Wicklow U-14 camogie side trounce neighbours Carlow
WICKLOW’S under fourteen girls made it two straight victories in successive weeks, this comprehensive victory away to Carlow following hot on the heels of their narrow home win over Laois.
This was a case of defeat almost snatched from the jaws of victory as a dominant Wicklow displayed rudimentary frailties at both ends of the pitch. It was down to a magnificent battling display from the midfield quartet of Rachel Byrne, Niamh Kenny, Sarah Lifely and Ciara Byrne to carry the day.
Carlow opened the scoring in the first minute of the game, a fine point from play but were quickly pegged back as successive points from Rachel Byrne and Ciara Byrne pushed Wicklow briefly out in front. Carlow regained the lead in the 5th minute, sloppy defending leaving the Wicklow keeper with no chance of defending her net.
Meanwhile Wicklow were missing opportunities by the bucketful in front of the Carlow net, naive positioning denying the team numerous scoring opportunities. Aughrim’s Leanne Quiqley eventually opened the floodgates when her rasping ground strike from all of 30 metres rattled the Carlow net on the 10th minute. Ciara Byrne and Aoife Keddy tagged on two quick points before Annacurra’s Jamie O’Neill repeated her heroics of last week with another opportunistic goal. In the final ten minutes of the half Wicklow pushed home their dominance at midfield as Rachel Byrne and Ciara Byrne rattled up four points between them.
Ten points ahead and all looked rosy, unfortunately Carlow were not beaten just yet and a failed clearance in the Wicklow backline saw our near neighbours narrow the gap to just three scores, halftime score line; Wicklow 2-8, Carlow 2-1.
The Carlow half-time team talk was obviously effective as they responded to two opening points from Wicklow with no less than 2-2 from some excellent open play. The tide had been turned and Wicklow’s backs were rightly up against the wall.
A single point still remained between the teams when Wicklow’s manager Mary Byrne from Knockananna recognised the turning tide and duly rang the changes midway through the half. The backline was shored up with the intro- duction of Shauna Marah and Kilcoole’s Katie Honan. Glenealy’s Katie Boucher was moved up front in hopes that the 11 year old could resurrect her goal scoring exploits of the previous week.
The strategy would have done Caesar proud as Carlow failed to register a single score in the fourth quarter. Wicklow duly regained the initiative and for a second time imposed their dominance on all areas of the field. Avondale’s Caitlin Olohan and Antonia Heffernan raised their game in response the large and vocal sideline contingent that had made the journey to Borris, the former driving the Wicklow forward line by example.
Two goals from Katie Boucher and a brace of points from Ciara Byrne, Caitlin Olohan and Aoife Keddy respectively in those closing 15 minutes ensured that Wicklow came out on the right side of a comprehensive 12 point winning margin.
Wicklow can take many positives from this result as they face into next weeks encounter away to Louth, and although the wee county should prove less of a challenge, substantial improvement will be required ahead of the return legs against Laois and Carlow if a finals berth is to be assured.
It was incorrectly stated in last week’s paper that Wicklow were defeated by Laois in their opening game. In fact the Wicklow girls came away with a 4-6 to 4-5 victory.
The Wicklow Under-14 camogie squad.