Cooley bridge seven year gap with championship victory

Cooley bridge seven year gap with championship victory
Cooley Kickhams were crowned the Louth Ladies Senior Championship winners for the first time since 2006 in a tightly fought contest against the Newtown Blues in the last game of a triple header in Castlebellingham.

Cooley Kickhams were crowned the Louth Ladies Senior Championship winners for the first time since 2006 in a tightly fought contest against the Newtown Blues in the last game of a triple header in Castlebellingham.

In what was a physically demanding game the Blues were edged out by a more experienced Cooley side.

Cooley tore into an early lead with three points in the opening six minutes, as despite the Blues getting on the ball often they were unable to make good use of it.

That changed on ten minutes as referee Paul Drumm awarded the Blues a penalty.

Laura Collins struck past Coirin Rice, whose fingertips could only push the ball into the corner of the net. From that moment on much of the first half was tit for tat. Anne Marie Murphy scored a point for Cooley from a free kick, which was almost immediately cancelled out by a point by Catherine Coyle for the Blues.

Eibhlin Rice added a fantastic individual point, using her fierce turn of pace to create space before putting the ball between the post.

The Blues added two points as half time approached the first from Catherine Coyle, who shrugged off the endeavours of two Cooley defenders to cap a blistering counter attack, and minutes later a ball over the top of the Cooley defence found Laura Collins scoring from an almost impossible angle.

With the half time whistle only moments away and the teams level on 0-6 to 1-3 it seemed as though the scores would be deadlocked at the break.

But up popped Eibhlin Rice to add a goal to Cooley’s tally and a hefty blow to the Blues just before half time, leaving the score at half time Cooley 1-6 to Newtown Blues 1-3.

The Blues were the first off the mark in the second half with a point from Laura O’Shaunghessy in what was a tight opening ten minutes. Ann Marie Murphy added another point from a free for Cooley, as the games intensity heightened again.

Despite this and the combative efforts of the Blues players they could only muster one more point from Vicky McGinn, as the Cooley defence led by the sterling work of Karen Kane swept up every long ball and attack they mounted.

Two more points from Cooley were followed by a long and dipping shot from Siobhan McDonald, which looped over the Blues defence and slipped just under the crossbar and into the top corner of the goal to seal the victory for Cooley.

Cooley Kickhams: Coirin Rice, Laura Grills, Lisa Maguire, Michelle Connor, Sonya Sheelan, Patsi McGuinness, Patricia Marmion, Katie Rafferty, Siobhan McDonald, Rita McShane, Anne Marie Murphy, Catherine Page, Sarah Jane O’Reilly, Megan Ferguson, Eibhlin Rice, Karen Kane, Nuala White, Evelyn Keenan, Kerrie Ferguson, Niamh McParland, Aoife Traynor, Roisin Soraghan, Julie Ann Sheelan, Lisa McCarragher, Caroline McShane, Nicola McDonald, Erin Connor, Kayleigh Murphy, Eimear White, Katia Murphy, Kesha Murphy, Gabrielle Hanlon.