‘Amazing Grace’: Murphy hits extra time winner for Bonagee in Plate final

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Grace Murphy struck gold for Bonagee to squeeze the Dry Arch girls to glory in the Donegal Women’s League U12 Plate final.

Bonagee United 1 Gweedore Celtic 0 (after extra time)

There looked to be no separating the sides in a keenly-contested final in Illistrin – until Murphy stole the show.

Having gone close on a couple of occasions beforehand, Murphy netted what proved to be the winner three minutes into extra time.

Murphy, who was crowded out for much of the evening, surged clear of the Gweedore rearguard and tucked brilliantly past ‘keeper Nadia McGhee into the net.

Murphy had gone close 12 minutes from the end of normal time, but was inches wide having had a similar chance have the same result early in the second half.

The game began with a Murphy chance after just eight seconds.

Murphy later clipped the side-netting before rounding McGhee only for the angle to narrow too much.

Marianne Ward was always a threat for Gweedore and she worked a big chance for Gweedore in the 19th minute. Ward nipped in ahead of a Bonagee defender and centred for Fia Coyle, whose shot cannoned off the underside of Megan Patterson’s crossbar.

Goalkeeper McGhee got ahead of Bonagee striker Sienna Doherty to a dangerous ball into the box.

Gweedore were threatening on the break early in the second half and it took a brilliant save from Patterson to deny Ward, who burst through. From the follow-up, Ginny Diver’s excellent block kept Bonagee’s sheet clean.

And Diver had another timely intervention, to dispossess Gweedore in the penalty area just after Murphy broke the deadlock.

Murphy was the stand-out while Katherine Hopkins and Chloe Creevy had great evenings for Bonagee while Ward and Coyle led the way for Gweedore. 

Bonagee United: Megan Patterson, Ginny Diver, Katherine Hopkins, Aimee Cassidy, Grace Murphy, Cailtin Moore, Laura Callaghan, Chloe Creevy, Sienna Doherty. Subs: Niamh Wilkin, Rachel Bogan-Allison, Aobh Mcafferty, Grace Patton, Leah McAleer, Holly, Latifa Bensalem 

Gweedore Celtic: Nadia McGhee, Nassa McFadden, Maria Gallagher, Koraliegh McFadden, Sheena Curran, Marianne Ward, Aine Ferry, Fia Coyle, Kate Rose McGinley. Subs: Carrie McGee, Clara Sweeney, Chantelle Brady, Anne Rose Collum, Niamh Bonner, Shauna O’Donnell.

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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