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Ladies Off To Flyer With One Point Win
Jul. 19, 2020
SENIOR LADIES DIVISION 2: Belcoo 6-8 v 2-19 Lisnaskea
While the mood was a sombre one for Sunday morning 10am throw in our Senior Ladies made sure they gave it their all-in memory of a friend and neighbour to many. When the game itself got going it was an excellent affair from the outset, it ebbed and flowed, some fine scores were taken, great pressure applied, mighty bits of defending done at a windswept MacNean Park.
The O’Rahilly’s had the stiff breeze in their backs in the opening half and began the contest with the opening two scores. Sinead Barrett did well down the left side before popping the ball into Donna Feeley who sprinted in the from wing and cleverly fisted a point. From the next play, Eimear Higgins claimed possession, slipped the ball off to the on-rushing Sinead Barrett who in turn fisted through to Elaine Maguire who dispatched the ball to the net.
Lisnaskea would work their first attack of note and it was a slick one as they made several neat passes before former County Star Caroline (Little) Kerins drove in for a goal. Belcoo returned to the other end with Aine Barrett driving forward, she was surrounded 20yards out and recycled to sister Sinead who split the posts.
The visitors second score was to be a second goal, this time Sharon (Little) Murphy was on the end of the attack to net a three pointer. Laoise Clarke followed up with a point before Belcoo retook the lead on 10minutes. Crona Higgins did well to win back possession, her ball to Elaine Maguire was well taken and with Sam Martin off the shoulder on the run, Maguire slipped her in, and she drilled low to the net. 2-2 to 2-1 the O’Rahilly’s led.
Two Lisnaskea points in the next 5minutes gave them the advantage once again as the two sides continued to battle for every ball. Belcoo had a goal chance with Mikayla Maguire but goalkeeper Aine Martin made a good save, Sam Martin drew the boot on the rebound and it flew over the bar to level things again. Skea would hit four in a row in a dominant spell before Belcoo finished the half in excellent fashion.
The O’Rahilly’s would register 3-4 over the closing 7minutes of the half. A superb flowing move involving Sinead Barrett, Elaine Maguire, Seana Feeley and Eimear Higgins ended with Maguire getting on the ball again and firing to the net. Maguire would then win a free she converted herself.
As Lisnaskea threatened at the other end, Lisa Stewart turned over the ball, Leona McNulty then picked out Eimear Higgins in the middle and she swiftly transferred the ball forward to Elaine Maguire, again Sam Martin was supporting, Maguire slipped her in and Martin found the net again.
Break balls had been something the O’Rahilly’s were struggling to get their hands on, but Sinead Barrett snapped up a loose one from the kickout, she found Donna Feeley who rifled an unstoppable shot to the net on the run. Another break ball from the next play seen Michelle Cullen secure possession, she combined with Elaine Maguire before Feeley got on the ball and pointed.
Belcoo were on a roll as the half ended, Elaine Maguire firing over two more points as the hosts held a 5-7 to 2-7 lead.
The O’Rahilly’s got a great fillip in the opening attack of the second half as a great crossfield ball from Elaine Maguire found Donna Feeley and she thumped the ball to the net. 12points the margin but playing with the breeze now, Lisnaskea began to chip away at the points. Caroline Kerins was accurate from several placed balls while scores were added from play. Belcoo had struggled to gain a foothold in the contest and with 5minutes remaining there was just the minimum between them. 6-7 to 2-18.
Belcoo’s joint captain and goalkeeper Kelly Connolly sustained a broken nose in a goalmouth scramble as Lisa Stewart swooped to gather the loose ball crossing the goal line. Connolly was forced off and replaced by Niamh McAloon with Belcoo holding the narrowest of leads. Aoife Keaney came to the fore defensively in the closing stages, thwarting attacks and carrying the ball out of the defence. Belcoo were working extremely hard to hold on to their lead, the game now being played at a serious speed and intensity. Michelle Cullen, Stacey McCabe, Leona McNulty and Crona Higgins got hands in to knock balls away from their opponents as both sides made some great turnovers. Lisnaskea though would level from a free kick.
Just minutes to go and Skea looked dangerous again but McAloon was off her line sharply to deny Caroline Kerins. Belcoo worked the ball the length of the field, an Aoife Keaney free on the Belcoo 20yard line found Sinead Barrett and down the right wing they went, Stephaine Maguire, Elaine Maguire, Aine Barrett, Donna Feeley, Seana Feeley, Eimear Higgins all got touches before a free was awarded 30yards from goal. This was half a chance, into a tough wind, Elaine Maguire steadied, took aim and slotted the ball over the black spot. Belcoo were 1up with time for one more play.
A long kickout from the Skea keeper sent the visitors marauding downfield, it was the only real time in the game the Belcoo defence was cut wide open and the goal to win it was on, as the attacker raced through, Niamh McAloon stepped forward and made a tremendous save, she retained the ball and with the clearance the referee blew for full time. A dramatic end to an enthralling contest, Belcoo had hung on for a one point win, 6-8 (26) v 2-19 (25).
Up next the Seniors travel to Brewster Park on Sunday for a 10am throw in against Enniskillen Gaels. Before that though a number of these players will be in action for the Minors on Thursday night as they begin their league in Tempo at 7pm.
Team: (15 a side): Kelly Connolly, Aoife Keaney, Leona McNulty, Lisa Stewart, Crona Higgins, Michelle Cullen, Stacey McCabe, Eimear Higgins, Seana Feeley, Aine Barrett, Sinead Barrett (0-1), Sam Martin (2-1), Donna Feeley (2-2), Elaine Maguire (2-4), Mikayla Maguire. Subs Used: Stephanie Maguire, Niamh McAloon. Unused: Cara Gray, Ciara Nolan, Niamh Cullen.
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