SHELMALIERS 2-10 | 3-06 ST PATRICKS – Report from Dermot Woods
A brave St Patricks saw their Ladies Leinster Intermediate Championship campaign come to an end in the most agonising circumstances as they lost out to serial Wexford champions, Shelmaliers, in Cooley on Saturday afternoon.
In an absorbing contest, the peninsula girls matched their highly fancied opponents in a game that was on a knife-edge throughout, only to fall just short in the end.
A quality Shelmaliers side may have illustrated just why they are among the favourites for the All-Ireland title in this grade, but were made to fight all the way and were very relieved to escape with a one point win.
In a game of fine margins, the hosts didn’t get the rub of the green when it came to the crucial decisions. Crucially, they lost three players to yellow cards in the closing 20 minutes, with the first being particularly harsh and came at a time when the Pats had just taken a grip on the scoreboard.
However, while refereeing decisions will always be questioned, it was the quality of the opposition that had the biggest impact on the outcome of the game.
The highly skilled and disciplined visitors played at a level the Lordship girls haven’t experienced thus far, but they adapted quickly to the challenge and can be proud of how they faced Shelmaliers head on.
St Pats can have few regrets as they left everything on the pitch and will consider themselves very unfortunate not to be preparing for a Leinster Final.
In a game that saw the impressive Kate Flood open the scoring, Shelmaliers struck the first major blow when Siobhan Cloake’s effort from distance deceived Rebecca Lambe Fagan and bounced into the top corner before Ailis Neville followed up with the first of her seven points.
St Pats hit back in style and settled themselves with a Meg Woods point before Niamh Holland pounced on a defensive mix-up to force the ball home from close range and level the game at 1-2 apiece on ten minutes.
It got even better for the Louth champions when straight from the restart, Áine Breen released Flood who produced a sublime finish to dink the ball over the advancing keeper with the outside of her foot.
Shelmaliers, with the slight advantage of the wind, then began to dominate possession and created a series of openings with some fine line-up play, as Kellie Kearney, Clara Donnelly and Lacey led the charge. Neville and Deirdre McMahon cut the gap to one before Grace Treanor replied at the other end from a free.
A combination of excellent defending and poor finishing restricted the Wexford girls to just two further points before the break with efforts from Ciara Donohoe and Aine Lacey sending the teams in level at 2-3 to 1-6 at the break.
Within a minute of the restart Neville sent over a free to restore the Shelmaliers lead, but that was the signal for the Pats to up the pace. Points from a Flood free and Treanor from play, edged their side ahead before Flood saw her effort for a point on 40 minutes drop into the top corner.
With a four-point advantage, it was looking good for the Lordship side but the game took a decisive turn on 42 minutes when Carrie Keenan was given a harsh yellow card. Neville landed the resultant free before Sarah Harding Kenny found space to fire home a fine goal on 44 minutes to level matters.
On 50 minutes, Neville edged her side back in front but Pats hit back through Flood to tie things up again. Fortune went against the Pats once more when Áine Breen picked up a yellow and the visitors took advantage as Neville landed what proved to be the winner on 57 minutes.
In a tense finale that saw Deirdre McMahon and Treanor sin binned, the Pats did have a late chance to level but the effort drifted just wide of the posts.
SHELMALIERS: Sadbh McCarthy; Aobhe Manley, Sarah Harding Kenny 1-0, Ciara Neville; Eleanor Neville, Roisin Murphy, Deirdre Byrne; Shayna Murphy, Kellie Kearney; Siobhan Cloake 1-0, Clara Donnelly, Ciara Donohoe 0-1; Deirdre McMahon 0-1, Aine Lacey 0-1, Ailis Neville 0-7. Sub: Beth Malone for S Cloake.
ST PATRICKS: Rebecca Lambe Fagan; Melissa O’Hanlon, Caoimhe O’Hare, Deirbhile O’Doherty; Ellen Barry, Anna Whyte, Méabh Butterly; Áine Breen, Saoirse Butterly; Carrie Keenan, Grace Treanor 0-2, Aisling O’Doherty; Niamh Holland 1-0, Kate Flood 2-3, Meg Woods 0-1. Sub: Naoimh Butterly for C O’Hare.
ST PATRICKS 1-13
St Patricks booked their place in the Ladies Leinster Intermediate Club Championship semi-final after another impressive performance saw them overcome Carlow champions on Saturday afternoon.
The Lordship side made it a worthwhile trip to the Carlow GAA Centre of Excellence as they set a meeting with Wexford champions, Shelmaliers, for a place in the provincial decider.
St Pats were certainly worthy winners in the end, but it took another performance of disciplined defending, good link-up play and fine finishing to see off the lively hosts.
The Louth champions got off to a quick start with points from Méabh Butterly and Kate Flood but any thoughts that this was going to be another cakewalk were soon dismissed as Bennekerry/Tinryland got to grips with the game.
Two quick points saw the Carlow side back on terms and it could have been even better as they were denied a goal when a close-range effort came back off the crossbar.
However, the Pats regained control and after Meg Woods was denied a goal by a point-blank save, they hit back with points from the lively Niamh Holland, Flood and a Grace Treanor free to lead by 0-5 to 0-2 after 24 minutes.
The peninsula side suffered a setback when Áine Breen picked up a yellow card soon after but showed great composure in the closing minutes of the half to retain control of the game. They did enjoy some fortune when the hosts saw an effort come off the post, but their patient approach was rewarded with points from Woods and Flood to take a 0-7 to 0-2 lead into the break.
The home side showed their battling qualities with the opening two points of the second half to cut the gap to three with 39 minutes on the clock.
However, once again the Pats found the response to the challenge and within four minutes had put themselves firmly in the driving seat. A quick-fire brace from the in-form Flood was followed by the only goal of the game as Treanor’s 25m free ended up in the net after a mix-up between goalkeeper and defender to make it 1-9 to 0-5.
That score certainly deflated Bennekerry/Tinryland and the visitors took full advantage as points from Flood, Woods and Breen extended the gap to ten points after 48 minutes to leave the outcome in little doubt.
To their credit, the Carlow champions battled to the end and added three successive points but were denied any chances for the goal they needed to get back in the game and the Pats sealed victory with a late score from Treanor.
ST PATRICKS: Rebecca Lambe Fagan; Melissa O’Hanlon, Caoimhe O’Hare, Deirbhile O’Doherty; Ellen Barry, Anna Whyte, Méabh Butterly 0-1; Áine Breen 0-1, Saoirse Butterly; Carrie Keenan, Grace Treanor 1-2, Aisling O’Doherty; Niamh Holland 0-1, Kate Flood 0-6, Meg Woods 0-2. Subs: Chloe Barry for C Keenan, Carrie Keenan for A Whyte.
ST PATRICKS 9-19
St Patrick’s cruised into the quarter-final of the Ladies Leinster Intermediate Club Championship thanks to a crushing victory away to Baltinglass on Saturday afternoon.
After a blistering start, the Louth champions simply outclassed the Wicklow side as a combination of discipline, slick movement and clinical finishing saw them rack up an incredible tally.
The Lordship side oozed confidence throughout a game where both Kate Flood and Niamh Holland helped themselves to hat-tricks, and remarkably, Flood had achieved that feat with only ten minutes on the clock.
The visitors made their intentions clear from the first whistle as Carrie Keenan burst through to open the scoring after ten seconds. It got even better when a poor kick-out was gobbled up by the Pats to allow Flood to score the opening goal of the game.
Incredibly, the next kick-out didn’t go any better for Baltinglass as Flood pounced to make it 2-1 to no score just as the clock hit the 60 second mark.
Despite the advantage, it was too early to say if the hosts were out of their depth or simply caught cold. However, the answer came both quickly and emphatically.
Meg Woods and Ellen Barry were among the points before Aine Breen found the net to post 3-6 on the scoreboard before the Wicklow side got off the mark in the 19th minute.
If it was a case of damage limitation for Baltinglass at the stage, they failed in that objective as the Pats responded with another goal from Flood before Holland bagged her first of the day.
Baltinglass did raise their spirits with a goal and point from Ella Parke late in the half but it did little to dampen the spirits of the Pats supporters as their side went in at the break with a 5-8 to 1-2 advantage.
The peninsula side made a slow start to the second period and having conceded the opening point of the half, it took them nine minutes to add to their tally when Flood found the back of the net. The same player added her fifth goal of the day within 30 seconds.
Niamh Holland then completed her hat-trick while Meg Woods and Grace Treanor chipped in with points to seal a memorable win for the Louth champions.
St Pats are back on the road this weekend when they take on Carlow champions, Bennekerry/Tinryland in the Leinster quarter-final.
ST PATRICKS: Rebecca Lambe Fagan; Melissa O’Hanlon, Caoimhe O’Hare, Deirbhile O’Doherty; Ellen Barry 0-1, Anna Whyte, Aine Breen 1-3; Saoirse Butterly; Carrie Keenan 0-1, Grace Treanor 0-1, Aisling O’Doherty; Niamh Holland 3-2, Kate Flood 5-6, Meg Woods 0-5. Subs: Méabh Butterly for N Butterly, Chloe Barry for C Keenan, Carrie Keenan for A Whyte.