Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sun July 8 - Ladies Senior Football: Boston Shamrocks v Connacht Ladies

Boston Shamrocks 2-9 Connacht Ladies 2-9

It was another nail biter in the Ladies Senior Football championship with Connacht looking like they would even the standings for the championship, and the Shamrocks persistence paying off at the very end with an equalizing goal from a penalty.  For much of the game the Connacht Ladies looked like they had found the formula to best their opponents, but in injury time Ciara Murphy was fouled in the penalty area and Niamh Harney put the kick away with the last action of the game to even the score.

Laura Kiernan turns upfield, watched by Aisling Kerr.
The teams picked up from where they left off 2 weeks ago with a blistering first half of football.  Connacht Ladies held the early advantage.  After Nicola Judge opened the Shamrocks account with back to back points, Connacht Ladies set about establishing a 7 point lead.  The westerners started to find their rhythm and connect the dots, and their first score came courtesy of a Joanne McDonnell goal.  Aoife Heffernan followed with a point and the game began to take shape.  After Chloe Baker pointed for the Shamrocks, another Connacht goal put them firmly in the driver’s seat.  This time it was Jane Ward, who lined out at full forward, who did the honors. 

Heffernan in the middle of the field, Maebh McGleenan at center forward and McDonnell started to put their stamp on the game.  Two more points added to the lead, but in the final minutes of the half the Shamrocks pulled themselves back into the game.  With the defence working hard to win the ball back, Katie Black, Ciara Murphy, and Niamh Harney made use of it.  Harney and Nicola Judge pointed before a Harney goal reduced the gap to 2 points.  McGleenan pointed just before the whistle to put a goal in it and all to play for in the second period.

Maebh McGleenan on the run.
The second half saw the team’s trade points as the game flowed up and down the field.  There were plenty of chances for each side, with the most promising falling to the Shamrocks.  Connacht Ladies defence turned it up and on three occasions broke up Shamrocks passing moves that had goal written all over them.  Shauneen McAleer, Catherine Boyle, and Triona Kelly worked hard to close up the spaces.

With 10 minutes to go the half time gap of a goal persisted.  Jane Ward generated her own turnover as the Shamrocks came out of defence and pointed, and Kelly Jordan answered with a fine point of her own.  Shelly Melia pointed to put less than a score in it with the clock reaching full time.  The tension mounted as the Shamrocks upped their urgency level, needing a goal to win it.  A goal almost came after another surging forward run from Kelly Jordan, her shot was saved brilliantly by Jackie McDonagh.  Kim Cobbe restored the lead to 3 points, but there was a last twist in the tale.  Ciara Murphy won the ball on the edge of the square and was fouled as she advanced.  Niamh Harney took the spot kick, and McDonagh pulled off a save gain but Harney was first to the rebound to net a tie the score.  The final whistle sounded to leave the teams tied in the game, and the Shamrocks still one game up in the best-of- five championship.

Shamrocks:  Erin Cody, Katie McGovern, Cathy McEleaney, Realtin McElhinney, Kelly Boyce Jordan, Laura Kiernan, Roisin Hession, Katie Black, Shelly Melia, Ciara Murphy, Nicola Judge, Niamh McLaughlin, Louise Desmond, Niamh Harney, Chloe Baker.

Connacht:  Jackie McDonagh, Siobhan O’Sullivan, Shauneen McAleer, Catherine Cullen, Catherine Boyle, Stephanie Gunn, Triona Kelly, Aisling Kerr, Aoife Heffernan, Kim Cobbe, Meabh McGleenan, Emer McHugh, Colette Folan, Jane Ward, Joanne McDonnell.
By Rory O'Donnell

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