On the thursday the 12th, Dalriada 1st XI travelled to Cookstown, through terrible weather to continue their School’s Cup campaign. They succeeded in turning over Cookstown 3-1. From the beginning the match was a battle. After narrowly losing two weeks previous to Cookstown the girls felt it was time to put things right, each player fought with relentless fight and determination. Lynn Macaulay played a vital role in the middle and there were many great runs made by forwards Rachel Kennedy and Claire Finnerty. The match became appropriately festive as it started to snow but the girls stayed focussed on the match. Cookstown proved worthy opponents for the girls however sweeper Diane Ramsay along with her team of defenders stopped any shots with great strength shown by Tara McConaghie. Goalkeeper Laura Henry made some very crucial saves, keeping the girls in the game. The arrival of supporters Mr Skelton and Mr Devlin had left the girls with a real hunger to get a score on the board.
The real action began in the second half of the game, the girls began re-energised by Nikki Parke’s and Mrs Cleland ‘s team talk. A skilful break up the pitch by Lynn Macaulay ended with a shot which was rebounded and hit by Sophie Sterne to Lynn Macauley who scored by getting the vital last touch. Cookstown proved they were not going to be easily beaten and within five minutes they had equalised. Dalriada showed great character and super play came from Emma Johnston and up the right with Emma Chestnutt and Eva Carson making great runs and pressurising the Cookstown’s defence. Defenders Lucy Buick and Rachel Taggart showed fight and some great clearances were made. After much patience their hard work paid off as Sara Jamison broke away with the play and after an incredible run crossed the ball in with Sophia Rogers scoring putting Dalriada in ahead. The girls were not satisfied with a one goal difference however and a penalty corner created the perfect opportunity for Sophia Rogers to once again put the ball in the back of the net. Cookstown fought relentlessly and both teams displayed an impressive level of fitness, skill and determination. Cookstown were a constant threat but the whole team worked for each other which paid off with the final score 3-1 to Dalriada.
A huge thanks to the umpires,our dedicated supporters and to the teams’ coaches Nikki Parke and Mrs Cleland, we couldn’t have done it without you both. Bring on the quarter finals!