SKIBBEREEN Community School is into the last four of this year’s Munster PPS U16 1/2 C schoolgirls’ football championship following a comprehensive victory over Kerry’s Presentation Milltown.
The West Cork side, co-managed by Ella Ryan and Anna Ward, is eager to get back to another provincial secondary schools’ decider having lost to St Anne’s (Tipperary) in the 2020 final.
A Skibbereen CS panel backboned by players from Castlehaven, Clann na nGael, Ilen Rovers, O’Donovan Rossa and Tadhg MacCarthaigh has been competing together for the past four years and includes plenty of inter-county experience. Ilen Rovers’ Kate Carey and O’Donovan Rossa’s Eabha O’Donovan, Aoife O’Driscoll and Allie Tobin played important roles in helping Cork claim the 2021 Munster U14A LGFA title. Amy McKennedy, Eleanor Keating (Tadgh MacCarthaigh), Niamh O’Sullivan (O’Donovan Rossa) and Leah Carey (Ilen Rovers) were part of last year’s Cork U16A Munster LGFA championship-winning team.
Skibbereen’s path to this year’s Munster semi-finals began with victories over Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, Sacred Heart Clonakilty and Macroom prior to last week’s quarter-final against Presentation Milltown at Cill na Marta’s GAA grounds.
Hannah Sheehy captained the winning team in which Eleanor Keating and Leah Carey were outstanding. Niamh O’Sullivan (2-3), Eabha O’Donovan (1-5), Keelin Murphy (1-2), Becca Sheehy (2-0), Alaia O’Sullivan (0-3) and Maebh Collins (1-0) provided the bulk of Skibbereen’s scores. Kate Carey, Hannah Sheehy, Leah Carey, Kathlyn McCarthy, Aoife O’Driscoll and Ellie Mc Carthy also featured on the scoreboard.
‘This group of players lost out on competing in the Munster PPS competition because of Covid-19 last year,’ Ryan told The Southern Star.
‘There are still eight players involved from the team that reached the 2020 Munster final. The girls have been training very hard this year and everyone is eager to get back to another (Munster) final. Our panel is drawn from five different clubs where a lot of our players would have experienced winning West Cork and Cork LGFA county championships.’
The draw for the Munster semi-finals is not yet confirmed so Skibbereen CS does not know who their next opponents will be. In any case, an impressive run to the penultimate round means the West Cork school is in a healthy position ahead of their semi-final appearance.
Skibbereen CS co-manager Ella Ryan, a former Inch Rovers player who nowadays lines out for Kinsale, is hoping to put her recent experiences to good use alongside co-manager Anna Ward in an effort to deliver Munster glory to the West Cork school.
‘Skibbereen will be underdogs no matter who we end up facing in the Munster semi-finals,’ Ryan stated.
‘Reaching the Munster final in 2020 was a big achievement for the girls but we lost to St Anne’s from Tipperary on that occasion.
St Anne’s are still involved in this year’s competition and probably one of the biggest teams left in it. Winning a Munster title is not an easy thing to do, no matter what the grade you are competing in.’
The Skibbereen CS includes Tara O’Regan, Allie Tobin (both O’Donovan Rossa), Eleanor Keating (Tadhg MacCarthaigh), Laura O’Donoghue (Castlehaven), Emma Hegarty, Amy McKennedy (both Tadhg MacCarthaigh), Hannah Sheehy (Castlehaven), Aoife O’Driscoll (O’Donovan Rossa), Leah Carey (Ilen Rovers), Eabha O’Donovan (O’Donovan Rossa), Ellie McCarthy (Castlehaven), Keelin Murphy (Ilen Rovers), Alaia O’Sullivan (Tadhg MacCarthaigh), Niamh O’Sullivan, Holly Brickley (both O’Donovan Rossa), Becca Sheehy (Castlehaven), Meabh Collins, Diana Coakley, Kate Carey (all Ilen Rovers), Kathlyn McCarthy (Clann na nGael), Lauren McCarthy (O’Donovan Rossa), Eimear Carey, Sarah Connolly (both Ilen Rovers), Emma McCarthy (Castlehaven), Laura Deasy (Clann na nGael) and Muireann O’Donnell (Castlehaven).