Colga FC play the biggest game of their short history on Sunday when the girls take on Longford Town in the u-14 Irish Cup at Terryland Park (3pm ).
It is the first team from the south Galway club to have reached the final of a major competition, and on Sunday they are up against a club that contested last year’s final, losing to Wilton United of Cork.
Colga’s final pair placing has seen them surpass challenges from both the best of Connacht and the elite of Dublin.
After a 2-0 away victory over a valiant Kilmore side, their reward was a tie against Shiven Rovers - a well organised team that had done remarkably well in the Roscommon League. However after an edgy first half, Colga pulled clear winning on 4-0 score line.
A place in the final 16, an away tie, gave Colga a difficult game against Templeogue Utd of Dublin. After a good display of football, Lisa Casserly opened the scoring from a free kick, after some good work by Eleanor Stafford and Siobhan Gardiner. The game finished 1-0 and Colga advanced to the last eight to face Malahide United, another of the strongholds of ladies’ football in Ireland. Once again the Galway girls grew stronger as the game progressed. Keara Cormician opened the scoring in the latter part of the first half and this effectively killed the game. Another two goals from Rachel Bannon and Anna Lane put a 3-0 result on the card.
In the penultimate game Mervue took on St Joseph’s of Dublin in an eagerly awaited semi-final. The visitors took the early advantage, scoring a sublime goal from 30 yards, but Colga came back and scored through Lisa Casserly to send the game into extra time. The result saw Colga score two goals before half time, and although St Joseph’s scored a second late on in the game, Colga held out as deserved victors to earn a place in the Irish Cup final.
The same backbone, consisting of Connacht goal keeper Saoirse Burke, team captain Linda Corcoran, u-16 captain Jenny Linnane, and Rachel Bannon, along with the prominent Connacht midfield duo of Leah Phillips and Keara Cormician, provide good balance to the side. The team also boasts three more Gaynor Cup representatives in Anna Lane, Lisa Casserly (Connacht u-13 captain ), and Alana Moran. Also on the squad are some of the girls who played on the 2007 Ribena Cup side, such as Sinead Heavey, and Mary Heavey.
Longford Town, however, will prove difficult opponents. They have enjoyed a great run of form this season, overcoming Eureka/Kells 3 - 1 and Stella Maris 4 - 2 in Leinster; College Corinthians and Brookfield Celtic by 0- 7 in round three and the quarter-final, before disposing of Ballyvary Blue Bombers in the semi-final, once again putting seven past them. Given Longford’s strong ladies’ football tradition and their rich vein of recent form, Colga will have to be at their best.