Hun­gry Bray side hurt Baltinglass at home

Bray People - - SPORT -


BALTINGLASS hosted Bray in Di­vi­sion 1 of the ladies Se­nior foot­ball league last Thurs­day on a sunkissed evening in west Wick­low.

Go­ing into the game the opinion of many was that Baltinglass were favourites to come out on top with the likes of county full-back Sarah Jane Win­der lined out at cen­tre field and the hat-trick hero from their re­cent league fi­nal vic­tory over Louth in Marie Kealy named at top of the right along with the in­valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence of Geral­dine Norton in the Baltinglass goals, but on the day Bray looked the hun­grier side and played with greater in­tent and hunger com­pared to the un­der fir­ing Baltinglass side who seemed flat and sim­ply less mo­ti­vated than their op­po­si­tion.

Over the course of this en­counter, Bray proved that they are a qual­ity side with fine de­fend­ing, hard work and some very well pol­ished moves up front with Alanna Con­roy pro­vid­ing an en­gine in the mid­dle of the field and the pace of Mikaela Shelly caus­ing huge prob­lems when she ran di­rectly.

As men­tioned pre­vi­ously, Baltinglass were most likely every­one’s favourites to win this game, that the­ory would have been ce­mented af­ter five min­utes when they stormed out of the blocks with Re­becca Bowes open­ing the scor­ing within two min­utes and then Marie Kealy dou­bling the ad­van­tage with a fine score from her right boot af­ter a great break from Sarah Jane Win­der with a long ball in­side.

Bray then started to get their act to­gether and were sparked into life af­ter a fine run from Sinead Hor­gan where she ran straight down the heart of the Baltinglass de­fence to put Laura Durkin through on goal who made no mis­take in fin­ish­ing to the net.

Bray at this stage were mov­ing the ball quickly and added their first point through Caoimhe Lo­han af­ter good play from Durkin and the trou­ble­some Mikaela Shelly who caused prob­lems all evening for Baltinglass.

At this stage, both mid­field part­ner­ships were burn­ing a lot of diesel link­ing at­tack to de­fence. Chloe Far­rell and Eve­lyn Deans pro­vided an in­jec­tion of pace in the Baltinglass half for­ward line in which they cre­ated the next score with Deans putting Far­rell through for an easy score fol­low­ing an im­pres­sive build up be­tween the two.

Caoimhe Lo­han got her sec­ond of the day when great work from Aoife Gil­lan and that women again Mikaela Shelly. Ni­amh Brien re­sponded im­me­di­ately.

Then this game saw a pe­riod of stale­mate where both de­fences were on top and forced a lot of wides and turnovers. Baltinglass broke this stale­mate af­ter a de­fen­sive er­ror from Bray, los­ing the ball when com­ing out of de­fence is al­ways dan­ger­ous as proved on this oc­ca­sion as an at­tempted score for a point dropped un­der the bar and just over the fin­ger­tips of a reach­ing Eadoine Leni­han in the Bray goal.

With 20 min­utes on the clock it was Baltinglass lead­ing by two points. Bray fin­ished out the half with two scores from Laura But­ler and Caoimhe Lo­han while Marie Kealy added one more to the Baltinglass ac­count be­tween the Bray brace.

Start­ing the sec­ond half, Bray trailed by the min­i­mum but it wasn’t long un­til Caoimhe Lo­han lev­elled mat­ters for the north Wick­low side, and it wasn’t long till she put them into the lead af­ter a fine build up in­volv­ing Jane But­ler and Alanna Con­roy, this was af­ter some waste­ful ef­forts both ends of the field.

Then a killer blow to Baltinglass when Una O’Grady found the net from dis­tance af­ter an at­tempt for a point dropped short and found Ger Norton flat­footed.

Eve­lyn Deans replied swiftly to leave a goal in it. Laura But­ler and Mikaela Shelly ex­tended the Bray lead again. Bray fur­ther added to their lead af­ter they cap­i­talised on a de­fen­sive er­ror in what should have been a goal for But­ler but she had to set­tle for a point.

Marie Kealy cut the deficit with a goal from dis­tance and, on the stroke of 20 min­utes, Paula Faulkner added an­other Baltinglass score to set up a grand­stand fin­ish.

In the fi­nal 10 min­utes, Laura But­ler got her third of the day with a fine score from dis­tance from her left boot just be­fore Marie Kealy rat­tled the Bray post.

Bray sub­sti­tute Eve Mur­phy eased the pres­sure slightly, Marie Kealy then had an­other goal at­tempt stopped which was fol­lowed up with a score from Eve­lyn Deans again.

Aoife Gil­lan then eased more pres­sure for Bray with a de­served score as she had worked tire­lessly all day be­fore the fi­nal act of the day was from a score from Sarah Jane Win­der.

This was a highly en­ter­tain­ing game and if the two are to meet in the fu­ture it will sure to be a hotly con­tested bat­tle with two teams play­ing fine foot­ball.

Eadoine Leni­han; Lauren Rowe, Erin Ho­ran, Emily De­vaney; Aoife Gil­lan, Una O’Grady, Jane But­ler; Alanna Con­roy, Alice Fitzgerald; Laura But­ler, Mikaela Shelly, Sinead Hor­gan; Shauna Ryan, Laura Durkin, Caoimhe Lo­han. Subs: Ash­ling McCabe for Laura Durkin; Eve Mur­phy for Shauna Ryan.

Geral­dine Norton; Sarah Fenelly, Jackie Byrne, Han­nah Sheerin; Daly Dunne, Mar­garet Dowl­ing, Ciara Lawlor; Sarah Jane Win­der, Paula Faulkner; Su­san Dowl­ing, Eve­lyn Deans, Chloe Far­rell; Ni­amh Brien, Re­becca Bowes, Marie Kealy.

Eve­lyn Deans from Baltinglass looks to go past Bray’s Lauren Rowe. Photo: Joe Byrne

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