Defending champions Colga FC haver relinquished their u-16 crown after opponents Peamount grabbed a dramatic late winner in extra time in Sunday’s quarter-final in Kilcornan.
Poised at 0-0, the contest had looked destined for a penalty shoot out when Niamh Connolly struck for the visitors just six minutes from the end.
Eleanor Ryan Doyle won possession wide on the left and sent a diagonal ball behind the Colga cover. Midfielder Connolly gathered on the edge of the box and, after making ground, she guided an inch perfect effort past the advancing Saoirse Burke to make it 1-0.
Despite dominating the closing stages, Colga somehow contrived to miss a number of opportunities to rescue the game.
Peamount were the better side in the opening half. They almost broke the deadlock on nine minutes when Rebekah Carroll crashed a free kick off the crossbar. The wide player was a constant threat throughout and, alongside Eleanor Ryan Doyle, she terrorised the home side in that first half.
Twice Ryan Doyle threatened a breakthrough, but on both occasions, with just Burke to beat, she pushed wide of the target.
The Dublin side certainly merited a reward for their performance, but, with some outstanding defensive work by Alana Moran, Colga kept the threat to a minimum.
The second half saw a turnabout in the fortunes of the home side as they finally began to exert some pressure at the other end.
Peamount goalkeeper Brook Davis made a terrific save to deny Louise Brennan just after the restart and, with Lisa Casserly and Kiera Cormican dominating the midfield sector, Colga controlled the game.
However with Niamh Kenna outstanding at the back for the visitors, chances were certainly at a premium. Cormican drifted in behind the cover, but her cross shot cried out for a touch as it flew across the face of goal.
Goalkeeper Davis then did well to cut out a Cassserly delivery as Kate Mulgannon waited to pounce.
While Kenna excelled at one end, Linda Corcoran was equally impressive at the heart of the Colga defence. Twice she made crucial interceptions as Chloe Silke and Ryan Doyle threatened a breakthrough.
The relocation of Alana Moran to the Colga midfield certainly gave them more bite in the closing stages as she repeatedly pressed forward and created quite a number of chances, which the forwards failed to convert.
Extra time and the home side almost made the breakthrough seven minutes in when the keeper blocked Mulgannon’s effort from six yards and diverted the goal-bound shot for a corner.
Events took a new direction on 94 minutes when Connolly struck the crucial blow for the match winner and, despite Casserly and Moran going close to an equaliser, it was Peamount who held on as they matched the achievements of last season’s u-14 side which also reached the last four.
Colga: S Burke, M O’Dowd, A Moran, L Corcoran, J Kinnane, L Casserly, R Horkan, K Cormican, R Bannon, L Brennan, E Feeney (R Mulgannon 52 mins ). Not Used: A Boyle, M O’Toole, D Hanrahan.