Kildare Minors Survive Wickow Scare

The good weather brought out a sizeable amount of support for both teams to St Laurences Gaa club on Saturday last to watch what turned out to be a very enthralling contest between Kildare and Wicklow. With a place in the Leinster LGFA Minor B final up for grabs  Referee Kevin Phelan got proceedings underway.


Kildare started the stronger and took an early lead with points from Price and Forde to settle the nerves. Aine Nash gave the home supporters plenty to cheer for as she finished off a great move to see her shot hit the back of the Wicklow net for the games opening goal. Price added her second point to leave the home side lead 1.03 to no score with 5 mins gone on the clock. Wicklows first score coming on 6 mins a point from Katie Miley. Both sides traded scores again through Stapleton and Nash for Kildare with Marie Kealy getting Wicklows second point. The games second goal went Kildares way from Molly Price as she skipped around players to see her shot nestle in the net giving Dwyer in the Wicklow goals no chance from close range. Nicole Dooley added to kildares tally to see them lead 2.06 to 0.02 with 10 mins played. Wicklow introduced Niamh o Brien and she was quickly on the scoreboard converting two frees either side of a kildare point by Roisin Forde. Wicklow were starting to come more into the game, Miley pointed Wicklows 5th point and Ella Doran followed this up with an Excellent goal leaving McGrory in the Kildare goals flapping at air as the ball hit the back of the net. Stapleton pointed for the home side but it was all Wicklow pressure towards the end of the half. O Brien took the remainder of Wicklow scores for the  half slotting over 3points and kildare were lucky as one of those shots from O Brien was, to the homesides releif deflected over the bar when it looked like it was heading for the back of the net. Wicklow were back in the game leaving only a goal between the sides at the break.
Kildare lead by 3 points 2.08 to Wicklows 1.08.

With both teams  tired after the opening half battle, Wicklow elected to stay on the pitch while the Kildare team headed for the dressing room and into the shade. The home side took to the field for the 2nd half and as both teams took up their positions  they were giving  great applause and shouts of encouragement from supporters.
Kildare increased their lead with points from Price,Forde and Stapleton with Wicklows O Brien popping over for the visitors. Miley and O Brien were on hand again to tag on another 3 points and reduce the margin to 3 points again. Kildare were finding the going tough and were put on the back foot on several occasions. Wicklow shots going wide or dropping short into the hands of keeper McGrory. Kildare absorbed this pressure and with a rare break up field got in for their 3rd goal via Aine Nash and this was followed by another Price point to give the home side a 7point cushion heading into the last 15 minutes. Wicklow regrouped and pilled on the pressure and with Kildare desperatley trying to defend attack after attack conceeded a penalty. Miley took on the responsibility and duley dispatched to the net despite a good attempt from McGrory in the Kildare goals to stop it as she got her fingers to the ball in diving only to push it onto the post and into the back of the net. The tide was starting to swing Wicklows way as they turned over possession and slotting over 4 points without reply through  Miley and Kealy. The game was level for the first time and Wicklow were looking like they would go onto win. Wicklow won the next kickout and drove at the Kildare defence in numbers looking for the winning score. Kildare swarmed around Miley who was in possession and forced her to her right. Miley had players to her left and had she have spotted them Wicklow were in on goal. She decided to give a hand pass and this was intercepted by Nash who broke through a number of tackles and at speed worked her way up field with support from Price and Forde. Nash fed the ball into Price in the corner and she was soon surrounded by two Wicklow defenders the ball was recycled out between Nash and Price for Nash to spot Forde unmarked on the 21 screaming for the ball, the pass came and under pressure from advancing defenders she kicked high for her and the homesides releif see it just creep inside the right hand upright. Kildare now led by one. With time just up. From the resulting kickout the ball was won by Wicklow but it never got beyond the Kildare 45 as Referee Kevin Phelan blew for time bringing to an end what was a very tense, nervous enjoyable game of football that sees kildare win on a final score.
Kildare 3.14 Wicklow 2.16

Both sides are to be commended for a very sporting entertaining game which left  supporters, management and players  on the edge right to the finish.

Wicklow will be hurting as they were so close and Kildare relieved. Wicklow bow out but with no disgrace after putting in such a battling performance and will be a team to watch out for next year.

Kildare advance to the B Final on July 3rd and were giving plenty off food for thought and with  lots to work on in the coming weeks if they are to win that final.

Kildare team
Emily McGrory, Beth Doyle,
Rose Mernagh, Avril Fitzpatrick, Ciara Fennan, Tara Breen (C), Roisin Crowe,
Alannah McLoughlin,
Louise Scully, Aine Nash 2.01, Nicole Dooley 0.01,
Aoife Stapleton 0.03,
Molly Price 1.05 (1f),
Roisin Forde 0.04, Kate Hannon

Subs used
Dervla McGinn for Kate Hannon, Sabrina Kennedy for Ciara Fennan, Kayleigh Humphries for Nicole Dooley.

Wicklow team
Chloe Dwyer, Mia Kavanagh, Rioghan McGettigan, Laoise Marron, Ainne Conroy, Alanna Conroy, Meabha o Kane,Amy Ryan, Aoife Gorman, Chelsee Snell, Lisa Lawler,Ella Doran 1.00, Erynn o Brien, Katie Milley 1.07, Mariie Kealy 0.02.

Subs used
Niamh o Brien 0.07 (2f), Shauna Byrne.

Leinster LGFA Minor B champ
Semi final.
Kildare v Wicklow
Saturday 14/5/16
St Laurences Gaa club
Referee Kevin Phelan (Laois)
HT score
Kildare 2.08 Wicklow 1.08
FT score
Kildare 3.14 Wicklow 2.16

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