Arva girls just edge close tussle
Arva N.S---- 2-9
Kilnaleck N.S---- 1-9
The 3G played host to a thrilling Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Division Five Girls football decider on Wednesday last at the end of which Arva edged out gallant fellow-finalists Kilnaleck by just a single score.
In a game that was destined to go right down to the wire, nothing more than three points ever separated the sides and such was the end-to-end nature of the contest that it wasn’t until the final whistle sounded that the colour of the winning garlands could be identified.
The frantic opening to the game set the tone for the entire affair with one team, and then the other, apparently in the driving seat only to be summarily evicted in double-quick time.
Kilnaleck played with the aid of a slight breeze into the portakabins-end of the 3G in the opening half but the points came in machine gun-like fashion at both ends of the field.
A quick free by Ella Boylan in the 7th minute put Kate Smith through for a classy Kilnaleck goal only for player of the match Kayla Brady to also find the net for Arva some seven minutes later after the sides had exchanged points with the aforementioned Brady bagging a brace for her side.
But just when Arva thought it was safe to luxuriate in a cushioned lead at half-time, Karen Harten scored a scorcher of a goal in the 14th minute for Kilnaleck to tie up the scores at 1-3 apiece at the interval.
The second half was an almost carbon copy of the opening moiety with attack constantly the focus for both teams.
Some great long-range points by Ciara Boylan (Kilnaleck) and Johanna Sheridan (Arva) helped keep the scoreboard ticking over and by the 7th minute of the second half, the sides were still deadlocked at 1-6 apiece.
The game continued to be a veritable tit-for-tat affair ‘till the death but the turning point of the second half came in the 11th minute when Kayla Brady netted after a slick movement among her team-mates.
Young Brady’s belter spirited her side into a 2-7 to 1-8 lead and they never truly looked back thereafter despite Kilnaleck’s gutsy efforts to turn back the tide.
A point from the aforementioned Brady in the 13th minute served to underpin Arva’s cause and while Ciara Boylan had another point for the chasing team in injury time, it wasn’t enough to de-rail Arva’s title bid.
Arva N.S.: Kate Madden; Éabha Ní Fhaoláin, Síog Reilly, Eva Brady, Johanna Sheridan (0-3), Kayla Brady (2-5), Jessica Pratt, Saskia Lee, Jessica Smith (0-1), Lorna Giblin, Ellie Williams. Subs; Fiona Gormley, Aoife O’Hara, Abigail O’Hanlon, Aoibh Farrell, Aine O’Reilly.
Kilnaleck N.S.: Cara Reilly; Amy Clinton, Lorna O’Reilly (0-1), Lindsey Brady, Ciara Boylan (0-3), Christina Charters, Kate Smith (1-4), Karen Harten (0-1), Ella Boylan, Clara Gilroy, Amber Donohoe. Subs; Maria Galligan, Sadhbh Brady, Alanna Galligan, Atlanta Lovett, Gabrielle Samsonas, Katrina Leite.
Player of the Match: Kayla Brady (Arva)