Loreto Letterkenny are the inaugural winners of the Elaine Winston Memorial trophy after emerging the victors in Friday’s tournament in memory of former teacher at the college.
Loreto, Letterkenny 2-9
Loreto, Milford 1-1
In the final of the round-robin 13-a-side tourrnament they defeated Loreto, Milford, after finishing top of the table in the league section of the competiton. Milford finished runners up at the end of the league stage with Deele College, in third place and St. Columba’s, Stranorlar, in fourth position.
There was emotion at the end when Nicole McLaughlin, who along with Loreto captain, Lauren O’Connell, accepted the Elaine Winston Memorial trophy from Francie Friel, husband of the late Elaine Winston.
“This Cup and winning it means so much to us,” said Nicole, holding back the tears.
“We are really delighted to win and it is a great honour for us all to win the Elaine Winston Cup and we wish to thank Milford for the game and all the teachers and all Elaine’s colleagues for organising and running the tournament in her memory.”
Mary Bourne, a teaching colleague of Elaine’s and one of the organisers, also paid tribute to the late Elaine and all the work she had done down the years for the promotion of Gaelic Football at the school.
Mary along with Catherine Dwyer were the tournament organisers.
“Elaine worked tirelessly during her six years with us here at Loreto, and mainly on her own. It was her that introduced many of the girls here today to the game, and she was an inspiration to them while she was here and still is and I have no doubt in the future” said Mary.
“We miss her dearly and we thought it was only right and fitting that we run a tournament in her honour. This is the first one and we hope to make it an annual event and run it at this time of the year.”
Mary Bourne also thanked the other schools that competed and she also paid tribute to all her colleagues who assisted in the running of the competition.
She also expressed her gratitude to referees Alan O’Connell and Seamus Bradley.
Elaine’s mum Mary and dad Joe were also present with Joe presenting the Player of the Tournament to Loreto, Letterkenny full-forward Sinead Hession.
Sinead capped a good tournament with two goals in the final ,both in the second half, to turn the game in favour of the winners.
The Letterkenny girls all wore pink ribbons in their hair in recognition of breast cancer awareness.
Hession, with two goals was Loreto’s top scorer in the final, while Donegal senior panellist, Rose Boyle, posted four points; and Lauren O’Connell, two. The rest of the points were scored by Sadhbha Medlar, Clodagh Brennan and Aine McGettigan. Aishling McDermott hit the Milford goal with Shannon McGroddy posting the Milford point. Letterkenny led 0-4 to 0-0 at half time having played with the assistance of a stiffish breeze in the first half and thanks to two points each from Lauren O’Connell and Rose Boyle.
Milford were a little unlucky not to register in the first half and also were denied a goal early on when Laura Crawford pulled off a brilliant save to deny Shauna Hone.
While Aishling McDermott converted from the penalty spot within a minute of the restart to make it a one point game, the winners were on their way shortly afterwards when Hession struck for her first three pointer.
That was on 12 minutes and she wrapped up the victory three minutes from time when she struck for goal number two. In between, Rose Boyle and Sadhbha Medlar had added points and Shannon McGroddy had scored for Milford.
Loreto, Letterkenny: Laura Crawford; Nicole McLaughlin, Marie O’Reilly; Emma Horgan, Aishling Ryan, Naomi McMenamin; Kaneshia McKinney, Aine McGettigan (0-1); Clodagh Brennan (0-1), Rose Boyle (0-4), Sadhbha Medlar (0-1); Lauren O’Connell (0-2), Sinead Hession (2-0). Subs: Megan Quinn for M. Reilly; Aoife Ryan for S. Medlar.
Loreto, Milford: Caroline Gallagher; Heather Doherty, Aishling McHugh; Katie McAteer, Rosin Carr, Aoife Donnelly; Aishling McDermott (1-0), Shannon McGroddy (0-1); Orla McAteer, Hollie McDaid, Niamh Carr; Shauna Hone, Megan Reid.
Referee: Seamus Bradley (Letterkenny Gaels).