Following last year’s All Ireland success, Dominican College Taylor’s Hill senior girls soccer team has again qualified for this year’s final.
In winning 2-0 against Carndonagh College, they now aim to become the first team to retain the All Ireland title in successive seasons.
Playing with a strong wind in the first half Taylor’s Hill had a number of chances to open the scoring, but Carndonagh’s Irish underage goalkeeper Aoife McColgan made some excellent saves to deny Alana Moran on several occasions.
It took something special to beat her and it arrived on the half hour when Aoife Lynagh played a ball to Ellie Rose O’Flaherty who broke down the right. Whipping the ball in towards the edge of the square, Moran met it on the volley to drive an unstoppable shot to the top right hand corner of the net.
Taylor’s Hill continued to control the game up to half time with Ciara Lynagh, Megan Heneher, O’Flaherty and Aoife Walsh dominating midfield, but despite being camped in the opposition half for most of the first half, they still had only one goal to show for it even though Moran and Aideen Naughton were still causing havoc up front.
Towards the end of the half Lilly Heneher came off injured to be replaced by Claire Conroy, while Lucia Lobato was introduced for Naughton, but with the wind behind them, Carndonagh came more and more into the game.
However Shauna Fox marshalled her defence to great effect with the help of Ailbhe Farrell and Anesid Igunma cleaning up any danger that developed.
Taylor’s weathered the early onslaught and started to get more ball up to the forwards, but again McColgan pulled off another string of excellent saves.
The turning point in the game came in the 25th minute when Carndonagh captain Nicole Gordon latched onto a ball from outside the square and volleyed it to the top left hand corner of the goal only for Igunma to pull off a super save by tipping it over the cross bar.
This rejuvenated Taylor’s, who five minutes later broke down the wing with Moran finishing by tapping it into the net from six yards.
Taylor’s comfortably held on from here and were worthy champions at the end.
This was a great team performance by the Taylor’s outfit and they will go into the All Ireland final on February 25.