There were impressive performances from two Finn Harps Girls Academy teams at a tournament in Dublin over the weekend. The squad, managed by Micheál Ó Dochartaigh and Aisling Barron, made the long trip to the capital to participate in the inaugural Home Farm 20 X 20 girl’s tournament. The long journey meant a 7am departure for many of the girls especially those from Killybegs, Gweedore and the Rosses.
The Academy had two teams competing against the best girls clubs in the Metropolitan Girls League at under 13 level and at under 15 level. The tournament saw over 300 girls taking part representing over 30 clubs. The under 13 girls were drawn in a group with Swords Celtic, Peamount United and Newbridge Town.
After three very competitive matches and with a victory over Newbridge Town and a draw with the highly-fancied Peamount side the Harps U13s qualified for the knock out stages. In the semi-final they played the home team, Home Farm FC in a game full of quality and great team work. The sides finished level at 1-1 and so the dreaded penalties loomed. Each team were given 5 penalties and hero of the shootout was Harps keeper Kerry McCready who saved three of the spot kicks. Harps penalty takers were ‘spot-on’, winning 3-1 to progress to the final.
In the final Harps faced a strong Clonee United side. There was little to choose between two tired teams with chances at every end but eventually Clonee got the decisive goal. In an equally competitive u15 competition Finn Harps Girls topped their group, which consisted of Home Farm FC, Raheny Celtic FC and Mullingar Town and Harps.
A fine 4–1 victory over Mullingar along with a great display team display in drawing with a very physical Home Farm team. That ensured a semi final with the Home Farm A side. The semi-final was an end to end affair but eventually Harps succumbed to a neatly worked goal much to the delight of the home support. Harps girls gave everything to get back in the game but it wasn’t to be this time.
The Harps girls were commended by those present on their skills, their team work and their overall commitment to the team. It certainly was a great experience for the girls, one that will live long in the memories and one that will make these girls achieve even more in the years to come with their clubs and with Harps Academy.
A work of thanks to Home Farm FC for their excellently-run tournament and their great hospitality to the Harps girls. The atmosphere was so positive and many friendships and contacts were made for the future. Also, a word of appreciation to St Catherine’s FC, Killybegs; Drumbar United FC, Donegal, Raphoe Town FC, Fintown Harps and Gaoth Dobhair Aontaithe for giving their girls the opportunity to play with Harps in what was a great experience. Thanks also to Micheál Ó Dochartaigh and Aisling Barron for their dedication and commitment to the Finn Harps Girls Academy and the Club is now looking forward to providing more opportunities for female footballers. Micheál, Aisling and all at the Academy will warmly welcome all girls interested in being part of an exciting future as Harps provide facilities for training, coaching and the chance to take part in tournaments like the one hosted by Home Farm in Dublin at the weekend.
Finn Harps Girls u13: Kerry McCready; Sara Thomas, capt., Tiana Hannigan, Clara McGuinness, Michaela Hannafin, Grace Masterson, Ciara Bell and Sedhna Curran.
Finn Harps Girls u15: Alisha Ferry, Lauren Ferry, Tess McFadden, Lexi Campbell, Marie Sweeney, Katie O’Hara, Kayla Lowther, Aoife Slevin, Ava Boyle, and Ella McHugh.