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Kaci’s late strike seals it for Cherries as brave Kilnamanagh caught on the line!

MGL Under 12 Cup Final

Cherry Orchard 1-0 Kilnamanagh AFC 

By Ger Brady

A goal in the last minute was enough for Cherry Orchard to upset the odds in the MGL Under-12 Cup final at a sun-drenched Oscar Traynor Centre in Coolock on Saturday evening.

The Orchard, 4th in the Under-12 Premier division would have been slight underdogs against 2nd placed Kilnamanagh but certainly the Ballyfermot girls played with a confidence that they always believed they could leave North Dublin with the winners medals.

And that they did thanks to a last minute goal by Kaci Dardis who was on hand to bundle Mary Jane O’Brien’s free kick from near the right endline over the line.

Kaci’s goal was only part of the late drama however as seconds before that winning goal, Kilnamanagh could have snatched what might have been proved to be the winner down the other end.

Rebecca Devereux whipped in a superb ball from the right wing but unfortunately Nina Kearns just got under the ball too much and wasn’t able to divert her header on target from just yards out.

Cherry Orchard obviously took full advantage of that let off by scoring almost directly up the other end and in injury time they almost made it two nil but Aoife Dalton’s shot struck the upright.It was an amazing end to a game which up until then saw both side’s really cancel each other out with both defences having the better of things.

The Orchard had the first goal-chance after just 3 minutes when Marian Bissett – who certainly put in a captains performance on the day – set Dardis through on goal but her effort was saved superbly by Sinead Donohoe in the Kilnamanagh goal.

On 17 minutes Grace Madden pulled her effort wide of the near post from 20-yards and a minute later Kilnamanagh had their first real chance of the game but Carla Muldoon was denied by Annie O’Brien in the Cherry Orchard goal.

The second half continued to see both defences in control forcing Kilnamanagh’s Lauryn McCabe into a speculative effort from distance which Annie O’Brien comfortably saved.

Two minutes later Cherry Orchard were almost gifted an opener when Donohoe in the Kilnamanagh goal fumbled a ball into the path of Kaci Dardis but the Kilnamanagh number one recoevered well to make a fine diving save as Dardis pounced on the error.

Then came the late drama of chances at either end but it was the girls in red and black who managed to sneak the goal late on with Dardis becoming the cup final hero.

Cherry Orchard: Annie O’Brien, Aoife Dalton, Mary Jane O’Brien, Lucy Kavanagh, Katelyn Fleming, Marian Bissett, Savannah Kane, Kaci Dardis, Grace Madden, Rihanna Meier.

Kilnamanagh: Sinead Donohoe, Nina Kearns, Kayla Maguire, Lauryn McCabe, Aoife Kavanagh, Molly Kearns, Holly Gobbett, Rebecca Devereaux, Carla Muldoon, Shannon O’Connor.

Referee: Stephen Domican. 

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