Ladies lose by the minimum in Down
ON SUNDAY last the Wicklow ladies team winded their way northwards for the last of their away matches in this league.
The venue, this time in the northern part of our island at Saval G.A.A. pitch, just on the outskirts of Newry.
Wicklow again started sluggishly and found themselves 1-4 to no score down after ten minutes. The goal, which was a result of very harsh penalty, was despatched with aplomb and Wicklow again faced a hard battle against their highly vaunted Senior opponents.
However, the Wicklow girls rolled up their sleeves and by half-time had narrowed the gap to two points. The goal, scored by Caoilfhionn Deeney, was as fine a goal as one would wish to see with slick movement from the backs through several hands including Caitriona Byrne, Laurie Aherne. When the ball arrived in the Eire Og red haired girls hands there was only one thing on her mind and she buried the ball in the Down net. In the meantime Wicklow squandered a penalty when Laurie Ahern shot tamely and the shot was easily saved by the Down netminder.
In the second half the match ebbed and flowed and Wicklow again found themselves five points down entering the last quarter. A big rally saw them narrow the gap to two points and in their efforts to gain parity the Wicklow defence was left exposed and Down, in a breakaway move with time almost up, gained a three-pointer to see them home.
Or so we thought but back again came the Blue and Gold and in a riveting finish Amie Byrne smashed the ball to the net and when the same player got a further point the minimum gap was between the sides. However the great comeback was not to be and Michael Henry called for the ball to end a pulsating match with the Wicklow girls losing by a point.
Again the stars for Wicklow were many but no fault could be attributed to Caitriona Byrne, Niamh Kelly, Caoilfhionn Deeney, Loretta Gilbert and Emer Miley. The Wicklow girls now play Limerick at home in Hollywood - a match to be played this Sunday at 2 p.m.
The girls would be delighted to see some support at the match despite the fact that it clashes with the G.A.A. matches in Aughrim - a clash that was unavoidable and regretful.