A sensational Murphy show
Wicklow star scores 6-4
AN TOCHAR 7-12 ÉIRE ÓG 6-6
TAKE several bows Amy Murphy, because what you did on Saturday night in Roundwood was sensational.
The Wicklow ace stuck over a single point in the first half but came to life in the second period as she bagged a further 6-3 from midfield as she proved to be simply unmarkable and unstoppable.
She marched home three goals in three minutes between the second and fourth minute of the second period to completely swing this tie in An Tochar’s favour and there was no looking back after that for the hosts.
It was an onimous start for An Tochar though. Within the first minute, Eire Og full-forward Rachel Purcell notched the first of her three goals on the night as she Lisa Murphy claimed a loose ball and fisted it to Purcell who muscled an opening and squeezed her shot past Katie Coleman. There won’t be many occasions where someone scores three goals and isn’t even in contention for person of the match!
Murphy registered An Tochar’s first score after four minutes when she collected a pass from Blathnaid Morris before splitting the posts.
The visitors thought they were in for a second goal when a long ball found Purcell. To her credit, her marker Rebecca Molloy stuck to her like glue and made life awkward for Purcell who saw her shot turned around the post by Katie Coleman.
At the other end, An Tochar almost got a lucky break when a long shot was falling short but Sinead Kelly saved the day as she got a vital fist to the ball to steer it away from danger.
It was then Eire Og’s turn to profit from a weak shot. A combination of the crossbar and Coleman kept out the underhit shot but the ball wriggled free to Eva Roche who was hauled to the floor by Coleman. Kerrianne Hamilton coolly stuck away the penalty.
Yvonne Sutton, Jess Scott and Therese Molloy all raised white flags for the home side as they chipped away at the Eire Og lead but they so nearly had a goal on 12 minutes. Jennifer O’Gorman was fouled as she charged forward but the referee played advantage well. The centre-half back slipped the ball to Orla Molloy who charged towards goal but Gemma Kiely denied her with a smart save.
The action was non-stop so moments later Megan Healy was darting clean through before unselfishly popping it to Hamilton but she couldn’t apply the finishing touch as she punched wide.
Healy had another sniff of goal in the 22nd minute and this time she took no chances as she buried her strike to the roof of the net.
The six-point gap was quickly sliced to three when Yvonne Sutton’s shot appeared to be heading wide before it bounced in off Morris. Did you mean it, Blathnaid? We have our doubts.
At the break, Eire Og lead 1-5 3-2 but they were blasted out of the water by Amy Murphy after that.
Her first goal had more than a rub of the green as her attempt for a point dipped beneath the crossbar but after that, it was all about the undeniable class of Murphy.
Sarah O’Toole set her up for the second one which she lashed home. After that break in play, Yvonne Sutton’s stint in the sin-bin and seconds later Sutton picked up the ball and fed Murphy who snook a shot in at the near post by Kiely for a devastating third goal in as many minutes.
Murphy’s should have had her fourth goal seven minutes later and it would have been a thing of beauty. Coleman’s kick-out bounced over the head of its intended targets but Murphy swept in to claim it and strode from the half-way to within 12 yards of goal but then drilled it straight at Kiely.
Purcell showed there was still life in Eire Og when she slammed home her hat-trick goal but within two minutes Murphy quietened the visitors again with another point and goal within seconds of each other.
The sides then went tit-for-tat with the white flags until Meadhbh Deeney landed a fine goal for Eire Og but less than a minute later, a sharp turn from Murphy saw her spin clear of all defenders and she lashed the ball to the far corner for goal number five.
Murphy decided that a five goal haul wasn’t enough though so she timed her leap to perfection to punch home Therese Molloy’s teasing pass and seal the victory in style.
Scorers - An Tochar: Amy Murphy 6-4, Blathnaid Morris 1-0, Jess Scott 0-3, Therese Molloy 0-3, Yvonne Sutton 0-2.
Eire Og: Rachel Purcell 3-0, Meadhbh Deeney 1-3, Kerrianne Hamilton 1-1 (1 pen), Megan Healy 1-0, Lisa Murphy 0-1, Eva Roche 0-1.
Niamh Kenny of Tinahely gets to the ball ahead of Eve Rogers of AGB.