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Midleton bowed out today in the National final following a 3 - 1 defeat to a talented Presentation of Tullamore side.
The girls were on the back foot almost immediately following a slow start which saw the college go one down within 5 mins. It was soon obvious that the strong wind was going to play a factor in this game with the ball holding up in the air every time Midleton attempted to clear their lines. After 20 minutes the College went 2 down after some intricate play from the Offaly side who boasted 3 Irish internationals in their starting line up. Just before the interval, the College went three down following a series of corners from the Leinster champions.
The second half saw a much improved Midleton side take the field. The girls played with ferocious intensity and soon took control. Hanna Roch Perks' mazy runs up top were beginning to cause havoc in the opposition's penalty box and captain Rachel O'Sullivan began dominating the centre of the park.
Persistent pressure from Midleton was paying no dividends and despite several chances, the girls remained 3 down with ten minutes to play. Naoise Hogan and Katelyn O Neil entered the fray and their fresh legs saw the team push forward even more and dominate the exchanges. Form 6 students Aoife Mitchell and Zara Bowles were truly superb and continued to lead by example until finally, the girls scored in the 75th minute following a beautiful inswinging corner.
A great save from Rachel Barry in the final minutes kept the game at 3 - 1 on a disappointing afternoon. The girls can certainly hold their heads up with pride having represented themselves, their teammates and their school with distinction all season. A special shout must go to Form 6 girls Zara, Hanna, and Aoife whose commitment and spirit have been instrumental in the progression in the standard of soccer in our school over the past 6 years.
All eyes are now on the school's Junior side who are in the Munster final this Friday in Cahir Park against old foes Asketon. Best of luck girls.