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.