All-Ireland final awaits U14 ladies after dominant second-half display

U14 Platinum All-Ireland semi-final

Cavan 4-12

Tyrone 0-10

Aideen Coyle

Cavan U14 girls have booked their spot in the All-Ireland final on June 9 after a brilliant semi-final performance saw them ease their way past Ulster rivals Tyrone. The side, under the joint management of Brian Galligan and Neil Kelly, had a prolific second half which saw them outscore Tyrone 2-7 to 0-3 to cruise to victory.

This will be Cavan’s first time back in the final since the county claimed the top honours by defeating Dublin back in 2018. The Ulster champions will face Galway in the decider after the Connacht champions defeated Kildare 1-15 to 1-10 at the weekend in their respective semi-final.

Cavan led by just four at the break thanks to two first half goals from hardworking midfielder Aoife Rogers and Shercock’s Ella McPhillips. However, it was their strong and commanding second half display that got the Breffni girls over the line with substitutes Sarah Crowe and Ciara O’Reilly hitting a combined 2-03 off the bench to push their side to victory.

In the third meeting of the season between the Ulster sides Cavan drew first blood with Aoife Rogers finding the back of the Tyrone net seconds into the clash after Rogers and Shonagh Brennan combined to win the throw-in. Tyrone made a quick reply with two points from Ella Boyd and Hannah Meegan to leave the minimum between the sides. Emma Galligan pointed Cavan’s first point of the day from a free after hard work from Clodagh Kelly with Grace Sherlock pointing two on the bounce to push their lead out to four.

Midway through the half a double from free taker Lauren Corr and another well taken score from Tori McGovern brought the deficit back to one point as Cavan struggled to find a breakthrough leading to a 15-minute scoreless spell. However, they finished the half strong hitting a further 1-2 as Tyrone managed two more points from Meegan and Corr. Cavan’s second goal came in the 24th minute of the half from lively attacker Ella McPhillips with Doireann Brady and Rogers pointing to leave Cavan ahead 2-05 to 0-07 at the break.

Cavan started the second half with intent and extended their lead to twelve, registering 1-05 without reply in the opening quarter of the second half in Armagh.

The Tyrone forwards were left frustrated by Cavan’s tenacious and hardworking defending led by captain Erelle O’Sullivan, Lesha Crossan and Jessica Morgan who came off the bench in the first half. Also introduced for Cavan were goalkeeper Kayla Curran Doughty and Sarah Crowe who managed to find the back of the Tyrone net minutes after her introduction which followed the opening point of the second half from Rogers.

Doireann Brady pointed another well taken score moments before substitute Ciara O’Reilly marked her cameo with a point to extend the lead to ten. Further scores from the impressive  O’Reilly and Crowe left Cavan comfortably in control of the tie midway through the half.

After eighteen minutes had passed in the second half Lily McVey opened the scoring for the Ulster finalists but once again Cavan responded perfectly with a pointed free from Brady following a foul on Ellie Reilly.

From the resulting kickout Cavan had their fourth goal of the contest as Sarah Crowe buried to the net for the second time after a brilliant driving run from McPhillips. Cavan’s Brady added a further point to her tally in the closing stages as Tyrone finished with two more of their own on a day to be remembered for Cavan’s youngsters.

Cavan: Kaithlyn Lavelle, Alice Maguire, Deirbhile McSeain, Emma Cusack, Ava McHugo, Erelle O’Sullivan (C), Lesha Crossan, Aoife Rogers 1-02, Shonagh Brennan, Ellie Reilly, Doireann Brady 0-04 (1f), Ella McPhillips 1-00, Grace Sherlock 0-02, Clodagh Kelly, Emma Galligan 0-01

Subs used: Jessica Morgan for A. McHugo, Kayla Curran Doughty for K. Lavelle, Sarah Crowe 2-01 for E. Galligan, Ciara O’Reilly 0-02 for G. Sherlock, Julie Gilsenan for E. Reilly, Sara Brady for E. Cusack, Lily Caffrey for D. Brady