Enniscorthy Guardian - - SPORT -

En­nis­cor­thy ladies’ first team were back in ac­tion against Sut­to­ni­ans in their first game of 2019. The Di­vi­sion 7 ta­ble-top­pers made the lengthy jour­ney to Sut­ton Park School for what turned out to be a test­ing, tense game against hosts Sut­to­ni­ans.

The first-half saw pos­ses­sion switch­ing back and forth be­tween the teams, with both try­ing to set­tle into some sort of rhythm fol­low­ing the Christ­mas break.

En­nis­cor­thy adapted quick­est, link­ing passes be­tween the de­fence and mid­field. The for­ward trio of May Wick­ham, Izzy Walsh and Sonja Ryn­hart worked tire­lessly, cre­at­ing runs for the mid­field pack to play the ball into.

The Slaneysiders won five penalty cor­ners on the trot but, un­for­tu­nately, the Sut­to­ni­ans de­fence held strong to keep the score at 0-0.

How­ever, the vis­i­tors didn’t have it all their own way, with Sut­to­ni­ans li­able to make quick breaks and trou­bling the En­nis­cor­thy de­fence.

The away side held strong, out­let­ting the ball with smart passes up both lines by de­fend­ers Su­san­nah Doyle and Han­nah Gra­ham, while both Leah Chap­man and Jessie Flood were cre­at­ing space and giv­ing op­tions on hit-outs. Af­ter an in­tense first-half of hockey the score re­mained 0-0.

The sec­ond-half be­gan with a very fired up Sut­to­ni­ans team. How­ever, En­nis­cor­thy kept their cool and con­tin­ued to play some lovely hockey.

A pas­sage of 2 v. 1 play be­tween de­fend­ers Han­nah Gra­ham and Laura Smith re­sulted in a near goal for the Slaneysiders, with the whis­tle be­ing blown just be­fore the ball hit the back board, while yet an­other penalty cor­ner for Ennsi­cor­thy re­sulted in a near miss.

Sut­to­ni­ans con­tin­ued to press hard, with vis­it­ing cap­tain Julie Watchorn mak­ing some cru­cial tack­les to keep the away side out of trou­ble.

A dis­al­lowed goal from Sut­to­ni­ans gave the league lead­ers a boost, re­al­is­ing they would need to give a bit more to get the win.

The Slaneysiders were trou­bling the Sut­to­ni­ans de­fence once again with a one-on-one be­tween the ‘keeper and for­ward Izzy Walsh, but the home net­min­der had the mea­sure of Walsh.

It wasn’t long, though, be­fore a break up the left-hand side by Aoife Ma­hon, and a cross into the circle by Walsh, re­sulted in a break­through goal from debu­tante Amy Mur­phy. That goal, mid­way through the sec­ond-half, was enough to seal the win for the Wex­ford side.

Satur­day sees the team on the road again as they travel to Dublin 4 for a meet­ing with Rail­way Union.

Squad: No­rah McGinty, Julie Watchorn, Laura Smith, Su­sanna Doyle, Han­nah Gra­ham, Leah Chap­man, Jessie Flood, Aoife Ma­hon, May Wick­ham, Sonja Ryn­hart, Is­abelle Walsh, Amy Mur­phy.

The men’s sides re­sume league du­ties on Satur­day, with the firsts away to Monkstown and the sec­onds away to Avoca.

The ladies’ sec­onds con­tinue life in Di­vi­sion 12 with a dif­fi­cult Thurs­day evening trip to We­ston, with tip off at 8.30 p.m.

In un­der-age fix­tures, the Un­der-16 girls’ In­ter­me­di­ate ‘A’ side host Monkstown at the Astro Ac­tive Cen­tre on Sun­day, with tip off at 12 noon. That match is fol­lowed at 1.30 p.m. by the Un­der-14 (first year girls) Ex­treme 8 side ver­sus North Kil­dare

The Astro Ac­tive Cen­tre was alive with the sound of hockey over the Christ­mas break as the club hosted its sec­ond an­nual turkey tour­na­ment. It was or­gan­ised by club Sec­re­tary Alan Smith, ably as­sisted by An­drew Roth­well, Julie Watchorn and Elaine Smith.

Over 50 play­ers took part in the event on De­cem­ber 29, with monies raised to be pre­sented to a lo­cal char­ity in the com­ing weeks.

Ni­amh Ogilvie, who was one of the mem­bers of last year’s Ju­nior Jac­qui Pot­ter Plate-win­ning side and a reg­u­lar starter with the ladies’ first XI, took part re­cently on a Hockey Ire­land na­tional Un­der-17 train­ing panel, with fur­ther ses­sions planned for later in the month, and the club wishes her well.

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