Monday, June 18, 2012

Connacht Ladies Impress in Championship Debut

Connacht Ladies 7-16 Tir na nOg 2-8

The Ladies senior football championship got underway with a bang as current champions, Tir na nOg, faced the newcomers, Connacht Ladies.  There was clearly a lot of work put into the Connacht effort in the off-season.  The Connacht ladies looked fit and too powerful for the Brighton based team, and ran out winners by a considerable margin.  Corner forward Sinead Ryan and center forward Louise Brett looked particularly impressive for the winners.

Sinead Ryan was particularly impressive at corner forward
for Connacht Ladies.
The Connacht Ladies held a sizeable advantage by the time the first 30 minutes were played, and sent a message about their intentions for the coming season.  The full forward line was a particular area of strength for the westerners, Waterford county player, Sinead Ryan, proved to be a force at corner forward that Tir na nOg found hard to deal with.  In addition, Louise Brett at center forward was full of running while the midfielders, Karen O’Dea and Imelda McNally were a formidable force.  Connacht Ladies played a nice brand of passing football and opened up the spaces in the Tir na nOg back line.  Ryan and Brett capitalized and notched up the scores, with a goal coming for each player late in the half.  Tir na nOg enjoyed some spells of possession themselves and managed a couple of goals, one of which Noelle Healy poached late in the half.

Connacht Ladies did most of the attacking in the opening
game of the Ladies Senior Football Championship.

The second half began with a run from center back Eileen McElroy deep into Tir na nOg territory.  The final shot was wide, but it was clear what the intention was.  Tir na nOg had to satisfy themselves by feeding off Caroline Nee free kicks, which were far too rare from the point of view of the Brighton side.  The westerners swept down the field almost at will, and a score looked likely with each attack.  Brett and Ryan added another two goals each in the second period as well as a raft of points.  The best score of the day for Tir na nOg came from the boot of full forward, Healy, who finished off a fine move for a goal, but it was more a case of playing for respectability by that stage for Tir na nOg.  The new kids are in town, watch out!

Connacht:  C. Heraty, A. Kerr, J. O’Connell, L. Burns, M. Tianer, E. McElroy, L. Ryan, K. O’Dea, I. McNally, A. McDaid, L. Brett, K. Kenneally, J. McDonagh, C. Newton, S. Ryan.  Tir na nOg:  E. Kelly, A. O’Neill, L. Brick, J. Davoren, N. O’Neill, P. Greene, K. Combes, C. Keoghegan, N. Daly, L. Kehoe, C. Nee, S. Bannon, M. Walshe, N. Healy, C. Hanley.

By Rory O'Donnell

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