All-Ireland Cup brace for Peamount United girls

By Hayden Moore

IT WAS a day to remember for Peamount United following the success of their Under 14s and 16s in their respective All-Ireland Challenge Cup Finals last Sunday.

Emma Donohue’s Under 14s got the ball rolling when they fought back from a goal down against Melvue United to win 2-1 before a first half blitz from Alan Smith’s Under 16s against Hanover Harps was enough to lift the cup as they ran out 2-0 winners.

Peamount U14 16 07

Peamount United Under 16 players and coaching staff celebrate their title success in the club.

Republic of Ireland underage international Jessie Stapleton ran riot in Tullamore, bagging a cool goal in the earlier match-up and later togging out for the Under 16s, contributing a pair of assists.

Galway’s Mervue proved worthy opponents for the final and tested the Peas within five minutes, when a failed clearance from a corner kick led to a goal.

Donohue’s girls turned up the heat though and came close several times, the best of these chances falling to Stapleton, when her shot crashed against the post.

With Peamount a goal down they came flying out of the blocks after halftime and reaped the rewards of their high press when Stapleton went through on goal.

Peamount U14 16 01

Peamount United Under 14s won the All-Ireland Challenge Cup.

Playing just off striker Leah Kelly, she turned past her marker and fired cross-goal into the bottom left corner to bring parity.

Peamount hit their rhythm afterwards, and with Yasmin McGarvey flying down the channels and Nadine Raymand pulling the strings they could sense another goal was coming.

Midfielder Sadhbh Fisher had tested the Mervue ‘keeper from distance a couple of times earlier in the game to no avail, but with minutes left, it finally paid off when she scored an absolute screamer from outside the box.

Meanwhile Smith’s Under 16s won the competition in 2018 and had to wade through six opponents, in which time they only conceded once, before they met Carlow’s Hanover Harps in the final.

It did not take the Newcastle girls long to settle into their groove and almost they broke the deadlock when Brianna Martin broke free on goal but over ran the ball.

Forward Ava Cullen then skipped past two players and rounded the keeper, only to hit the woodwork before Orlagh Fitzpatrick netted.

Jessie Stapleton’s through ball was taken into Fitzpatrick’s stride for her to strike beyond the Harps netminder.

Not long after their first, Stapleton and Fitzpatrick combined once more when the former’s shot was rebounded right into the latter’s path and she guided the ball into an open net.

After the break, Hanover changed their shape to go on the offensive, but Caitliyn Kennedy and Caragh Holland’s partner-ship in defence proved uncompromising and went a long way to seeing Peamount run out deserved winners.

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