BY KIERAN McCARTHY
SCHOOL’S almost out for the summer but Skibbereen Community School teacher Patrick Hayes is already plotting success for next season.
Hayes (Clonakilty) and Tony Harrington (St Colum’s) were in charge of the school’s junior ladies football team that won the recent county colleges’ A final against Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí in Aughaville.
Convincing winners in the end, by 4-15 to 0-5, Hayes believes this is a platform for this talented group of players to build on for next season.
‘From the start of the year these girls wanted to win titles, whether that was county, Munster or All-Ireland. They don’t just want to win one game; they want to win an All-Ireland,’ Hayes explained.
‘This county junior title is a good platform for September when we’re back in school. It’s always nice to win silverware and it’s a great reward for these players. We’ll look to push on next season.
‘We should have a strong senior team next year and we’d be hoping to build on what the junior and senior teams achieved in the past season. As well as that there are good footballers coming up too, the first years have a lot of good players so the future is bright for ladies football in the school.’
This particular junior team has gone from the C grade to the A grade in successive seasons, winning the B title as Mercy Heights last year before stepping up to the A grade as Skibbereen Community School this season.
While three local Skibb schools amalgamated to form Skibbereen Community School, this is the same group of players that won the county B football title with Mercy Heights. Against Bantry in the final Jennifer Collins and Deirdre O’Sullivan scored first-half goals, Cork minor Laura O’Mahony was immense as always, goalkeeper Rachel Deasy was rock-solid as always while Lisa Harte and Kate O’Donovan were also very influential.
‘We beat strong city teams along the way too such as Christ the King from Douglas and Loreto Fermoy who have won the cup the last two years,’ Hayes explained.
‘This group of girls have been training consistently since September and have showed great determination, work rate and composure throughout a long year. Their commitment has been unwavering.’
At Munster level this season, the school’s senior team lost at the semi-final stage, as did the juniors who went under against St Brigid’s Secondary School Killarney – and hopefully the recent county junior A success can lead to bigger and better things next season.
Skibbereen CS: Rachel Deasy; Rachel O’Donovan, Triona Murphy, Aine Daly; Kate O’Connell, Kate O’Donovan, Emer McCarthy; Nora Crowley, Jessica McCarthy; Laura O’Mahony, Jennifer Collins, Sarah O’Donovan; Lisa Harte, Katie Cronin, Deirdre O’Sullivan
Subs: Aisling Whooley, Mallaidh O’Neill, Eilis Bohane, Sarah Hurley, Sharon Beechinor, Jessica Beechinor, Eadaoin Fitzgerald, Emma Connolly.