Wicklow 4-5 Dublin 6-10

Wicklow 4-5 Dublin 6-10

Wicklow under 16 Ladies Team succumbed to a defeat to neighbours Dublin at sunny Westmanstown Sports Centre in Lucan last Saturday in their final round robin match in the Leinster ‘A’ Championship despite staging a spirited second half recovery. The result of the match was academic as both teams had qualified for the knockout stages. Wicklow management availed of the opportunity to experiment with certain aspects of their play. In particular they started the game with an extra player in a free role playing in the defence.

Wicklow aided by a slight wind started promisingly enough and Aife Kavanagh raised the first white flag of the day. However the Dublin response was devastating and they had the ball in the Wicklow net on 4 occasions within the next ten minutes. The Wicklow defence appeared to be confused and rooted to the spot and the ploy of the extra defender was not working. At this stage the Dublin players Nicole Owens, Elaine McGrath and Aisling King were destroying the Wicklow defence. Indeed Dublin would have had more goals but for a number of exceptional saves from the goalkeeper Amy Devereux.

Wicklow were creating their own chances but were failing to convert and Emer Cassidy made a number of saves from Laura Kavanagh and Niamh Mc Geddigan including a remarkable goal mouth scramble where Wicklow had at least 3 chances to poke the ball over the line.

Wicklow only succeeded in adding 3 further points in the first half from captain Shauna Fleming and Aife Kavanagh and Laura Kavanagh. Dublin leads at half time by 5-4 to 0-4.

Wicklow management demanded an improvement for the second half. The team reverted to the conventional lineout. The second half did not start well and the Dublin girls had a goal in the back of the net within 20 seconds of the start.

After that Wicklow discovered their form. Jackie Kinch was now playing in the full back position with Jennifer O’Gormon and Niamh Arthur at mid-field and Sarah Miley introduced at centre-half back. They all lifted their game and demonstrated leadership and ability. Wicklow took over the game and got a run on the Dublin team. With Lucy Mulhall continuing to dominate in the half forward line, Aife Kavanagh bagged three quick goals and when Kayleigh Crammond added a further goal and a point there was again the possibility that the Wicklow girls could prevail. However they wasted their chances looking for goals and when Kayliegh Crammond was harshly sin binned their course was run. The final score saw Dublin prevail by 11 points 6-10 to 4-5.

Wicklow will be very encouraged by the second half display. In addition it was very encouraging to see Rebecca Condren return to the fold. Rebecca had missed the last few months with a serious foot injury but has sufficiently recovered and was introduced into goal as a second half substitution.

Wicklow finished joint third in the round robin series level with Laois and behind Meath and Dublin. A draw will take place to determine Wicklow’s semi-final opponent and the match is schedule for the 27/28 June.

Wicklow: Amy Devereux, Sarah Kavanagh, Hannah Tew, Nicole Kavanagh, Naomi Roche, Sarah Hogan, Laura Allen, Jackie Kinch, Jennifer O’Gorman, Gemma Doyle, Shauna Fleming (capt), Lucy Mulhall, Laura Kavanagh, Aife Kavanagh, Niamh Arthur. Subs: Katie Kindlon, Sarah Miley, Niamh Mc Geddigan, Erinne Murphy, Kayleigh Crammond, Sarah Delahunty, Sarah Reid, Rebecca Condren, Megan O’Brien, Dannie Brauders, Claire Walsh.

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