Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ladies Senior Football: Shamrocks Back with a Bang.

Boston Shamrocks 4-9 Connacht Ladies 4-7

There was high drama on Sunday as the Boston Shamrocks and Connacht Ladies clashed at the Irish Cultural Center.  The football was flowing, there were some well taken scores, some hard hitting, and a twist in the tail as the Shamrocks stole the game with the last kick of the ball.  With the Connacht Ladies leading by a point the Shamrocks were awarded a penalty for a foot block in the area on Sharon McGovern.  Linda Cronin stepped up to take it and the ball hit the back of the net to the jubilation of the Shamrocks supporters.

Orla Heavey about to score.
The Shamrocks opened up a three points to no score lead to start this clash of Boston’s oldest and newest ladies football clubs.  Sarah Cunningham on the half forward line was on form in the early going, and after 15 minutes the Connacht Ladies had yet to score.  When they did it was in the form of a goal from Christina Newton at full forward, Newton finished a well worked move to level the scores.  The Shamrocks recovered in impressive style.  Cunningham and Orla Heavey pointed before Heavey was picked out with a beautiful ball and her finish was equally deft as the girl from Offaly chipped the outcoming Caroline Heraty and put the Shamrocks up by five points.  The next phase of the game saw the Connacht Ladies storm back into it, and in doing so perhaps exposing an Achilles heal for their opponents – the tendency to concede easy goals.  The defence stepped it up and dealt with everything the Shamrocks threw at them.  Imelda McNulty in midfield found her groove and Connacht were well on top.  Two goals that looked as easy as taking candy from a baby came from the westerners.  Sinead Ryan first and Newton second shot into an open net after cutting open the Shamrocks defenses.  The Shamrocks were reeling with the half time break approaching, but it was Connacht who suffered a blow after McNulty had to leave the fray with an ankle injury.

It was to and fro for the full hour between the
 Shamrocks and Connacht Ladies.
The second half was almost a replica of the first with the Shamrocks getting the better of the early going and Connacht taking charge during the latter stages.  Affairs started with the Connacht Ladies in a three point lead, but the Shamrocks started off well with two points from Cunningham and Mary Cronin.  Connacht added a fourth goal to their tally from Jackie McDonagh who got on the end of a high dropping ball to first home.  The Shamrocks got themselves back into it.  With Ann Marie McDonnell and Edel McGovern playing well in the back line the Shamrocks held firm and kept their opponents from finding the net for the rest of the game.   Heavey pointed again and followed with a well taken goal to level the scores.  After Ryan and Brett restored Connacht’s lead with a point each the Shamrocks were awarded a penalty for a foul on Linda Cronin.  Cronin took it herself and the sides were level as the ball slid low into the bottom corner.  Again Connacht came back as the game went to and fro.  The westerners inched into the lead with points from Mairead Trainor and Ryan, but down come the Shamrocks to level with a point from Cronin.  Louise Brett looked to have delivered the goods for Connacht with a point and a minute left, but there was more to come as the Shamrocks made one last drive and McGovern won the penalty.  The Shamrocks are back and the Ladies championship is finely balanced now with a win for each team.

Referee:  Alan Benson (Ros Camain)

Player of the Game:  Orla Heavey (Shamrocks)

Shamrocks:  L. Behan, S. McMahon, E. McGovern, S. Dempsey, D. Hallissey, B. Gallagher, N. Lonergan, A. Smith, S. Carroll, S. Cunningham, L. Cronin, O. Heavey, M. Cronin, C. Hagerty, S. McGovern.  Connacht:  C. Heraty, L. Burns, J. O’Connell, A. Kelly, M. Trainor, E. McElroy, L. Ryan, I. McNulty, K. O’Shea, A. McDaid, L. Brett, J. Ward, J. McDonagh, C. Newton, S. Ryan.

By Rory O'Donnell

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