THOMAS Davis’s ladies footballers stormed to the final of the Paidi O’Se tournament in Dingle last weekend as the annual festival celebrated its 30th anniversary in style.
The Kiltipper club overcame Mayo’s Louisburgh first up in the quarter-final. On a soft pitch with a strong wind, the Thomas Davis girls prevailed on a score-line of 4-9 to 3-5.
Top scorer Orlagh McGuigan hit 2-2 from wing forward while Sinead Deegan and Kate Fitzsimons also netted.
Strong running from centre back Riona McTavish and wing back Jade Sweeney Knott opened up the Louisburgh defence many times, creating good point scoring chances for forwards Kate Fitzsimons and team captain Rachel Newell which they duly took.
The only downside for the Thomas Davis girls was an injury to corner back Emma Whelan on the last minute, ruling her out of the semi-final but she was to return for the final the next day.
The semi-final was against Newbridge Sarsfields in high winds and heavy rain, leading to a low scoring and tough, physical game, Thomas Davis winning out 2-4 to 0-4.
The goals came from corner forward Nicola Douche and full forward Ciara Long. Again, a strong defensive performance laid the platform with some textbook tackling at the back by Debbie Brennan and Stacey Byrne to keep Newbridge at bay. Again, the half back line performed admirably in tough conditions.
At the other end of the pitch, chances were hard to take in the conditions, but clever patient play by centre forward Amanda Shields helped open up the chances to win the game.
The final on Sunday was played against Mullahoran from Cavan. Mullahoran were beaten in last year’s final and, to their credit, came with great drive and determination to win the tournament this year.
The final score of 3-13 to 1-9 flattered the Cavan side but they were full value for their win, led by Breffni intercounty star Aishling Sheridan who scored 1-4 and went on to win a well-deserved player of the tournament.
The Thomas Davis goal was a contender for goal of the tournament when a loose kick out by the Mullahoran keeper was pounced on by Orlagh McGuigan who lobbed a nice effort to the empty net from 30 metres.