IN THE END, it was the girls from Clann Eireann who were singing in the rain.
Moville 1-1 Clann Eireann 3-14
Moville’s crusade in the Ulster Minor Club Championship had been a brave one but in the end they were beaten by a much better team on the day – the Armagh champions – in the final at Celtic Park in Derry.
The scoreline in the end was harsh on Paul McDermott’s side. They were far from their best in the first half but only trailed at the interval by two points, 0-5 to 1-0.
The Inishowen team have been stopped in their tracks in the last two years, losing out to Shane O’Neill’s from Armagh in the 2013 Ulster final, 6-13 to 5-13, and Eastern Gaels of Cavan in a semi-final last year, 3-4 to 2-5.
And even by the 44th minute the deficit was only five points but once Clann Eireann managed to finally get the better of Aoife McColgan – the Moville goalkeeper who was awarded the player of the match afterwards – the roof fell in.
McColgan made half a dozen saves to keep her side in touch until then.
Moville never settled if truth be told. From the start, Clann Eireann were on the front foot. By the break though, they’d only posted five points – with two frees from Aoibhinn Henderson being added to by scores from Dearbhla Coleman, Niamh Murray and Alana Doran.
McColgan had made decent stops to deny Coleman twice on the stretch, Doran in a one-on-one and then a top drawer save to claw away an Aoife Kane effort that was headed towards the top corner.
A minute before the break, Moville got a lifeline when Nicole McDermott netted from close range after a free from Niamh Cavanagh dropped before being deflected onto the crossbar.
In the Ulster semi-final last month, Moville scored six second half goals to come back from the dead to overcome Lurgan from Cavan 6-9 to 3-9.
That would’ve buoyed them against Clann Eireann, but it wan’t to be.
There was a lucky escape when Henderson’s free rebounded off the crossbar and having gone for goal all too often and not got a green flag waving, Clann Eirean began popping over points.
Halfway through the second half, McColgan was finally beaten when Coleman finished off a strong run with a rasping shot to make the score 1-8 to 1-0. That came right before another terrific double-save from McColgan, preventing Murray both times.
On 48 minutes all reasonable doubt was removed when Murray finished off a pass from Doran for a second goal.
At that stage, as the rain fell and the floodlights came on, Moville’s players would’ve been forgiven for wanting to go home. Doran fired home a third goal for Clann Eireann in the last minute.
It was a disappointing end for Moville but maybe when they’re sitting down to the turkey and ham in a couple of weeks time, they can still look back on 2015 as a good year and one that will put them in good stead when they go at it again next year.
They’ve been making decent progress on all fronts and one thing about today, it’ll be an experience they will learn from.
Moville: Aoife McColgan; Emma Doherty, Niamh Cavanagh, Aoibh Faulkner; Tara Hegarty, Michaelle Logue, Realtin McElhinney; Sarah Jane McDonald, Nicole McDermott (1-1); Aisling McGuinness, Eimear McLaughlin, Sinead McGuinness; Bronagh McGuinness, Caraigh McGuinness, Ciara Harkin. Subs: Clodagh Skeely for Harkin (50), Colleen McElroy, Breena Diver and Danielle McDermott for B McGuinness, A McGuinness and Faulkner (57).
Clann Eireann: Carrai Hamill; Aisling Fegan, Caitlin Fleville, Anna McCaughley; Maebh McCambridge, Clodagh Mccambridge, Cait Towe; Niamh Coleman (0-2), Aoife Kane; Alan Doran (1-4), Aoibhinn Henderson (0-4, 2f), Caroline Gallery; Megan McCann, Dearbhla Coleman (1-2, 2f), Niamh Murray (1-2). Subs: Ciara Fox for Gallery (37), Rachael McCaughley and Aimee Keenan for A McCaughley and Murray (55).
Referee: Kevin Bogle (Tyrone).