Wicklow Champions Blessington go down by a point

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intermediate club championship
Killinierin (Wexford) 5-7 Blessington (Wicklow) 4-9

Wicklow senior champions Blessington took the option to step across
the border into north Wexford on Sunday evening last to take on
Killinierin in what turned out to be a game full of thrills, the
home side were in total control in the first half, leading 3-5 to
1-2 at the break, the Blessington side had to much pride to go out
with out a fight, and in the second half they made a spirited come
back and got within a point of levelling the game, however time
was not on their side and they lost out to Killinierin by the narrowest
of margins on the day.

Killinierins mentors Pat Cullen and Luke Finn had done their home
work on Blessington, and their side did not allow the west Wicklow
girls to settle in to the game, the girls from the “Buffer” were
up for the game, and their number ten Dawn Bergin had the ball in
the back of the Blessington net within the first minute of the half.
Blessington were struggling to get to grips with the pace of the
Killinierin forward line, and were on the back foot for most of
the first half, the home sides Meabh Hughes notch up a goal and
three points, while Aoibheen Kinsella tagged on a goal followed
by a point from Roisin O’Donohoe in the twenty first minute with
out reply.

Blessington mentors John O’Malley and Louise Allen decided to make
a couple of tactical changes in an attempt to stem the tide, and
in the twenty fifth minute of the half the visitors notched up their
first score with a well worked point from Niamh Carroll, a minute
later Blesso were awarded a free, Elaine Murphy’s shot was pushed
away by Killinierins keeper Natalie Cushe to the incoming Jenny
Foster who rifled the ball to the back of the net to reduce the
deficit to ten points. Blessingtons last score of the half came
from a 45, taken short by Murphy to Maura Reid who layed the ball
off to Breda McEvoy, with no way through Kilanerin defensive wall,
McEvoy found her Captain Jessica Carroll with an accurate pass,
Carroll slotted over to put nine between the sides at the break.
Killinierin remained on the pitch during the break while Blessington
retired to the dressing rooms for a quiet word from their mentors,
the girls from the west would have to call on all of their experience
if they were to get a positive result from this game, having played
a tough match against Arklow gers in the county final the previous
week, the Blessington girls knew that they were capable of lifting
their game in the second half.

Their inspirational captain Jessica Carroll got her side off the
mark in the second minute with a point from a free which was tipped
over by killinierin’s number five Linda Stephens. In the third minute
of the half Killinierin introduced Meadhbh Nolan in to the forwards
for Mary Jo Lawless, a move that was rewarded two minute later when
Nolan slipped the ball in to Dawn Bergin, Bergins shot was spilled
by Blessingtons keeper Emer Miley out to Meabh Hughes, Hughes blasted
the ball to the roof of the net to open the gap to twelve points
with only five minutes of the half played. For the next fifteen
minutes it was all Blessington, Jessica Carroll kick started the
revival with two excellent points in as many minutes, Elaine Murphy
added a point a minute later,Jenny Foster rattled the Killiniernin
net after a mix up between the home sides defence and their keeper,
the visitors had now pared the gap back to six points, with twelve
minutes remaining on the clock.

In the nineteenth minute Blessington were awarded a forthy five,
Jessica Carroll’s free fell to the in rushing Elaine Murphy who
fired the ball low and hard past the helpless Natalie Cushe, the
home sides lead was now just three points with ten minutes to go.From
Cushes kick out Mary Cullen went on a solo run up the right wing
and lobbed the ball in to the pacy Roisin O’Donohoe who found the
back of the net with six minutes on the clock. Niamh Carroll kept
blessington in touch with two brilliant points in as many minutes
to reel killinierin back to four points, but their number ten Dawn
Berger had other ideas, Berger picked the ball up in her own half,
soloed up half the field before firing over to put five between
the sides. With three minutes left on the clock Blessington dug
even deeper and continued to battle hard, their efforts were rewarded
with a goal from Grainne Ryan and a point in the final minute from
Niamh Carroll, but despite their gallant efforts the clock beat
them in the end,had they got a number of dubious decisions in their
favour or if they had converted a couple of the sixteen wides in
the game, the result may have been different on the day.

Blessington Panel: Emer Miley. Brenda kavanagh. Mary Whelan.
Breda Reid. Marie Kavanagh. Eimear Kavanagh. Ciara O Donoghoe, Maura
Reid. Jessica Carroll (capt) 0-4. Niamh Carroll 0-4. Eidin Byrne.
Jenny Foster 2-0. Breda McEvoy. Elaine Murphy 1-1. Grainne Ryan
1-0. Niamh Ryan.

Mick Forde wicklowladiesfootball@eircom.net

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