An Tochar advance in Leinster Junior Championship

An Tochar advance in Leinster Junior Club Championship


Junior Leinster Club Championship.

An Tochar (Wicklow) 3-14 Mullinalaghta (Longford) 2-11.

An Tochar played host to Longford junior champions Mullinalaghta
on Saturday evening last, and it was their experienced striker Anne
McGillycuddy’s personal tally of one goal and six points, ( 3 frees
), ensured that the Roundwood girls advance to the next stage of
the Leinster club championship.

An Tochar have a long history of competing in Leinster, stretching
back as far as 1991 when they lost in their first round game in
the senior division to Robert Emmets of Dublin, their last outing
was back in 2002 where they competed in the intermediate division
losing out to Naomh Mearnog also of Dublin. On Saturday last the
An Tochar side caught the Longford girls cold, the Wicklow side
getting off to a dream start with excellent point taking from McGillycuddy,
Nicky Dunne, Monica Lynch, and Aimie Byrne, who combined to put
six points on the board with only seven minutes on the clock, the
Dunne and Gillycuddy combination was working extremely well, their
experience was causing the young Longford backs a lot of problems
especially in the first half. Mullinalaghta response came in the
ninth minute when their number fifteen and top scorer Emer Kiernan
tapped over her first point of the game, but it was of no concern
to the Roundwood steam train as it kept rolling along notching up
score after score. Mullinalaghta were eleven points adrift half
way through the second quarter, and it looked as though they were
just going to be passengers in the game, when Emer Kiernan tapped
over her second point and then immediately hit the back of Theresa
Molloys net to close the gap to six points.

The Longford champions continued to eat into An Tochars lead and
there was only five points between the sides (1-10 to 1-5), when
referee Mick O’ Flaherty signalled for the half time break. It was
all to play for as the sides took to the pitch for the second half,
Mullinalaghta continued to gather momentum, and within two minutes
of the restart, Kiernan had closed the gap to three points after
great work by Amanda Matthews and Emer Mulligan. A little over a
minute later referee O’Flaherty pointed to the spot, awarding the
visitors a penalty, was the An Tochar steam train about to be derailed
as Amanda Matthews stepped up to take the shot, the pressure proved
too much for the young Longford player as she sent her shot over
the bar to pare the An Tochar lead to just two points. Over the
next couple of minutes the sides exchanged points, and the turning
point came in the eighteenth minute when an Tochar’s talented number
twelve Aimie Byrne collected the ball just inside the half way line,
and with her sights firmly locked in on Mullinalaghta’s goal, she
weaved her way through the visitors defence to rifle the ball past
McGovern to put her side back on track, opening the gap to six points
(2-12 to 1-9).

The Longford girls had a long trip down to the Garden County and
were not going to throw the towel in that easy, they continued to
press the An Tochar defence drawing a number of brave blocks from
Rosie McAulie, and Lorna O’Gorman, and their determination paid
off in the dying minutes of the game when Kiernan lobbed in a free
from out on the right, and the ball was scrambled into the host
sides net to close the gap to three points, however the home sides
Monica lynch relieved the pressure with a daisy cutter of a shot
on the stroke of full time that nestled in the right hand corner
of McGoverns net to give her side a nervous but comfortable win
in the end. An Tochar will now meet the winners of the Kilkenny
Junior championship, which was due to be played on Sunday last.

An Tochar:Theresa Molloy, Lorna O’Gorman, Tammy Breen, Kati Whittingham,
Shauna Kearns, Jackie Nolan, Rosie McAuley, Fiona White, Mary Brady,
Darrell McDonnell, Monica Lynch( 1-40, Aimie Byrne (1-1), Nikki
Dunne (0-3), Marcella Price, Anne McGillycuddy (1-6), Subs: Thrish
Healy for Darrell McDonnell, Jenny O’Gorman for Jackie Nolan, Orla
Molloy for Shauna Ke arns. Mullinalaghta: Deirdre McGovern, Aine
Matthews, Siobhan Gilligan, Ciara Murphy, Cait Berry, Michelle Mahon,
Elizabeth Donohue, Louise Battrim, Emer Mulligan (0-3), Sharon Rabett,
Ann Marie Murtagh, Amanda Matthews (0-1), Sarah Lee, Marie Gilligan,
Emer Kiernan (2-6). Subs: Katie Crawford for Sarah lee. Referee:
Mick O’ Flaherty (Dublin).

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