St Pat’s power home af­ter Vasi­jeva yel­low card

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - DIAR­MUID HAUGHIAN

HAV­ING just wit­nessed Tadgh Beirne re­ceive a yel­low card against Scot­land in Yoko­hama, the im­pact of that sin bin was min­i­mal, Ire­land were cruis­ing at 27-3 with ten min­utes left.

How­ever, an hour or so later in Bless­ing­ton, a yel­low card early in the se­cond half for Bless­ing­ton’s in­spi­ra­tional mid­field dy­namo Anna Vasi­jeva re­ally im­pacted the out­come of this Mi­nor ‘A’ semi-fi­nal in favour of St Pa­tricks, Wick­low Town.

The tim­ing of the sin bin was cru­cial and Bless­ing­ton were un­able to re­place Vasi­jeva’s tal­ent and en­ergy in that key mid­field bat­tle where St Pat’s Sinead McGet­ti­gan and Jessica Lyons re­ally took con­trol and put Pat’s into a win­ning po­si­tion.

The first half was tit for tat with both teams trad­ing blows, the pace was fran­tic, com­pet­i­tive and the qual­ity of play was a credit to both coach­ing teams.

Pat’s full-for­ward Ni­amh Caf­fery was al­most un­playable and her dy­namic part­ner­ship with cor­ner for­ward Luci Hobbs and mid­fielder Sinead McGet­ti­gan re­ally opened up space through­out the match, which was ruth­lessly ex­ploited.

In fact, Ni­amh would score the first goal of the match and fin­ish with a per­sonal tally of 4-4 and Sinead adding 1-3 to the Pat’s tally of 6-12.

There was al­most noth­ing be­tween the teams in the first half, when Bless­ing­ton keeper Ni­amh Kin­sella made a great stop.

The re­bound re­sulted in a di­rect run down the mid­dle from the in­form Anna Vasi­jeva, who net­ted, and her mid­field part­ner Ni­amh Cullen fol­lowed up with a point.

The half-time score was 4-6 to 3-7 in favour of Bless­ing­ton and it was all to play for. But who wanted it more?

Just as the heav­ens opened, the score board stalled and some of the chal­lenges were a lit­tle heavy.

And six min­utes into the se­cond half the sig­nif­i­cant Anna Vasi­jena saw yel­low and Pat’s seized the op­por­tu­nity.

Pat’s, dom­i­nat­ing mid­field through the ex­cel­lent Sinead McGet­ti­gan, took the lead within the third quar­ter and held out to win.

Bless­ing­ton fought gal­lantly to try and close the gap but the Pat’s de­fence and mid­field have to take great credit.

Both teams are blessed with an aw­ful lot of tal­ent, in­clud­ing Aibhe King and Ni­amh Cullen for Bless­ing­ton and with­out any doubt will chal­lenge for Se­nior cham­pi­onships in the very near fu­ture. For now, Pat’s roll on to chal­lenge the mighty Ti­na­hely for the 2019 Mi­nor ladies ti­tle.

Scor­ers - St Pa­trick’s: Ni­amh Caf­frey 4-4, Sinead McGet­ti­gan 1-3, Jessica Lyons 1-1, Emer McNulty 0-2, Naoise O’Reilly 0-1, Luci Hobbs 0-1.

Bless­ing­ton: Aibhe King 2-1, Ni­amh Cullen 1-3, Sad­hbh Fisher 0-4, Anna Vasi­jeva 1-0, Kate Lough­man 1-0, Sine O’Neill 0-2, Leila Shan­non 0-1.

The Pat’s team who de­feated Bless­ing­ton in the Mi­nor semi-fi­nal.

The Bless­ing­ton team that bowed out of the MFC in the semi-fi­nal.

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