Ní Annaidh breaks Baltinglass hearts with late goal
A cracking ladies ‘B’ final saw Bray edge out Baltinglass after a riveting match at Roundwood last Sunday evening.
A topsy turvy game was ultimately decided by an Aisling Ní Annaidh free kick that dropped into the Baltinglass net as the game entered injury time.
Bray started swiftly with Ní Annaidh pointing an early free from the first attack.
Baltinglass showing great endevour and energy responded with rapid scores from Marie Kealy and Susan Dowling.
An early tactic from Bray saw them trying to deliver quick ball to the full forward line. Points by Ní Annaidh and busy wing forward Naomi Doonan edged the Bray women ahead.
As the game calmed down both teams had spells of dominance but the first major score came as Ní Annaidh’s effort hit the crossbar the ball was recycled to Carla Lennon who fed dangerous corner forward Laura Butler to drill home to stretch the Bray lead to four.
Kealy, who was a constant outlet to the Baltinglass defence, replied to narrow the gap.
Then came a beautiful Bray goal. Doonan angled a pinpoint long ball into Butler she shimmied to create a yard of space and with a sharp shooter’s eye pinged a delicious effort past Geraldine Nolan in the Baltinglass goal.
The women from the west responded impressively as a rampaging run through the middle by Catherine Dempsey saw her offload to Kealy whose rocket of a shot clipped the bar and over.
From the kickout, Baltinglass regained possesion, Dempsey transferred to Kealy who rounded the Bray keeper Eadaoine Lenihan to score a smart goal.
Bray struck back immediately with a beautiful score from Juliette Fortune with the outside of the right boot.
Bray’s Aoife Gillen and Baltinglass’s Rebecca Bowes traded scores to close out the first half scoring with the north Wicklow leading by a goal.
Ní Annaidh and Kealy swapped quick points at the start of the second half before Balto got an equalising penalty after Maggie Nolan was pulled down near the goal.
Kealy finished expertly to the keepers left.
At this stage Bray moved wing back Alice Fitzgerald back onto Kealy and she snuffed out Baltinglass’s main threat.
Nolan pushed Baltinglass into a lead but O’hAnnaidh struck back for Bray.
Then came the gripping finale. Ní Annaidh’s effort for a point dipped on the breeze just under the bar to push Bray three clear.
Baltinglass rallied with a Kealy free and a good point from play by Bowes but alas time was to run out for the west women.
Ní Annaidh with 1-6 and Butler with her two goals were the stand out performers for the victors with Marie Kealy hugely impressive for Baltinglass.
Scorers - Bray Emmets: Aisling Ní Annaidh 1-6, Laura Butler 2-0, Naomi Doonan 0-1, Juliette Fortune 0-1, Aoife Gillen 0-1.
Baltinglass: Marie Kealy 2-6, Rebecca Bowes 0-2, Catherine Dempsey 0-1, Susan Dowling 0-1, Maggie Nolan 0-1.
Bray Emmets: Eadaoine Lenihan; Lauren Rowe, Shaunna Douglas, Emily Deveney; Alice Fitzgerald, Alanna Conroy, Jane Butler; Aoife Gillen, Una O’Grady; Juliette Fortune, Mikaela Shelly, Naomi Doonan; Laura Butler, Aisling Ní Annaidh, Carla Lennon. Subs: Shona Michele, Erin Horn, Shauna Douglas.
Baltinglass: Geraldine Nolan; Shefali Daly Danne, Paula Faulkner, Ciara Hennessy; Jackie Byrne, Sarah Fennelly, Hannah Dowling; Sarah Jane Winder, Catherine Dempsey; Rebecca Bowes, Evelyn Deans, Susan Dowling; Emma Fleming, Marie Kealy, Maggie Nolan. Helena Dowling, Mia Kavanagh, Chloe O’Neill.
Referee: Stephen McNulty
County Senior ‘B’ champs, Bray Emmets.