Athenry crowned Junior Girls Cup Champions

James SCOTT Under 17 Women's International Head Coach presents the Cup to Athenry Captain Kerri O'Driscoll


FAI Schools Junior Girls National Cup Final (Under 17, Large Schools)


Friday, March 15, 2024


Presentation College, Athenry 2-1 Athlone Community College

Mollie Noone (28), Abbie Duffy (35+2)                                                    Ciara Walsh (54)


PRESENTATION COLLEGE, ATHENRY defeated local outfit Athlone Community College in a fantastic showcase to claim the FAI Schools Junior Girls National Cup in Athlone Town AFC on Wednesday last (March 13).

It was a exciting encounter which nearly went to the wire as Athlone’s late comeback in the final ten minutes made for a nail-biting conclusion to this season’s Cup decider.

Menton was without the services of Rebecca Keenan for this tie as she picked up an injury while out running a fortnight ago.

Amira Bouhlel McNamara headed wide from an Abbie Duffy free kick with 7 minutes played while 11 minutes later, Ciara Walsh’s set piece floated agonising over as the game remained scoreless in a lack lustre opening quarter. 

Ella Naughton pulled off a tremendous save to deny Tarron Kilkenny’s toe poke in a congested box following a brilliant corner kick from Abbie Duffy on 21 minutes.

Four minutes on, a defensive error from Athenry nearly saw Athlone Captain Hazel Donegan convert into an open goal but she dug into the ball as it sailed over the target. 

Mollie NOONE finally opened the scoring 7 minutes from the break as she struck a sweet effort of her left peg to give Athenry the edge.

The Athenry tally was doubled in the second minute of added time in the first period. Under 15 Schools International Abbie DUFFY scored direct from a 30 yard free kick to silence the massive Athlone crowd with her sensational set-piece. 

Presentation College led 2-0 at the interval.

It was Ciara WALSH’s goal on 54 minutes that sparked a massive change in the Athlone crew as her low drive managed to sneak past Gilligan’s bottom corner to take it to within reach for the Leinster Champions as they trailed 2-1. 

Athlone’s Caoilfhinn Brett put Gilligan under pressure on the hour mark when her rocket was too powerful to handle as the Galway keeper spilled the ball from her grasp but with no one there to intercept the rebound, Gilligan had enough time to collect on the second time of asking. 

Meanwhile at the other end of the pitch, Athlone’s Ella Naughton saved a Noone special when they were one on one. A wonderful challenge to deny the Galway player her second of the afternoon.

Abbie Duffy’s hard work up front was always a threat as she ran herself into the ground in the second half covering defensively too when required.

Athlone’s intensity and positivity moving forward in the last ten minutes of the contest was thrilling to watch. But it was matched equally by Athenry’s tenacious defensive attributes as the Galway girls bravely hung on to claim the prestigious title.

PRESENTATION COLLEGE, ATHENRY | Mollie Gilligan, Aisling Costello, Isobel Whyte, Tarron Kilkenny, Niamh Kilgannon, Sophie Costello, Anna Jordan, Abbie Duffy, Amira Bouhlel McNamara, Kerri O’Driscoll ©, Mollie Noone

SUBS USED | Saoirse Counihan for A Costello (38), Ella Farrelly for Bouhlel McNamara (63), Ciara Mullins for Jordan (70+2)

SUBS NOT USED | Katie Noone, Brooke Corcoran, Sinead Feeney, Jane Brennan

EXTENDED SQUAD | Cadhla Fox, Saoirse Moran, Cora Sweeney, Alison Whiriskey, Emma Coll, Chloe Keane, Sophie Hogan, Sarah Egan, Sinead O’Mahony, Tegan Kilkenny

TEACHERS | Dom Coll, Emer Kilgannon, James McDonnell


ATHLONE COMMUNITY COLLEGE | Ella Naughton, Aoife Holohan, Aoife Walsh, Roisin O’Brien, Aoife Minnock, Ciara Walsh, Lily Finneran, Alison Nugent, Hazel Donegan ©, Caoilfhinn Brett, Caitlin Gavin

SUBS NOT USED | Juliet Shine, Rosin Ni Chluaid, Jane Byrne, Mai Hennelly, Sally Ann Joyce

TEACHERS | Edel Menton, Kevin McCarthy


MATCH OFFICIAL | Paul Tone (Athlone)