St Pat’s power home after Vasijeva yellow card
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.