Monday, July 15, 2019

Sun July 14 - Ladies Senior Football: Boston Shamrocks v Connacht Ladies

Boston Shamrocks 6-14 Connacht Ladies 4-9

Boston Shamrocks scored an impressive victory in the Ladies senior football championship to ensure that there would be at least one more game in the best of five.  It was a high scoring game, that looked as though it would follow the same pattern as the first two.  After conceding 2 early goals, some tough defending combined with great running in the forward line laid the path for a Shamrocks win, one that keeps the best of 5 series alive. 

The Mickey Coyne Cup stayed put for at least one more game in 2019.
The first half opened in familiar fashion as Connacht Ladies banged in 2 goals inside the opening 5 minutes.  Sinead McGovern’s initial effort was forced over the line by Michaela McGuigan, and 2 minutes later Ciara Forde netted a second.  The westerners were up by seven points early, after adding 2 points, with the Shamrocks sitting on a solitary score.

The Shamrocks set about changing the story of 2019 and put in a powerful 20 minutes to end up tipping the scale to a 7 point advantage by half time.  Maria Watson worked very hard in the half forward line, and with the defence keeping the Connacht Ladies forwards in check, the Shamrocks picked off their points.  Connacht Ladies were often forced into fouling within range of their own goal and Paula Doran, Sara Jane McDOnald, and Rebecca Mills were on target. 

Ball is just a little beyond Aoife Heffernan's grasp.
The scores were level with less than 10 minutes to go to the break.  The goals eventually came for the girls in green.  Mills and McDonald netted nicely, and a third came from a Doran free that looped into the far corner of the goal as the Shamrocks attacked in waves.  Connacht Ladies, however, gave a reminder of how dangerous they can be with a Sinead McGovern goal right on the stroke of half time.  At the break it was a 3-11 to 3-4 Shamrocks lead.

The Shamrocks started off the second half with a goal.  It came courtesy of Doran from the penalty spot.  McDonald was fouled as she bore down on Rachel O’Driscoll in the Connacht goal, and Doran picked her spot in the top corner with an exquisitely taken shot.   Thoughts of a Connacht comeback faded.  The    Connacht Ladies tried to lift themselves, however.  Shauna Hynes made numerous forays from wing back, but the Shamrocks defenders kept the dangerous opposing forwards bottled up and prevented the openings for scores.

Try as they might, the Connacht Ladies 
could not turn it around.
The Shamrocks continued to work the ball well with flowing moves and with 20 minutes left had added another goal and two points.  Mills netted from distance, and Doran and Shannon Costello accounted for the points.  Connacht’s cause was not helped after Dearbhla McGovern was sin binned for an foul away from the play and a game 4 in this series looked increasingly likely.  Aisleeen Cunningham and Katie O’Donnell won some important balls inside their own 21 in the final quarter and Eadoin Connolly fired home a goal in the final minutes to put the icing on the win.  The Shamrocks not only stay alive, but based on this performance look like they are capable of pushing the Connacht ladies all the way in the series. 

Shamrocks:  Ann Marie McDonnell, Oonagh Shields, Cathy McEleaney, Katie O’Donnell, Doireann Peelo, Caitlin Slattery, Anna Bolger, Aisleen Cunningham, Eodain Connolly, Maria Watson, Rebecca Mills, Paula Doran, Shannon Costello, Sarah Jane McDonald, Laura Kiernan.

Connacht Ladies:  Rachel O’Driscoll, Catherine Cullen, Shauneen McAleer, Jackie McDonagh, Ciena Stringer, Catherine Boyle, Dearbhla McGovern, Emma Hegarty, Aoife Heffernan, Ciara Forde, Emma McGovern, Shauna Hynes, Aisling Kerr, Sinead McGovern, Michaela McGuigan.
By Rory O'Donnell

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