It was a night of twists and turns in which the Lakewood squad had to show immense courage to work for a victory, playing the majority of the match with 10 players.
Lakewood started the brighter and went ahead on the 15th minute with a well worked corner kick, the resulting strike from Christine Coffey sublimely bending into the far corner. Passage responded and had chances to equalise, captain Lauryn Murphy was kept busy between the Lakewood posts. On the 35th minute, after a sustained period of Passage pressure with a series of corners, Lakewood were down to 10. Defender Heather Kennedy saw red for a deliberate handball on the goal line. Murphy did superb to block the initial penalty kick, but the rebound was unstoppable. 1-1 half time.
Unnerved by the numerical dis-advantage, Lakewood remerged from the half time dressing room a determined outfit. The game opened up and allowed Lakewood to enforce their footballing skills on the game. Quick passing movements and running a defenders which would have been difficult for any team to handle.
Stating the obvious, but the next goal was crucial. To go behind at this point may have been too difficult a task to overturn. Lakewood play remained positive and down the left wing Éabha O’Mahony and Niamh O’Donoghue created havoc with their barrage of attacking movement. On the 55th minute it was a low pass to the feet of Megan Sheahan in the box who still had a lot to do to create the shooting opportunity. Sheahan on her left, cut in on the right and her shot power home to the top right of the net gave Lakewood the 2-1 lead.
The game remained tight and well contested for most of the second period. Laura Riordan and Amy Lynch the linchpins of the Lakewood defense stopping any potential attacks, helpfully screened by Claire Nevin in the centre of the park who did a huge amount of covering and running off the ball. Ally Hurley put in a good shift up front from the start and Jess Sheahan was tidy in defense in right back.
The third goal to seal the game came from the boot of Daire Kiely. After a mazy dribbling run at the heart of the passage defense, Daire worked her way into the Passage box and a strike that rattled the net put daylight between the teams. Well deserved goal for a player who worked hard throughout the game.
Player of the match was awarded to Eimear Kiely who put in an immense all round performance, fighting for every ball and was central to many of the good passing attacking plays.
The night belonged to the whole squad of players who put in a lot of work throughout the season, trained hard and enjoyed playing every minute. They deserve a lot of credit for the supporting each other through thick and thin…