Monday, July 23, 2018

Sunday July 22 - Ladies Senior Football: Connacht Ladies v Boston Shamrocks

Kelly Boyce Jordan tried to escape the tackle of
Emer McHugh.
Connacht Ladies 1-8 Boston Shamrocks 0-5 
It was a hard fought game between the ladies senior football teams on Sunday afternoon.  With the forecasted storms holding off, conditions were still difficult with light rain having fallen.  As it turned out, Connacht Ladies evened up the series of games with a well-earned win, and with 2 games left, the series will go the distance at a minimum.
The slippery conditions did not make for finesse football, and in the opening quarter scores were at a premium.  There were plenty of chances for each side, however, neither side managed to come to terms with putting the ball over the bar.  The Shamrocks defence were under a bit more pressure than their counterparts from Connacht.  Catherine Boyle, Aisling Kerr, and Maedbh McGleenan were very involved in the efforts of Connacht Ladies, but the pressure did not pay off on the scoreboard.  Kelly Jordan and Laura McKiernan led the Shamrocks defence in keeping Connacht Ladies at bay as much as possible.  Connacht wasted several scoring chances, after the first 15 minutes had tallied a goal and a point but it could have been more.  Jane Ward accounted for the goal after getting on the end of a high ball into the small square, and fisted it home. 
Realtin McElhinney with Maedbh McGleenan shadowing.
The Shamrocks attacked on the break and linked well going forward, however, the end product was also too often off the mark.  An early Nicola Judge free was the only reward for their efforts as the half wore on.  Katie Black, Niamh Harney, and Ciara Murphy were very involved.  Connacht hit with a flurry of scores towards the end of the half, back to back points from Ward were followed by another from Aoife Heffernan, and lovely conversion from Kim Cobb as Connacht finally found their range.  At the break the Connacht Ladies were looking good to even up the championship series as they held a 1-5 to 0-1 lead.
The Shamrocks kept chipping away at the Connacht Lead in the second half.  Jordan in defence and Niamh Harney were at the forefront for the Shamrocks, while Kiernan played a roving role, linking well between the backs and forwards.  Harney popped over 4 points, three from frees as the Shamrocks pulled themselves back into it.  With the defence hanging tough, and just 5 points between the sides, it was all to play for in the final 15 minutes.
Connacht applied some pressure with the game entering the last 10 minutes, and the Shamrocks defenders were tenacious in their efforts, with Cathy McEleaney not giving an inch.  At the other end, Catherine Boyle and Shauneen McAleer held firm for their side.  Eventually a point from Aoife Heffernan for the westerners restored the 6 point gap.  The Shamrocks began to look for a goal with less than 5 minutes left, however, the Connacht defence gave nothing away.  Each side now with three points in the series, and now it will take a minimum of 5 games to decide the eventual 2018 champions.
Connacht:  Rachel O’Driscoll, Catherine Cullen, Shauneen McAleer, Jackie McDonagh, Catherine Boyle, Triona Kelly, Steph Dunn, Aoife Heffernan, Aisling Kerr, Ciara Heffernan, Maedbh McGleenan, Kim Cobb, Jane Ward, Joanne McDonnell, Emer McHugh.
Shamrocks:  Erin Cody, Katie McGovern, Cathy McEleaney, Realtin McElhinney, Kelly Boyce Jordan, Anne Marie McDonnell, Roisin Hession, Niamh McLaughlin, Katie Black, Chloe Baker, Shelly Melia, Niamh Harney, Ciara Murphy, Nicola Judge, Laura Kiernan.

By Rory O'Donnell

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