Minor Division 3 Championship Final
Suncroft v Clane
Date: 30 Nov 2019
The weather had been bad all week, but the Ladies were lucky and after a frosty start to the day there was some sunshine and most importantly no sign of rain. The ground was a bit soft but in great condition and there was a slight breeze across the field. Conditions as good as you will get this time of the year. Always a good tussle between Clane and Suncroft and when the teams met in the first round of the Championship Suncroft came out in front by only a few points. A competitive game was anticipated.
Bill Brophy got proceedings underway a few minutes late at 11:50 and Clane were quick onto the break and up the field for the first attack. Solid defending and a shot under pressure went wide. Suncroft worked the ball up the pitch and got their first wide of the day. Both sets of defence are strong and it was going to be a good test for all the forwards. In the third minute Aislinn Dooley got Suncroft of the mark with a high looping shot. The ball was up and down the field with both sides struggling to get into good scoring positions. Lara Prendergast intercepted the ball on Sucroft’s forty five in the seventh minute and headed up the field with pace, a step one way and then the other, and a cracking left foot shot over the bar for a a great individual score. Megan Troy brought the ball up the field and offloaded to Aislinn Dooley, Dooley to Eve Kehoe, back to Dooley and Dooley across to a free Ella Murphy who shook the net. A great team effort for the opening goal of the game. Eleven minutes in Suncroft 1:02(5), Clane 0:00(0).Clane were getting chances but the young Suncroft defence was playing well and together. Eve Kehoe picked up the ball from Ciara Fennelly, a one two with Colette Keon and then took on the Clane defence, was pushed out wide but got her shot away and her first score of the day. Aine Troy broke down the Clane attach this time and gave the ball out to Jessica Doyle who passed it on to Eve Kehoe, Eve spotted a gap and after a side step or two shook the Clane net. Fifteen minutes in Suncroft 2:03(9) and Clane still to get off the mark. Clane had got some chances and looked very dangerous in front of goal but Orla McDonald, Caoimhe Doyle and Grace Farrell across the Crofts back line were playing out of their skin. On the seventeenth minute Clane’s captain did find a gap and powered her way through to get a great goal and to get Clane moving. Suncroft’s Eve Kehoe got another two points from play to steady the ship but Clane were in on goal again and very much back in the game. Aislinn Dooley pointed a free which was followed by a Clane point from play and Laura Prendergast finished out the half with a point in the thirty second minute.Half time: Suncroft 2:07(13), Clane 2:01(7).
The scoreboard was probably a fair reflection of the half however with Suncroft’s backs being on top. As well as the full back line playing out of their skin, Aine Troy, Ciara Fennelly and Anna O’Connor in the half back line were rock solid and worked tirelessly in defence and when setting up attacks. In midfield Collette Keon and Eve Kehoe were covering every blade of grass on the pitch. In the half forwards Captain Aislinn Dooley had Jessica Doyle on her right and Lara Prendergast on her left and both played with a level of skill and maturity well beyond their years. Up front Jessica Quigley didn’t get on the score board but gave a good number of assists and was always available, Murph in the middle did everything right for her goal and in the other corner Megan Troy was there but also out around the pitch covering km’s of ground, great to see her back after being out for most of the year with injury.
Suncroft got the break from the throw in in the second half and Laura Prendergast was fouled in the attack. Aislinn Dooley converted the free. Clane had upped the intensity in the second half and Suncroft supporters were wondering if their young wards would be able to stick with the pace and contact. Ciara Fennelly made a great run from the back and put Aislinn Dooley through for a one two with Jessica Doyle and Jessica Quigley and a point. Eve Kehoe picked up the kick out and ran straight at the Clane defence, a rasper of a shot and a brilliant save by Clane’s keeper to knock it over the bar. Suncroft were getting the scores but Clane were again getting a lot of half chances. Clane broke through the Crofts defence in the fifth minute and again got a goal. Five minutes into the second half Suncroft 2:10(16), Clane 3:01(10), all still to play for. Suncroft getting a few points but Clane getting the goals when needed and pulling them right back. Five minutes passed before the next score, Colette Keon fouled and Aislinn Dooley popped over another point. With both sets of backs defending tenaciously it was another five minutes, fifteen minutes into the half before the next score, Eve Kehoe hit a perfect shot to the far top corner of Clane’s goal. Suncroft 3:11(20), Clane 3:01(10). Still fifteen minutes to go but with a ten point lead Suncroft sat back a bit to protect the lead, or it could have been that they were out on their feet. Clane attacked again and again over the last fifteen but the Suncroft Ladies stood strong and tall and limited Clane to just five points. Risa Ennis also pulled off a great save in Suncroft’s goal. There was a good hold up near the end when Ciara Fennelly got injured and had to be taken off and after some eight minutes of injury time Bill Brophy blew the final whistle. Suncroft 3:11(20) Clane 3:06(15)
Superb performance from a young Suncroft team. With only five minors and six starters, and half the panel, being U14 Suncroft supporters were concerned that they could be overpowered especially in the second half. It did get tougher as the game went on but there was no need to worry as the older players did the hard grind and it was the younger players and the subs that were covering the ground and getting in the tackles when it counted in the end.
Suncroft panel: Risa Ennis, Caoimhe Doyle, Orla McDonald, Grace Farrell, Aine Troy, Ciara Fennelly, Anna O’Connor, Collette Keon, Eve Kehoe (2:04), Jessica Doyle, Aislinn Dooley(C) (0:05, 3f’s), Lara Prendergast (0:02), Jessica Quigley, Ella Murphy (1:00), Megan Troy, Caitlin Troy (for Jessica Quigley), Hanna Murphy (for Ella Murphy), Niamh Toft (for Ciara Fennelly), Emily Murphy, Ceile Hand, Lily Tyrrell Kenny, Caoimhe Quirke, Michelle Kenny, Jenifer Hart, Aislinn Connolly, Ruth Dillon, Miya O’Byrne, Niamh Tyrrell, Taylor Hughes. Mgt: Deirdre Hurley, Kevin Brannock, Rita Kehoe.