Wicklow Championship Semi Final Report

Championship semi-final
goes to replay

Blessington 1-15 Carnew Emmets 3-9 AET

One of the most exciting games in Wicklow so far this year
ended level after extra time, leaving the sides to do it
all again next weekend. The match was far from pretty with
Tyrone-style blanket defences winning out over free flowing
football, but the punters got full value for money with
a thrilling clash.

Blessington were first off the mark and after 20 mins were
6-2 to the good and seemingly cruising. But Carnew finally
settled and started to use their strong direct football
to good effect. Audrey McDonald and Brenda Kavanagh both
made good goalmouth blocks to deny Carnew before Edel Kennedy’s
lucky goal from a 21 yard free got them back into the game.
Goalkeeper McDonald redeemed herself with a great save from
Sinead Rickerby but the rebound fell kindly for Kennedy
to slot over. Carnew then pulled the trigger again, Mary
O’Neill slamming home a loose ball after some hesitancy
in the Blessington defence. Blessington replied to this
onslaught with points from Jessica Carroll and Nadina Murphy.

Jessica Carroll pointed at the start of the second half
to get Blessington back on level terms, and the sides trade
points from frees early in the half. Carnew then raised
their game and a superb individual goal from Kennedy and
a Loretta Gilbert point put them four in front. Blessington
were reduced to fourteen when Elaine Murphy was booked twice
in quick succession and the match seemed to be swinging
in Carnew’s favour. But Carroll and Emer Miley combined
to lift Blessington in search of the equalising goal. It
duly came late on when Miley found a gap in the Carnew defence
to slot home, leaving the full time score at 1-13 to 3-7.
The standard of play fell in extra time as both the light
and the players faded. At the end of the first period Carnew
led by a point and held this lead doggedly for most of the
second. But Blessington’s determination got them level,
Jessica Carroll’s late last point leaving it at 1-15 to

Blessington scorers: Emer Miley 1-5, Jessica Carroll
0-7, Nadina Murphy 0-3.
Carnew scorers: Edel Kennedy 2-5, Mary O’Neill 1-0,
Caroline Gregan 0-2, Loretta Gilbert 0-1, Anne Molloy 0-1.

The two junior semi-finals played in Newtown went to form,
with Clara and Arklow Geraldines through to the final. In
the first game Clara were the dominant side in the opening
half but had to endure a late Kilcoole rally before holding
them off to win 1-10 to 1-5.
The Clara scorers were Maria Hogan (0-7), Sabrina Dunne
(1-0), Karen Kennedy (0-2) and Olivia O’Toole (0-1), with
Sharon Cullen and Adrienne O’Connor also in good form; while
for Kilcoole Eithne Byrne (1-1), Mairead Berkery (0-1),
Mary Berkery (0-1), Pamela Maher (1-0) and Naomi Walsh (0-1)
scored, but goalkeeper Jenny O’Brien was their best player
on the day. In the second semi-final Arklow continued their
impressive progress this year with an emphatic 1-16 to 0-2
win over Eire Óg.

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