoife Lavelle; Judith Egan; Adrea Moloney; Fiona Breen; Rebecca Carmody; Hannah Mai Neylon; Laura Curtin; Rebecca McCarthy; Hannah Morrissey; Lilly Meaney; Meabh Griffin; Roisin Talty; Hannah Gleeson; Aoife Burke; Amy Conlon; Emma Egan.
Referee: Museliu Bashua
Assistant Referees: Candice Brennan; Frank Coote
by Ronan Judge