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Bennekerry/Tinryland take Senior Ladies Football honours after another big battle with Old Leighlin

Jamie Wall
October 2, 2023

Carlow Senior Ladies Football Final

Bennekerry/Tinryland 2-6

Old Leighlin 0-5

The rivalry between this ladies footballing giants Bennekerry/Tinryland and Old Leighlin continued under the showers in Netwatch Cullen Park in the Senior ladies final. Who was going to win? You'd be sitting on the fence for sure.

The opening minutes was all Bennekerry/Tinryland with a chance palmed wide at the back post. Cliodhna Ní Shé got the opening score from a placed ball. Aoibheann Webb tagged on another for BT.

Bennekerry/Tinryland pressed Old Leighlin’s kick out which led to point by Ruth Bermingham making it 3 points to 0. Bennekerry /Tinryland certainly looked to lay down a marker in the opening minutes.

A shot by Aoibhinn Gilmartin hit the underside of the cross bar and some how stayed out. The rebound was kicked wide by Aoife Roche.

After 10 minutes Old Leighlin started to get to grips which lead to Rachel Sawyer being fouled. She comfortably scored the free. These two teams just remained patient on the ball and not giving an inch, certainly no backwards step.

15 gone, still 3 points to 1 but this game is end to end with both teams making it difficult to score. At this point Old Leighlin have had more chances, probably disappointed with shot selections. Cliodhna Ní Shé with another free with 25 minutes on the clock.

Half time Bennekerry/Tinryland 4 points Old Leighlin 1 point but don’t let score line fool you as this was an entertaining first half with both teams going at it with nothing going easy at either end.

Old leighlin will feel a bit disappointed in the opportunities they created in opening 5 minutes of second half with two chances of points but both dropped short. At the other end Fiona O’Sullivan made sure to keep the score board ticking with a great point.

Bennkerry/Tinryland had a goal chance after a turn over by Elaine Ware but Nicole Hanley produced a great save. A Rachel Sawyer free made it 5 points to 2 after forty four minutes.

Cliodhna Ní Shé then scores from a sideline on the sixty five metre line, Nicole Hanley got caught out by the bounce and the ball ends up in the net making 1-5 to 0-2 with 9 to go.

Old Leighlin were working very hard in defence but just were getting caught out by the conditions with balls skidding off the surface but they got rewarded when Rachel Sawyer won another free and converted.

A well worked move by Bennekerry/Tinryland saw Cliodhna Ní Shé’s effort on the loop shot drop short but Sarah Nolan was on hand to palm the ball to the net making it 2-5 to 0-3 with 5 to go. Bennekerry/Tinryland were set for the cup again.  

Old Leighlin had a never say die attitude and late on Anne Roche sweeps up the ball which they work to Rachel Sawyer who kicks a great point with her left boot.

The final few minutes saw Sinead Hayden kick a point with one minute to go. The kick out was gathered by Bennekerry/Tinryland and they played keep ball for a time until Old Leighlin turned the ball over resulting in a point by Kate Burke leaving the score 2-6 to 0-5 at the final whistle.

This game was really a thriller between these two teams with conditions making it difficult but it was a wonder watch with both teams really going hard at it and making it end to end watching for all spectators.

Bennekerry/Tinryland: Orla Delaney; Elaine Ware, Deirdre Tomlinson, Clodagh Mahon; Ruth Bermingham, Nuala Mohan, Elizabeth Lowry; Fiona O’Sullivan, Katie Bullen; Orla Woods, Cliodhna Ní Shé, Leah Mullins; Aoibheann Webb, Sinead Hayden, Audrey Murphy.

Subs: Sarah Nolan for Katie Bullen (44 minutes), Sinéad Thompson for Orla Woods (58 minutes), Alannah Guerin for Aoibheann Webb (62 minutes).

Old Leighlin: Nicole Hanley; Maggie Forde, Anne Roche, Keeva Collins; Siofra O’Neill, Caoimhe O’Neill, Chloe Lawlor; Amy Hanley, Amy Farrell; Aoibhinn Gilmartin, Niamh Forde, Bronagh Nolan; Aoife Roche, Rachel Sawyer, Gemma Carpenter.

Subs: Jenny Sawyer for Chloe Lawlor (36 minutes), Kate Burke for Gemma Carpenter (36 minutes), Emma Brennan for Aoibhinn Gilmartin (47 minutes), Niamh Bambrick for Amy Hanley (62 minutes).