2009/10 Womens/Youths Match Reports

CCFL Youths Final

Tullamore Town Youths 1 Birr Youths 0

The Tullamore Youths produced a fine facsimile of Lehman Brothers in Leah Victoria Park last Sunday as they squandered a number of gilt edged opportunities before finally emerging victorious with a goal deep into injury time against a battling Birr side. The game began quietly with both teams failing to pose any early threat but on fifteen minutes a John Duffy free resulted in a major scramble in the Birr area while at the other end a Daryl Nolan corner fell to Craig Pardy ten yards out but he was denied by a great save from Dean Molloy. As Tullamore began to dominate Aidan Nicholson played a fine ball through to Thomas Fleming but Anthony Brown was quickly off his line to clear and then Duffy picked out Gary Buckley on the right and he drilled his shot inches past the far post. With Mark Hayes and Martin Holleran causing problems down the left side the Birr boys struggled to stay in the game and with thirty minutes on the clock Fleming sent Derek Coolahan clear but Brown saved superbly with his feet. Minutes later they had an extraordinary escape when Hayes broke free on the left and rounded the advancing keeper before delivering a pin point cross to Coolahan, but from almost under the bar the big centre forward contrived to head the ball over. Five minutes later the visitors went close when Simon Hogan got on the end of a deep cross but the excellent Hayes got across to knock the ball out for a corner and from the resultant kick Craig Short headed narrowly over. With minutes remaining Nicholson broke clear in the inside left channel but he scuffed his shot as the referee brought the first half to a close.

Within minutes of the restart Tullamore were presented with another great chance when Thomas Fleming and Gary Buckley combined to pick out Henry Cutler on the edge of the area and as he turned inside his marker he was taken down with the referee immediately pointing to the spot. Aidan Nicholson stepped up to take the penalty but his spot kick lacked conviction and Anthony Brown saved comfortably to his right. As Birr looked to hit back Craig Pardy played a great ball out wide to Craig Short but Cutler handled to deny him while at the other end Derek Coolahan got on the end of a long ball and cut it back to Thomas Fleming but Brown saved well. As they continued to press Coolahan headed a Martin Holleran corner over and then a surging run by Leon Dunne picked out Hayes on the left but his cross was fired over by Fleming. With seventy five minutes gone Tullamore were nearly made to pay for their profligacy when Craig Pardy sent Simon Cleary through but he was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Aaron Murtagh. Minutes later a mix up in the home defence allowed Willie Hanlon a scoring opportunity but Dean Molloy brilliantly saved his shot down low to his right and then Pardy fired a fine long range effort just outside the left post. As Tullamore hit back Gary Buckley gathered from a throw in and flashed his shot outside the far post but with minutes remaining Birr nearly went ahead in bizarre fashion. Simon Cleary picked the ball up on the left but his attempted pass struck the referee and broke back to Willie Hanlon who fired the ball inches outside the left post and into the side netting. As the game drifted into injury time the breakthrough goal finally arrived when Aidan Nicholson played a great ball through to Thomas Fleming and this time he made no mistake as he crashed an unstoppable shot past the advancing Brown. With seconds remaining Mark Hayes nearly scored a spectacular second when he picked the ball up in his own area and ran the length of the field as he hurdled through tackles, but as he attempted to round the keeper the ball was knocked out to Jack English and his drive was superbly tipped around the post by Anthony Brown as the referee blew the full time whistle.

Following the game the CCFL Youths Divisional Manager, Liam Lennon, presented the Youths Cup to a delighted Aaron Murtagh and his team.

In what was a very entertaining game there were excellent contributions for the home side from Dean Molloy, Leon Dunne, Aaron Murtagh, Martin Holleran and Thomas Fleming with Anthony Brown, Gavin Guilfoyle, Craig Pardy and Craig Short the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding full back, Mark Hayes.

Tullamore : Dean Molloy, Henry Cutler, Leon Dunne, Aaron Murtagh, Mark Hayes, Gary Buckley, Aidan Nicholson, John Duffy, Martin Holleran, Derek Coolahan and Thomas Fleming.

Subs : Jack English, Sean Henchy, Darren Boland, Michael Rooney, Marcus Murtagh, Sami Tahraoui and Jamie Coyne.

Birr : Anthony Brown, Gavin Guilfoyle, Daryl Nolan, Leon Joyce, Pio Downing, Simon Hogan, Craig Pardy, Shane Kearns, Stephen Brummell, Craig Short and Darragh Daly.

Subs : Simon Cleary, Willie Hanlon, Luke Ryan and Davon Hart.

SFAI National U-13 Troy Cup Quarter Final

St. Josephs Boys (Dublin) ….2 (2) Tullamore Town ….0 (0)

Tullamore’s travels in the National Cup were halted on Saturday morning last by St. Joseph’s Boys or Joeys as they are more commonly known following a first half brace that the Tullamore lads were unable to recover from.

The game began in bright sunshine, with the large traveling band of support from parents and club members prominent waving the blue and white of Tullamore and the game was evenly contested for the first 20 minutes with St. Josephs shading the possession stakes. Playing as a lone front man the opposition center forward gave an early warning sign on 15 minutes when he shot powerfully just inside the penalty box and the ball was pushed to safety by goalkeeper Pat Dunican.

Much of Tullamore’ s success this season has been based on a very solid defence and unfortunately the concession of two goals in quick succession on 20 and 21 minutes came about due to defence lapses that gave Joeys the momentum and belief, so crucial in any game at this stage of the competition.

Recovering their composure after the re-start Tullamore began to play with more belief and began turning the opposition defence.

Prominent were midfielders Jack McNamara, Rory Donlon, Alan Geoghegan and Calvin Mooney who got through a tremendous amount of work whilst still showing composure in possession to link up play with their teammates.

To their credit the opposition still managed to pose a threat despite a two goal cushion but found the defence of Conor McCann, Kevin Fletcher, Ryan Daly and Conor Flannagan defiant with McCann alert when getting back to clear one goal bound shot off the goal line.

Try as they did Tullamore were unable to find the final pass to give the team hope and with an opponent who didn’t give away possession cheaply the exertions began to show and with time running out Paul McTeigue, Colm Woodlock and Kieron Casey were introduced for David O Toole, Alan Geoghegan and Glen Mooney.

The best effort of the second half came from a brilliantly struck free kick by Calvin Mooney that saw the opposition goalkeeper fumble on the goal line but unfortunately lady luck was not with Tullamore on this occasion.

Despite the obvious disappointment at losing out it is felt that with time and upon reflection the achievement of reaching the latter stages, being exposed to a faster and higher intensity game along with scoring 21 goals and conceding only 5 to seven different teams will spur the lads on to want to achieve more next season.

It is noticeable that only Killarney Celtic of Kerry, Aishling Annacotty of Limerick along with Tullamore represented Leagues outside Dublin with 5 of the last 8 teams in the competition playing in the highly competitive DDSL.

The challenge for all leagues outside Dublin is to continue to build a competitive local league that will help develop teams and make further in roads to the latter stages of the National competition.

Once again the squad thank the large support on the sideline of parents and club members for traveling and we only wish we could have given more to cheer on the day but sadly it was not to be on this occasion and we hope St. Josephs go on and win the competition as the now face Cherry Orchard also of Dublin in the last four.

St. Josephs proved perfect hosts off the field also as all were treated to soup and sandwiches after the match.

Team: P. Dunican (Capt.), C. McCann, C. Flannagan, K. Fletcher, R. Daly, R. Donlon,

A. Geoghegan, J McNamara, C. Mooney, D. O Toole, G. Mooney.

Subs: C. Woodlock, P. McTeigue, K. Casey,

Ireland beaten in Carnegie Centenary Shield opener

Republic of Ireland U18 Schools....0-1 Northern Ireland U18 Schools
                                                                    Scott McCullough 14

Northern Ireland took the points in a close Carnegie Centenary Shield tie against the Republic of Ireland Under-18 Schools side on St. Patrick's Day at Leah Victoria Park in Tullamore.

The game was Ireland's first of the campaign while their cross-border counterparts had lost to England and drawn against Scotland in their first two matches of the series. Dave Archbold's Ireland team warmed up for their campaign with a victory over Australia in January but they were left reeling by the concession of an early strike against the North. Full-back Scott McCullough grabbed the vital goal on 14 minutes, embarking on a run out of defence which ended with a superb low drive from 25 yards that rifled across goalkeeper Marty McGinty and into the bottom corner. Ireland created enough chances to salvage at least a draw but will now look to win in Wales next Thursday to get their title ambitions back on track. They were close to leveling just a minute after falling behind when Darragh Walshe volleyed a shot wide and captain Tomas Boyle was unlucky to see his header cleared off the line as the break approached. Two Irish substitutions were made at the interval, with Gary Shaw and Nathan Murphy coming into the fray for the second 45 minutes. Shaw, in particular, brought a greater threat to the attack and the home side began to find the openings. Tom O'Halloran evaded his marker two minutes after the restart to create space but could only drag his angled shot wide while Boyle glanced his header over the bar a on 55 minutes. Winger Daryl Horgan cut inside on 64 minutes and missed the target by inches with a curler but Northern Ireland should have extended their advantage two minutes later when a close-range header by Michael Smith rebounded off the crossbar. Ireland squandered their nearest opportunity of claiming a draw three minutes from the end when Robbie Benson broke through on the left side of the box but smashed his shot high and wide with the goal at his mercy.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Marty McGinty (Deele College); Brian Nolan (St Paul's CC), Jason Dwane (St. Peter's College), Tomas Boyle (Salesian College), Jake Carroll (Confey CC, Leixlip); Daryl Horgan (St. Enda's College, Galway), Sean Skelly (St. Joseph's Fairview), Hugh Douglas (St. Brendan's College), Tom O'Halloran (Athlone CC); Robbie Benson (Marist College), Daragh Walshe (St. Kieran's College),

Substitutions: Nathan Murphy (Colaiste Ris) for Carroll, Gary Shaw (Patrician SS) for Walshe (both 46 mins), Marwan Azimi (Pobalscoil Rosmini) for O'Halloran (60 mins), Stephen Chambers (St. Fintan's) for Douglas (68 mins)

NORTHERN IRELAND: Jack Duffin (St. Malachy's); Scott McCullough (SRC, Armagh), Andy Devlin (NW Regional), Josh Robinson (Ashfield), Eamon Hughes (Corpus Christi); Ryan Burns (Corpus Christi), Thomas McBride (NW Regional), Darren Coyle (St. Joseph's, Derry), Michael Smith (NW Regional); Shane Jennings (Cross & Passion), Robbie Hume (NW Regional).
Substitution: Matthew Harkin for Hume (84 mins)

REFEREE: Conor Fitzgerald

CCFL Womens Division

Tullamore Town 1 Bealnamulla / Athlone Town 3

This much anticipated clash in Leah Victoria Park between the two teams that have dominated womens football in the midlands in recent years did not quite live up to its billing as the visitors dominated play for long periods and emerged deserving winners and league champions. Straight from the start Athlone/Bealnamulla went into the attack and, with ten minutes gone, the Tullamore keeper, Hilary Healion, did well to cut out a dangerous left wing cross and minutes later she again came to her teams rescue when Anna McCormack picked out Maz Sweeney in the area but Healion brilliantly saved her effort from point blank range. The Tullamore cause was not helped when Richelle O’Neill was forced out through injury, with Jenna Cornally coming on, as the visitors began to take control of the game and they again went close when, following a corner, Anna Connolly managed to get across to block a goal bound effort. With Catherine Gunning, Anna Connolly and Joan Lennon outstanding at the back the home side held firm and battled their way back into the game when following good play between Gunning and Louise Molloy they were awarded a free twenty yards out but Sylvia Gee’s fine effort was blocked on the line by Aishling Egan. With Gee and Claire Cantwell beginning to get a grip on midfield it looked like the home side would hold out until half time but with forty five minutes on the clock they failed to clear their lines following a corner and the predatory Geraldine Griffith pounced to fire the ball home from close range to leave the score 1-0 at the interval.

Tullamore’s woes deepened at half time when Patrice Stapleton had to be withdrawn, with Emma Martin coming into the attack, and within ten minutes of the restart their position looked hopeless when Anna McCormack broke clear on the right and crashed the ball off the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net. As the Athlone women tightened their grip on the game Geraldine Griffith broke clear through the middle but Hilary Healion superbly tipped her goal bound effort around the post. But the home side refused to throw in the towel and good play by Orla Cullen created an opening for Sylvia Gee but her shot was too high and then Louise Molloy saw her fine effort deflected out for a corner. With seventy minutes gone Tullamore were back in the game when Cullen fired the ball in from the right and from the edge of the area Emma Martin sent a beautiful half volley just inside the left hand post for a great goal. As they went all out for an equaliser Claire Cantwell burst through the middle but was denied by a superb tackle by Gina Dowling but Athlone should have killed the game off minutes later when Maz Sweeney got on the end of a right wing cross but from fifteen yards she blasted the ball over the bar. They again went close when Michelle Ryan broke through the middle but Catherine Gunning got back to clear the danger but with ten minutes remaining a long range effort from Catriona Dolan found the back of the net to make the game safe. With minutes remaining Dolan again threatened on the left but was denied by a crunching tackle from Anna Connolly as Athlone/Bealnamulla ran out worthy winners.

For Tullamore there were excellent performances from Hilary Healion, Catherine Gunning, Joan Lennon and Orla Cullen with Gina Dowling, Maz Sweeney, Geraldine Griffith and Anna McCormack the pick of the visitors, but the player of the match award went to the home sides outstanding centre half, Anna Connolly.

Tullamore : Hilary Healion, Joan Lennon, Anna Connolly, Patrice Stapleton, Catherine Gunning, Orla Cullen, Sylvia Gee, Claire Cantwell, Richelle O’Neill, Louise Molloy and Emma McEneff.

Subs : Jenna Cornally, Emma Martin, Laura Guinan, Niamh Flaherty and Rebecca Molloy.

CCFL Womens Division

Tullamore Town 8 Mullingar Athletic 1

Tullamore maintained their challenge at the top of the table with this comprehensive win over Mullingar in Leah Victoria Park last Sunday. A feature of the game was a brace of hat-tricks from the speedy Patrice Stapleton and midfield maestro Sylvia Gee. Emma McNiffe started her first game with the team and scored a fine goal with Jenna Cornally completing the scoring. The last goal of the game was one of the finest seen in the clubs new facility when Sylvia Gee picked the ball up in her own area and proceeded to weave her way past seven or eight tackles as she travelled the length of the field before rounding the keeper and placing the ball in the empty net for a truly remarkable score. There were outstanding contributions from Catherine Gunning, Patrice Stapleton, Emma McNiffe and Claire Cantwell, surely the sides most improved player, but the player of the match award went to the extraordinary Sylvia Gee.

Tullamore : Hilary Healion, Joan Lennon, Anna Connolly, Regina Healion, Catherine Gunning, Emma Martin, Sylvia Gee, Claire Cantwell, Emma McNiffe, Patrice Stapleton and Jenna Cornally.

Subs : Laura Guinan, Vanessa Browne and Camilla Dunne.

CCFL Womens Division

Tullamore Town 4 Noreside Celtic 1 

The Tullamore women continued their fine run in a game that was noteworthy for a master class in midfield play from the outstanding Sylvia Gee and a superb goalkeeping performance from Aishling Kirwan in the Noreside goal. Within five minutes of the start Kirwan was called into action as she did well to keep out a fine twenty yard effort from Gee and as the ball broke back Jenna Cornally fired the rebound inches wide. With ten minutes on the clock the home side hit the front when a Richelle O’Neill’s cross was knocked back by Patrice Stapleton to Sylvia Gee who turned inside her marker before blasting the ball to the net from thirty yards. Minutes later they had increased their lead when Joan Lennon played the ball down the line for Orla Cullen to pull it back for Gee who waltzed into the area before planting it in the far corner for a lovely goal. She nearly returned the favour when she played a great ball through to Cullen but her shot was knocked out for a corner and from the resultant kick Kirwan brilliantly tipped Gee’s inswinging corner over the bar. Cullen again went close when she got on the end of Catherine Gunning’s cross but her header was well saved by Kirwan and she did superbly minutes later to keep out a long range effort from Gee down low to her right. Tullamore were rocked back on their heels on thirty five minutes when Niamh Dollard played a great ball through to Laura Dunne who coolly drove it past the advancing Hilary Healion for a fine goal. Within minutes the home side had restored their two goal advantage when Patrice Stapleton crossed to Jenna Cornally and when her shot was blocked, Richelle O’Neill pounced on the rebound to drive the ball home. They should have increased their lead when O’Neill’s effort came back off the crossbar and Cullen was taken down as she attempted to force the rebound home but Cornally’s spot kick was saved by the outstanding Kirwan to leave the score 3-1 at the interval.

The second half began as the first had ended with Louise Molloy having her header saved and then Kirwan had to be quickly off her line to avert the danger following great play by Emma McNiffe. With an hour gone Tullamore went further ahead when a long range effort from Sylvia Gee found the net to complete her hat-trick and she nearly increased her tally when McNiffe and Molloy combined to set her up but her twenty yard effort came back off the post. She then turned provider when she played a great ball inside to Orla Cullen but her shot flew the wrong side of the far post. The woodwork again came to Noreside’s rescue when Louise Molloy cut the ball back to Catherine Gunning and her teasing cross came back off the far upright and minutes later Gunning picked out Molloy but her fine effort was superbly saved by Aishling Kirwan as Tullamore ran out comfortable winners.

This was a fine all round display by the home side with excellent contributions from Catherine Gunning, Orla Cullen, Patrice Stapleton and Emma McNiffe but the player of the match award went to Tullamore’s midfield general and hat-trick hero Sylvia Gee.

Tullamore : Hilary Healion, Catherine Gunning, Anna Cornally, Regina Healion, Joan Lennon, Orla Cullen, Claire Cantwell, Sylvia Gee, Richelle O’Neill, Jenna Cornally and Patrice Stapleton.

Subs : Emma McNiffe, Louise Molloy, Laura Guinan, Camilla Dunne and Vanessa Browne (all used).

CCFL Womens League

Athlone/Bealnamulla  2   Tullamore Town  1

Tullamore travelled to Athlone last Sunday as these two great rivals met in this top of the table clash. Played on a very tight pitch the visitors started brightly and took the lead after only fifteen minutes when Richelle O’Neill played the ball over the top for the inrushing Patrice Stapleton to fire a great shot into the corner of the net. Athlone quickly regrouped and began to take control of the game but with the Town defence holding firm and Hilary Healion outstanding in goal the interval arrived without any further scores. The second half began with the home side continuing to press forward and they eventually made the breakthrough on seventy minutes when they found the net following a corner. The winner arrived in the eighty second minute when Athlone were awarded a somewhat fortuitous free and when the ball was whipped in from the right the unfortunate Catherine Gunning deflected the ball into her own net in attempting to clear the danger. Tullamore refused to lie down but despite their best efforts could not breach the home defence as the Athlone girls laid claim to all three points.This was a hugely entertaining game between two outstanding teams that was a wonderful advertisement for the womens game and the return fixture in Tullamore will certainly be one to look forward to.

Tullamore : Hilary Healion, Joan Lennon, Anna Connolly, Regina Healion, Catherine Gunning, Orlaith Cullen, Sylvia Gee, Claire Cantwell, Richelle O’Neill, Louise Molloy and Patrice Stapleton. Subs : Jenna Cornally, Camilla Dunne, Rebecca Molloy, Laura Guinan and Vanessa Browne.

CCFL Womens League

Tullamore Town  2   Noreside Celtic  1

The high scoring Tullamore girls were given a real fright in this game as they were made to fight every inch of the way against a hard working Noreside Celtic. Enjoying total dominance early on it only seemed a matter of time before they scored but with the visitors defending in numbers they repeatedly failed to make the breakthrough. With ten minutes gone Patrice Stapleton twice went close when she burst into the area only to be denied by a great save from Lisa Dunne and as the ball broke free she headed Richelle O’Neill’s cross over. As they continued to press a lovely move involving O’Neill, Catherine Gunning and Claire Cantwell resulted in Orla Cullen firing over from the edge of the area. Louise Molloy then played a great ball out to O’Neill who pulled it back to Catherine Gunning who picked out Molloy but her header was charged down. With half an hour gone the home side should have hit the front when Cullen and Molloy combined to set Stapleton clear but with only the keeper to beat she drove her shot wide. As the pressure mounted Anna Connolly fired a great volley inches wide following a corner and then Dunne saved a fine Richelle O’Neill effort. With minutes remaining in the first half Tullamore were rocked back when a great run by Valerie Lawlor carried her through the home defence and when Hilary Healion could only block her shot Theresa Hooban pounced on the loose ball to fire it into the unguarded net.

The second half began with Town again on the attack as Orla Cullen picked out Louise Molloy but her shot flew just outside the left post but ten minutes later they were back in the game. Patrice Stapleton was taken down on the edge of the area and Molloy stepped up to send a swerving shot into the roof of the net for a great equaliser. As they went all out for a winner Catherine Gunning and Molloy set up Claire Cantwell but her shot was wide and then Gunning played a great ball into Stapleton but her effort was too high. The crucial goal finally arrived when Cantwell was fouled thirty yards out and when Cullen lofted the ball into the area Louise Molloy rose to send a lovely glancing header into the back of the net. While this was not one of their more impressive performances the Tullamore girls just managed to do enough to edge out a very lively Noreside outfit. There were fine contributions from Catherine Gunning, Orla Cullen and Louise Molloy but the player of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding defender Anna Connolly.

Tullamore : Hilary Healion, Joan Lennon, Anna Connolly, Regina Healion, Catherine Gunning, Laura Guinan, Orla Cullen, Claire Cantwell, Richelle O’Neill. Patrice Stapleton and Louise Molloy.

Subs : Camilla Dunne and Niamh Flaherty (both used).

CCFL Womens Division

Killeigh 0 Tullamore Town 3

Tullamore continued their perfect start to the league with this hard fought victory over local rivals Killeigh on Sunday last. Despite being in control for most of the game the visitors were unable to build on their first half lead until the seventieth minute. Indeed they were indebted to keeper Hilary Healion who made two great saves when there was still only a goal between the sides. Town played some lovely passing football throughout but Killeigh kept themselves in the game with a fine defensive display with keeper Bernie Walsh and centre half Shauna McGarrigle particularly impressive. The Tullamore back four of Joan Lennon, Anna Connolly, Regina Healion and Catherine Gunning were rock solid throughout while the midfield of Sylvia Gee, Orlaith Cullen, Claire Cantwell and Richelle O’Neill quickly took control of proceedings. Up front Patrice Stapleton and Louise Molloy worked tirelessly but found it difficult to shake off the shackles of the tight marking home defence. The visitors took the lead in the twenty fifth minute when Orlaith Cullen finished off a fine move with a cracking volley from the edge of the area and minutes later she nearly doubled her tally but her shot was superbly saved by Bernie Walsh. Despite forcing a number of corners Tullamore were unable to add to their lead as the first half finished 1-0 in their favour.

In the sixtieth minute Killeigh almost equalised when a mistake at the back allowed Sinead Taylor a clear run on goal but keeper Hilary Healion made a great save with Catherine Gunning hooking the ball to safety. Minutes later a cross shot appeared to be heading into the top corner but again Healion saved superbly to keep her side in the game. With twenty minutes remaining Tullamore finally killed off the match when a fine move down the left wing ended with Orlaith Cullen volleying home her second goal of the game. With manager Les Francis bringing on Laura Guinan, Jenna Cornally and Vanessa Browne they continued to press forward and added a third in the final minute when Anna Connolly forced the ball home following a goalmouth scramble.

This was a very good team performance by Tullamore against a well organised Killeigh side but the player of the match award went to Orlaith Cullen for her all round display and match winning goals.

Tullamore : Hilary Healion, Joan Lennon, Anna Connolly, Regina Healion, Catherine Gunning, Orlaith Cullen, Sylvia Gee, Claire Cantwell, Richelle O’Neill, Patrice Stapleton and Louise Molloy.

Subs : Jenna Cornally, Laura Guinan and Vanessa Brown

CCFL Womens Midlands League

Tullamore Town 6 Killavilla 1

Last seasons Cup winners got their League campaign off to a flying start with this impressive victory over a battling Killavilla side in Leah Victoria Park last Sunday. The early exchanges were even but with Sylvia Gee and Claire Cantwell slowly establishing a stranglehold on midfield the Tullamore girls began to push the visitors back into their own half. With quarter of an hour gone great play on the left between Catherine Gunning and Louise Molloy saw Richelle O’Neill win a corner with the resultant kick being scrambled clear and then Gee, O’Neill and Gunning combined to set up Molloy but Niamh Treacy in the Killavilla goal kept her shot out with her feet. Gee then played a great ball through to Patrice Stapleton but again Treacy parried the shot with Niamh Flaherty firing the rebound over. With twenty minutes on the clock the home side hit the front when Sylvia Gee played a great cross field ball to Richelle O’Neill and from the edge of the area she fired past Treacy to put her side into the lead. As they continued to press Joan Lennon picked out Gee on the right and her fine pass was crashed off the crossbar by O’Neill and then O’Neill turned provider as she set up Molloy but her effort was too high. Flaherty then found Stapleton whose pace took her clear of the defence but Treacy was quickly off her line to make a great save. Claire Cantwell’s cross was fired narrowly wide by Flaherty and then a clever short corner between Gunning and Gee saw the latter blasting inches over. With thirty five minutes gone Tullamore conjured up a beautiful score when Cantwell played a lovely one-two with Stapleton before sliding the ball through to Richelle O’Neill who crashed it into the top right hand corner of the net. As they continued to press forward Catherine Gunning played a great ball through to O’Neill on the left and her fine cross was fired inches wide by Jenna Cornally. The home side went further ahead when Sylvia Gee picked out O’Neill on the left and her pin point cross was finished off by Louise Molloy to put her side 3-0 up. Niamh Treacy was again called into action when she brilliantly tipped Claire Cantwell’s fine long range effort around the post and then Richelle O’Neill broke clear on the left but her shot flew outside the far post as the referee drew the first half to a close.

On the resumption Tullamore were quickly into the attack as Louise Molloy played a lovely reverse pass into the path of Jenna Cornally who picked out Rebecca Molloy but her shot was charged down but minutes later she was unlucky not to score when she got on the end of a Clare Cantwell pass but her goal bound effort struck Cornally on the back and was scrambled clear. With an hour gone the home side increased their lead when Sylvia Gee played the ball low into the area and Emma McNiffe fired it into the far corner of the net. Five minutes later they had gone further ahead when Patrice Stapleton won the ball back and exchanged passes with Niamh Flaherty before driving the ball low into the back of the net and they again went close when Stapleton’s deep cross was cut back by Camilla Dunne for Gee to fire over. With seventy five minutes on the clock the home side increased their lead when a surging run by Patrice Stapleton took her clear of the defence as she fired the ball into the bottom right hand corner but minutes later Killavilla hit back when Caroline O’Meara burst through the middle and blasted a great shot just inside the right upright for a fine goal. With minutes remaining Anna Connolly had to be quickly off her line to deny the inrushing Amie Dooley as Tullamore ran out comfortable winners.

For the home side there were outstanding performances from Catherine Gunning, Sylvia Gee, Niamh Flaherty, Richelle O’Neill and Patrice Stapleton with Niamh Treacy, Amie Dooley, Karina Cummins, Kate Ahearn and Caroline O’Meara the pick of the visitors but the player of the match award went to Tullamore’s midfield dynamo Claire Cantwell.

Tullamore : Hilary Healion, Joan Lennon, Anna Connolly, Regina Healion, Catherine Gunning, Niamh Flaherty, Sylvia Gee, Claire Cantwell, Richelle O’Neill, Louise Molloy and Patrice Stapleton.

Subs : Jenna Cornally, Emma McNiffe, Camilla Dunne, Rebecca Molloy and Vanessa Browne.