Double delight for Granlahan girls

Roscommon Herald: Double delight for Granlahan girls

Article by Billy Phillips from the Roscommon Herald

A PIECE of history was made recently when the girls from Granlahan National School won both the ladies soccer schools’ competition and the Cumann na mBunscól Gaelic football competition.

The soccer final was played in the grounds of Donamon Castle. It was a very tight and keenly contested affair. In the end, the Granlahan girls enjoyed a narrow 1-0 victory over an extremely skilful team from Ballintleva National School.

Both teams created a number of goal chances. Near misses were also the order of the day while both goalkeepers made a number of outstanding saves. A marvellous solo effort by Granlahan centre-forward, Ann Marie Heneghan, midway through the first half ended with a superbly-taken goal. Despite the closeness of the exchanges, this was a game played in a great spirit of friendship and sportsmanship.

A loud cheer went up when Granlahan captain, Amy Brady, accepted the shield from the manager of Londis supermarket, Roscommon. Full credit must go to Mr Martin Conboy alongside his referees and officials for the efficient organising and running of the competitions, especially the finals. The victorious Granlahan girls returned to their school and a great welcome from their friends, parents and teachers.

A large crowd of parents, children, past-pupils and supporters made their way to Dr. Hyde Park, Roscommon a few days later to cheer on a highly fancied Granlahan girls side in the final of the Cumann na mBunscól Two Teacher football final.

The setting was perfect blue skies, sunshine and the pitch was in immaculate condition for football. Granlahan were physically much stronger than their skilful opponents from Ballagh National School.

This was Granlahan’s second year in a row to reach the county final. Their extra strength and experience made a huge difference and by half time Granlahan had crept into a commanding lead. During half time, a number of positional and personnel switches were made by both schools. As a result, the second half proved a much closer contest. Ballagh put in a huge effort, worked tirelessly and scored some excellent goals and points.

However, the teamwork and football skill of the Granlahan girls won the day on a final scoreline of 12-14 to 7-11. The Cumann na mBunscól trophy was presented to the captain of Granlahan, Michelle Neenan by the secretary of Cumann na mBunscól, Madeline O’Connell. In her speech, she complimented the skill level and sportsmanship of both teams.

She also commended them on their fine scoring and fair play. A huge cavalcade of cars wound their way westwards where the team were paraded around the parish. Onlookers, flags, banners and bonfires greeted their arrival in Granlahan.

A presentation of medals followed and a party also took place. Children and supporters celebrated this victory in great style at the school. The match and celebrations will live long in the memory of these young girls.

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