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U16 Girls Advance To Championship Semi Final
Sep. 3, 2018
U16 Championship Quarter Final: Irvinestown 2-3 v 6-10 Belcoo
The Under 16 Girls advanced to the Semi Final of the Championship this evening after a 6-10 to 2-3 victory over Irvinestown. The O’Rahilly’s took a while to warm to the task against a tough tackling home side but a scoring spurt coming to half time paved the way for a comfortable second period.
Belcoo will now meet Newtownbutler in the Semi Final, a date, time and venue to be confirmed. The O’Rahilly’s hadn’t played a competitive game at Under 16 level since 4th June so they took a wee while to get going. There were some superb displays from a number of the girls in Blue, great hunger and determination shown in most areas of the field which was encouraging.
Irvinestown accounted for the first point of the game however Sinead Barrett was to point when Cara Gray picked up a defensive clearance and slipped her a neat fist pass. Belcoo followed up with a goal from Aine Barrett who was heavily involved throughout the night, easily gaining more touches of the ball than any of the other players on the field over the hour.
Sinead Barrett would soon race in for a well drilled goal while Ciana McGrath landed a good point from play for 2-2 to 0-1 after 8mins. Belcoo though struggled for scores for over the next 15minutes, just a goal was registered despite several promising opportunites, something to work on ahead of their next outing. The goal that came, took its time to come too. Aine Barrett hitting the crossbar, the rebound by Scarlett O’Connor hit the crossbar before Aine got a second bite at it and she found the net.
Mikayla Maguire was outstanding at wing back and won a mountain of clearances from Irvinestown, quick to read where the ball was going and strong in the battle to gain possession, her distribution also was of a high standard while Sam Martin never stopped for one second, hustling and harrying her opponent, she turned over so much ball and was a real driving force from midfield, ably assisted by the hard working Cara Gray who had one of her best games of the season to date.
Irvinestown did get down field to hit a goal and point to leave it 3-2 to 1-2 with 22minutes played before Belcoo found their flow in the lead up to half time.
An excellent flowing one touch move seen Sinead Barrett claim a Riona Keaney kickout on the left wing, she found Sam Martin in the middle and her diagonal ball was gathered by Aine Barrett, a quick one two between Barrett and Ciana McGrath seen the chance created for Scarlett O’Connor to point and she duly split the posts from distance.
O’Connor was a lively presence in the attack from here to the finish of the game, showing well, using the ball well and taking some great scores. Her next came after Cara Gray claimed another kickout, Sinead and Aine Barrett were again involved with O’Connor applying a neat finish.
In the final moments of the half, Sinead Barrett raced in for another goal and a slick piece of quick hands by O’Connor after receiving a lovey kickpass from Sam Martin, allowed Aine Barrett to race in for a goal. The late flurry giving Belcoo a 5-4 to 1-2 interval lead.
Irvinestown made a lively start to the second period and forced a simply sublime save from Riona Keaney in the Belcoo goals, the young keeper making a great diving save to her right to push the ball around the post. The hosts however would register a goal moments later but Belcoo got themselves back up the field with Rhianne McGuinness driving out from the defence. Sinead Barrett fired over her sides first score of the second half on 37minutes.
Belcoo were winning the midfield battle and any attempt by Irvinestown to come forward was met with stern resistance by Niamh McAloon and Aoife Keaney in the half back line. The marauding runs down the right by Mikayla Maguire led to a number of points with Sam Martin capping a fine game with two great points on 39 & 43 minutes to move her side 5-7 to 2-2 clear.
A surging run by Maguire allowed Ciana McGrath the chance for a point which she popped over while the introduction of Abbie McGovern to the attack seen a quick 1-1 hit as McGovern was sharp to loose balls. Firstly, she held up the ball well on the left before finding Sinead Barrett who drove to the net. McGovern was then quickest to react when a long run and shot by Aoife Keaney crashed against the crossbar, McGovern picking it up and recycling to the supporting Scarlett O’Connor would clipped over her third point of the evening.
The Irvinestown attacks were now somewhat sporadic, Rhianne McGuinness made a wonderful high catch in the defence, her sister Ciara came out with two balls she’d no right to win whatsoever while Eimear Magee was strong and aggressive to claim two possessions on the left wing before clearing downfield. The hosts would add a point before the finish but the last of the game came from Sinead Barrett after a good ball infield by Eimear Gray.
Training continues Thursday at 7pm unless there is an U13 fixture. U16 Championship Semi Final details will be posted on weebly when known.
Team (15 a side). Riona Keaney, Eimear Magee, Rhianne McGuinness, Niamh Cullen, Ciara Nolan, Niamh McAloon, Mikayla Maguire, Sam Martin (0-2), Cara Gray, Sinead Barrett (3-3), Aoife Keaney, Ciana McGrath (0-2), Eve Barrett, Aine Barrett (3-0), Scarlett O’Connor (0-3). Subs used. Ciara McGuinness, Rachel Nolan, Abbie McGovern, Eimear Gray and Caitlyn Nolan.
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