O'Neill Cup final

Dundalk U16 girls end debut season with narrow O'Neill Cup final loss

Ashbourne 2 Dundalk 1

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Dundalk U16 girls end debut season with narrow O'Neill Cup final loss

Dundalk U16 team and management.

O'Neill Cup final

Ashbourne 2 Dundalk 1

Dundalk U16s came up just short in Saturday's O'Neill Cup final at the Oscar Traynor Centre as Ashbourne took the title.

Despite making an excellent start in the sunshine, and with great support behind them, the Lilywhites fell behind in the sixth minute when a deep corner from Ashbourne was slotted home.

The goal appeared to knock Dundalk momentarily, though they recovered with Seona Halligan making headway on the flank. However, they soon fell 2-0 behind and trailed by that margin at the break.

But, following a good chat at the interval, Dundalk emerged much the stronger in the second half, putting the Meath side under severe pressure. Still, the Lilywhites needed 'keeper Rachel Mullen in top-form at the other end to maintain their chances of a comeback.

Dundalk got some reward for their good play with five minutes remaining when Louise Johnston found the top-right hand corner of the net from a free-kick.

The Lilywhites pushed for an equaliser from there to the finish, but, unfortunately, it just wasn't to be their day.

Still, the team can be proud of the effort they put in and look forward to next year - their second campaign together. Here, they will look to improve further on their excellent debut season, where they reached the cup final and were involved in a play-off for second place in the league.

The team would like to thank the parents/supporters for their help during the year, Dundalk FC for the jerseys and to Turlach, DkIT Sport, for the use of their pitches for training.

Dundalk: Rachel Mullen, Caoimhe Conroy, Bronagh Mulholland, Rebecca Lambe Fagan, Kerry-Ann Darcy, Aoife Byrne, Louise Johnston, Beth Hughes, Katie Moran, Caoimhe Crichton, Seona Halligan, Emily Johnston, Andrea Stewart, Ayo Adesanya, Grace Ojo, Kerri Clinton