St Joseph’s College Year 8 triumphs at Ulster blitz

The Year 8 girls at St Joseph’s College Coalisland have continued their trend of success on the sports field by bringing silverware for their football achievements back to the school.

The year 8 ladies’ team had a successful day at the Ulster blitz in Mid-Ulster Sports Arena, overcoming some strong and experienced opposition from across Ulster.

Their tournament began with an assured performance against St Colm’s of Derry in the group stages of the competition.

Leading by six points at half time through impressive scores from Latoyah, Nicole and Jade, they continued in this attacking manner in the second half with further scores from Tiphaine and Leticija to win by eight points.

The players displayed their range of skills during their second game of the day, with a great defensive effort from Fionnuala, Sarah and Orla in stopping various attacks.

Leading at the break, their position was strengthened through superb support play from Morgan, Courtney and Niamh, who set up many scoring opportunities and enabled the team to notch up their second win of the day.

St Pius’ of Magherafelt  presented a strong challenge in the next game. The girls rose to the challenge and attacked the opposition’s goals in waves, but were unable to convert these chances and get the scores on the board and suffered a six-point defeat.

This left the final group game against St Fanchea’s of Fermanagh very important and St Joseph’s needed a result if they were to continue in the competition.

With great determination from Niamh and Chloe, numerous saves from goalkeeper Anna and overall teamwork, they fought back to earn a draw – enough to book a place in the semi-finals.

During the semi-final against St Pius’, the girls played with the desire to overturn the previous outcome of this fixture and eventually booked their place in the final.

The final was a keenly contested game against a strongly favoured St Colm’s A.

The Derry side had height and strength in their favour and they used this to storm into a six-point lead at the break.

After regrouping at half time, the St Joseph’s defence were determined to halt the scoring threat and were able to set up numerous attacks, resulting in scores from midfielder Kerrie-Louise and forwards Latoyah and Tiphaine to put them two up with seconds left.

The day’s stifling heat began to take its toll on both sets of players and St Colm’s pushed forward to ensure five minutes of extra time was to be played.

The tension was obvious and, although both teams were exhausted, they were hungry for success.

With renewed energy and determination, Coalisland’s girls fought for every breaking ball and securing vital possession.

By intercepting passes, blocking down potential scores and turning over possession they drove forward to open up a six-point lead going into in the last few minutes.

This lead was not relinquished and the defence stayed strong to the final whistle.

Joyous scenes of celebration swept across the pitch as the final whistle was blown, giving much-deserved success to St Joseph’s College.

The delighted panel watched and cheered as Sarah Casey lifted the winner’s trophy.

Panel: Sarah Casey, La Toyah Colhoun, Anna Corr, Niamh Cushnahan, Orla Donnelly, Niamh Ferrity, Courtney Hughes, Jade Leonard, Leticija Liogyte, Nicole Murphy, Kerrie-Louise McKee, Chloe Nugent, Fionnuala O’Neill, Morgan Quinn, Tiphaine Quinn


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