Setanta/Finbars/Wild Geese V Clontarf Under 21 Championship Match Report
SFWG took to the field on this chilly November morning looking to secure a third win from three and guarantee a home semi final next week.
Last week Clontarf scored 10:12 in their victory over Na Fianna, so the team knew that nothing short of a top performance would be enough to maintain their 100% record.
Clontarf flew out of the blocks and dominated the early stages. A mix-up in the SFWG defence saw them concede a soft goal. Clontarf then scored a point to stretch the early lead to four points.
Libby Peppard and Siobhan Byrne then began to control the midfield and set up some SFWG attacks. Amy opened the scoring for SFWG with a well taken goal following a well timed pass from Lynn. Libby then scored the first of her four points on the day to level the scores.
With Caoimhe and Abby dominating their players SFWG were well on top. Lynn scored the second SFWG goal and this was quickly followed by another point from Libby. Amy and Libby then shared a brace of points.
The final point of the half was the score of the game. Caoimhe robbed her player of possession, she played a pass to Abby out on the right touchline, she burst past two players before slotting over a point, a super score from the teams youngest player. The first half ended with SFWG leading by a score line of SFWG 2:5 Clontarf 1:1.
Although leading by seven points at the break, the team performance was not to the level required. Clontarf started the second half like the first and scored three unanswered points.
Beth and Kerry then dominated their players and assisted by Siobhan ensured that SFWG controlled the majority of the second half. SFWG first score of the second half came from Amy following a super pass from Lynn.
From the resulting puckout Abby collected the sliotar, drove forward and slotted over her second point of the game. Following some excellent stickwork from Caoimhe, she played a pass to Libby who found Lynn who in turn scored her second goal of the game.
Clontarf responded with a goal however the final score came from a free from Libby. SFWG ran out winner 4:7 to 2:4.
This was a better team performance that we have seen in the last two weeks. The girls are now more familiar with each other and the support play was much improved. At corner back Nicole has grown in stature over the past three weeks and never gave her player any clear cut chances.
Beth and Kerry were dominant through the game and were the base from which so many of the SFWG were launched. Libby once again shone in midfield. Her energy and speed are such a huge asset to this team.
Caoimhe put in her best display to date and as the game grew so did her influence and confidence. Up front Lynn and Amy combined well and are proving to be a handful for all of the defences in this championship. One player however did shine a little brighter this week.
The selfless performance from Siobhan was there for all to see today. In the first half she man marked Clontarf’s dangerous number 8 out of the game. In the second she drove the team on, winning dirty sliotar time and time again. Its easy for such a tireless selfless performance to go unnoticed, but not today.
Next up is a home semi final (opponents unknown at this point).
As a team, there wil need to be a further improvement in the performance if place in the final is to be secured.
Meabh Browne, Libby Reilly, Niamh Mulvey, Nicole Harford, Leah Shields, Kerry Milne, Beth Donoghue, Siobhan Byrne, Libby Peppard (0:4), Abby Fitzgerald(0:2), Caoimhe O’Brien, Niamh Redmond, Amy O’Connor Maher(2:1), Madison Rafferty, Lynn Keenan McMahon (2:0)