Awe­some Aoife is star of show

Joy for Aughrim/An­nacurra

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - ERIC MELIA

AUGHRIM/AN­NACURRA won the un­der-16 shield with a hard earned vic­tory over Knock­ananna in Arklow last sun­day.

Four first half goals from Aoife Con­nolly ul­ti­mately proved the dif­fer­ence be­tween two well matched teams.

Aughrim/An­nacurra started in the as­cen­dancy and only some su­perb goal­keep­ing from Kayla Tighe in the Knock­ananna goal kept them out.

Even­tu­ally on eight min­utes Con­nolly opened the scor­ing after cut­ting in from the right and strik­ing over. A minute later Con­nolly gath­ered a ball and stormed through the Knock­ananna de­fence be­fore rat­tling the games first goal.

Knock­ananna re­sponded im­me­di­ately with their own full for­ward Ni­amh Byrne plun­der­ing a goal.

With 15 min­utes gone the game was tied for the only time in the con­test when cen­tre for­ward Aobha Han­non snaked through a gag­gle of bod­ies to point su­perbly on the run.

How­ever this led to a run of scor­ing for Aughrim/An­nacurra. Con­nolly drilled a rasp­ing ac­cu­rate shot from 25 yards for her se­cond goal, mid­fielder Eimear O’Toole pointed a free and Con­nolly com­pleted her ha­trick after cor­ner for­ward Hal­lie Barnes intelligen­t flick put her in on goal and the full for­ward drilled past Tighe.

Roisin Byrne pulled a goal back for Knock­ananna after a ram­pag­ing run through the mid­dle of the de­fence.

Alice Mul­hall pulled an­other point back . How­ever Aughrim/ An­nacurra closed the first half scor­ing when Emma Mur­phy sent a pin­point pass into Con­nolly and the full for­ward pow­ered to the net from an acute an­gle.

Knock­ananna got on top in the early stages of the se­cond half with Erin Byrne mark­ing Con­nolly tight and Eimear Mut­ton mop­ping up alot of ball in the half back line.

After O’Toole pointed an­other free for Aughrim/An­nacurra Knock­ananna clawed their lead back bit by bit.

Firstly Ni­amh Byrne pointed a long range free then Roisin Byrne show­ing tenac­ity and skill gath­ered pos­s­e­sion be­fore launch­ing the ball 50 yards into Mul­hall who ham­mered to the net.

Mul­hall added a point from a dif­fi­cult an­gle and when Roisin Byrne got an­other there was only one point in the game with ten min­utes to go. The Aughrim/ An­nacurra man­age­ment made an im­por­tant change at this time drop­ping star for­ward Con­nolly to full­back to curb Mul­hall’s in­flu­ence.

With the match in the melt­ing pot it was left to Aughrim/An­nacurra’s wing­back Kasey Byrne to take the bull by the horns. She gath­ered a sloppy clear­ance 25 yards from goal and pow­ered a skid­ding shot off the turf to the Knock­ananna goal.

Both teams had scor­ing chances in the clos­ing stages how­ever Con­nolly and Ava Whe­lan were su­perb in de­fence.

An en­joy­able con­test with re­ally noth­ing be­tween two well matched teams. For Knock­ananna Aobha Har­mon, Eimear Mut­ton, Alice Mul­hall and Ni­amh Byrne were su­perb

For the vic­tors they had fine per­form­ers all over the pitch. Ava Whe­lan, Emma Mur­phy and wing for­ward Hannah Doyle were ex­cel­lent how­ever whether she played full for­ward or full back Aoife Con­nolly was the dif­fer­ence be­tween both teams and was a de­serv­ing player of the match with a per­sonal tally of 4-1.

Scor­ers - Aughrim/An­nacurra: Aoife Con­nolly 4-1, Kasey Byrne 1-0, Eimear O’Toole 0-2

Knock­ananna: Alice Mul­hall 1-2, Roisin Byrne 1-1, Ni­amh Byrne 1-1, Aobha Har­mon 0-1

Aughrim/An­nacurra: Holly Byrne; Emma Shan­non, Ava Whe­lan, Erin O’Toole; Kasey Byrne, Doire­ann O’Brien, Laura Doyle; Emma Mur­phy, Eimear O’Toole; Leah Gearthy, Shauna O’Shea, Hannah Doyle; Aoife Camp­bell, Aoife Con­nolly, Hal­lie Barnes. Subs: Said­hbh Byrne, Kirsty Byrne

Knock­ananna: Kayla Tighe; Siob­han Mul­hall, Jodi Mur­phy, Eimear O’Sullivan; Eimear Mut­ton, Erin Byrne, Tara Mc­Don­ald; Roisin Byrne, Alice Mul­hall; Eimear Fur­long, Aobha Har­mon, Eimear Bres­lin; Anne Marie Lam­bert, Ni­amh Byrne, Jane Keogh

Ref­eree: Pat Hickey (Arklow)

Aughrim/An­nacurra, win­ners of the Un­der-16 Shield.

Aughrim/An­nacurra’s cap­tain Emma Mur­phy re­ceives the shield.

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