Suncroft v Naas
Saturday 22nd September 4pm in Moorefield.
The day was dark but after earlier heavy rain and showers it had cleared off and it looked like it could be dry for the game. Last time out, in the first round of the Championship, Naas beat Suncroft by ten points but Suncroft has a lot of young players and the games since had brought them on. The Suncroft line and supporters were cautiously optimistic.
From the throw in the ball made its way to Aislinn Dooley and she got the scoring started with a well taken point just twenty seconds in. Naas made their first attack and put a ball into the path of Lisa Shaw but the Crofts Muireann Fagan was up to the task and got there first, something that would be repeated many times over the day. Ball out to Eve Kehoe, Trina Duggan and on to Ellen Dowling who pointed her first effort. Aislinn Dooley got on the end of the kick out but strong defending by Naas forced her wide and her shot slipped outside the post. With great pressure on the kickout Rebecca Johnson, with some help from Rebecca Coogan got the ball to Carla Ennis who got the first of her two points in the fourth minute. Naas had been slow to settle and kicked their first effort wide in the sixth minute. They won the kick out and Naas’s Kelly Riordan kicked a nice point to get them started. Naas’s Lisa Shaw pointed a free and then Naas’s Aine Cummins pointed from play to bring the game all square at three points, and one wide, each. Megan Troy won the kick out and laid it on for Trina Duggan, onto Collette Keon before Ellen Dowling who pointed. Eleven minutes in Suncroft 0:04(4), Naas 0:03(3).
The defences at both ends were on top, Paula Brown, Muireann Fagan and Ciara Fennelly across the Crofts back line each had the measure of their marker as had Eve Kehoe, Chloe Foy and Rebecca Coogan across the half back line. Naas were working most balls down the left via the very fast Caoimhe Magher but Rebecca Coogan was up to the challenge and halted or delayed her every time. At the other end Naas’s defence was also causing Suncrofts forwards problems. It was a wait of fourteen minutes for the next score and in that period Suncroft had kicked three wides to Naas's one.
Nicole Dooley broke the deadlock and pointed for the Croft. Carla Ennis got the kick out and took her score well. Ellen Dowling pointed a free for Suncroft just coming up to half time to put Suncroft four ahead but there was a clash on the Suncroft back line and the ball bounced up favourably for Naas and they shook the Crofts net just on the half time whistle. Suncroft 0:07(7), Naas 1:03(6).
Suncroft were creating more opportunities but a dogged Naas defence was forcing them to kick under pressure. Suncroft had kicked seven wides in the half whereas Naas had two only wides. The goal just on half time got Naas right back into the game and a big lift at a critical time of the game. The first five minutes of the second half would be critical.
Suncroft started strongest, kicked a wide but then kicked four points and a goal before Naas got their first chance which went wide. Three points from play and a free. Ellen Dowling’s goal was one of those that was a nightmare for a goalie, coming down from a height at pace and just in line with the upright and crossbar. Suncroft 1:12(15), Naas 1:03(6) ten minutes into the second half. At half time Suncroft has moved Megan Troy up to the half forward line, moved Rebecca Johnson back to the half back line and moved Eve Kehoe to midfield. The changes looked like they were paying off. Suncroft kept the pressure on and with some great play in the middle by Trina Duggan and Eve Kehoe kept the ball mainly in the Naas half of the field. Nicole Dooley took a great pass from Rebecca Johnson and pointed. Suncroft made its first substitution with Sophie Hobbs coming on for the hard working Colette Keon. While Naas were fighting hard the writing was starting to appear on the wall. Aislinn Dooley got a goal in the thirteenth minute and this was followed up two minutes later with a well taken penalty by Trina Duggan. Suncroft 3:14(20), Naas 1:03(6). A fresh Aine Troy came on for Carla Ennis and in her first involvement, with a fast pass, made space for Aislinn Dooley to pop another point. To close it out Michelle McCormack came on for Nicole Dooley, Ellen Enright came on for Megan Troy and Caoimhe Doyle for Ciara Fennelly. Naas stayed fighting to the end and got the last two points of the game which finished, Suncroft 3:14(23), Naas 1:05(0).
It was a fast moving game from two young teams with both teams having a lot of young players. minors, u16's and a couple of u15’s. Good individual skills on display but also some great team play and football.
With level of ability and commitment displayed in all the games in Moorefield today the future of Kildare football is in a good place.
Suncroft Panel: Rebecca McGuirk, Paul Brown(C), Muireann Fagan, Ciara Fennelly, Rebecca Coogan, Chloe Foy, Eve Kehoe, Trina Duggan(1:00(p)), Megan Troy, Aislinn Dooley((1:03)1f), Ellen Dowling ((1:07)3f), Rebecca Johnson, Carla Ennis (0:02), Nicole Dooley (0:02), Collett Keon, Michelle McCormac, Aine Troy, Caoimhe Doyle, Ellen Enright, Sophie Hobbs, Aislinn Connolly, Risa Ennis. Mentors: Deirdre Hurley, Kevin Brannock, Rita Kehoe