Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Division 4 Girls' Final 2015
Gowna edge past Lacken in thrilling Div. 4 decider
Gowna N.S---- 1-11
Lacken N.S--- 2-5
Gowna N.S emerged three point victors, in a pulsating clash with Lacken N.S in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Division 4 Girls Football final on the 3G Pitch, Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday evening last.
Gowna began the match on the front foot from the off, with Caoimhe Madden opening their account with a point in the second minute. Caoimhe Madden struck a superb 45 in the sixth minute which was quickly followed up by a point from Erin Pierson.
Emma Halton struck a superb goal for Gowna, low and hard to the back of Shauna Mackin's net in the eight minute, to leave Gowna N.S firmly in control leading by 1-3 to 0-0.
Aoife Crowe drove forward from her midfield berth in the 10th minute, to assist in her side's opening score with Bonnie McKiernan profiting from her hard graft, to dissect the posts. Aoife Crowe was desperately unlucky to see her goal attempt come back off the Gowna post in the 11th minute and deflect away to safety.
Gowna N.S upped the ante to reel off three points in succession to move into a 1-6 to 0-1 lead. Halton fired over a splendid point with the outside of the boot in the 12th minute and added another point to her tally after great work from Ellyanna Madden and Grace Cadden.
Grace Cadden rifled over a sweet point for Gowna to put them eight points clear with 15 minutes gone. Aoife Crowe converted a free for Lacken in the 18th minute, but this was quickly cancelled out by another Gowna N.S point, which came from the boot of Ellyanna Madden, after good link up play from Halton. Aoife Crowe got Lacken's third point of the half in the 21st minute before Caoimhe Madden again converted a 45 in first half injury time.
It was imperative that Lacken having trailed at the half time break by 1-8 to 0-3 made a positive start to the second half which was exactly what transpired. Bonnie McKiernan, who was a livewire and a threat to the Gowna defence throughout the contest, pierced the Gowna defence to smash home a goal five minutes into the second half.
Emma Owens Brady tagged on a point for Lacken to further claw back their deficit which now stood at 1-8 to 1-4.
Emma Halton, who earlier in the day had lined out at corner back on the Cavan U14 team beaten after extra time by Galway in the All Ireland Semi Final, got Gowna's first score of the first half in the 33rd minute and this kickstarted a flurry of Gowna points.
Emer McEntee slotted over a point in the 35th minute and this was instantly followed up by a Grace Cadden point to open up a 1-11 to 1-4 chasm.
Lacken's Aoife Crowe who had a fine game successfully converted a free with 38 minutes gone and then ran through the Gowna defence a minute later to slot low and hard into the bottom corner of the net to leave a goal between the sides.
Lacken had chances late in the second half to further claw back Gowna's deficit but Bonnie McKiernan was off target on two occasions.
Gowna N.S were good value for their Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Division 4 Final success with Caoimhe Madden, Emma Halton, Ellyanna Madden and Grace Cadden particularly impressive.
Lacken showed tremendous spirit to recover from an eight point half time deficit and close the gap down to three by the finish which ensured an exciting conclusion to the match.
Gowna N.S: Pamela O'Reilly, Tara Madden, Emma Crotty, Cathlin O'Reilly, Emily O'Reilly, Caoimhe Madden(0-3 2 45), Emma Halton(1-3), Ellyanna Madden(0-1), Grace Cadden(0-2), Erin Pierson(0-1), Marie McEntee. Subs: Jasmine Harten, Emer McEntee(0-1), Tara Reilly.
Lacken N.S.: Shauna Mackin, Roisin Galligan, Kira Smith, Lucy Crowe, Niamh Cosgrove, Alanna O'Brien, Aoife Crowe(1-3 2f), Emma Owens Brady(0-1), Caoimhe Murray, Alyssa Brady, Bonnie McKiernan(1-1). Subs: Leah Brady, Shauna Cronin, Eleanor Brady.
Player of the Match: Emma Halton(Gowna N.S).