2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Wicklow County Final - Blessington edge out Bray


edge out Bray

Blessington 2-4 Bray Emmets 1-5  

And so it came down to the old rivals once
again. The two dominant sides in Wicklow ladies
football in recent years met on Sunday to
fight it out one more time before the winter
break. But while bray have had the upper hand
this season it was Blessington who deservedly
snatched it on the day with an extremely determined
performance. The first half was a closely
fought, scrappy affair. Bray had the better
of the early exchanges and were first on the
scoreboard with a free from Eadaoine Lenihan.
But although the forwards had plenty of possession
they weren’t converting chances and hit a
total of eight wides. Jessica Carroll soon
levelled things for Blessington and they went
in front towards the end of the half when
Niamh Carroll pounced on a loose ball to slot
over. That was it for scores in the first
half, with the game having been played out
as a series of tussles around the middle of
the field. Bray played into Blessington’s
hands, allowing themselves to be pulled into
the middle where Blessington’s stronger players



the restart Bray put things right and finally
began to settle. They looked to have taken
control of the game when their best move of
the match resulted in an excellent goal. Laura
Richardson won the ball in defence and cleared
straight out to midfielder Niamh Ryan. Her
quick ball up the wing found Ciara O’Hagan
who in turn put Sinead Boland through on goal;
despite the attentions of a number of defenders
she picked her spot and smashed home from
12 yards. This was immediately followed by
Lenihan’s second point and the balance seemed
to be swinging in Bray’s favour. But Blessington
chose this time to let their character show
through, they upped their performance and
took the game to Bray. Elaine Murphy found
sister Nadina with a neat flick, great interpassing
between herself and Niamh Carroll resulted
in Carroll rounding the last defender and
giving goalkeeper Christine Murphy no chance
with a well-placed shot.

From then on in the score were few and far
between -Jessica Carroll and Nadina Murphy
with points for Blessington, Aisling O’hAnnaidh
and Val Hughes replying for Bray. The game’s
decisive moment came five minutes from the
end when Blessington’s hard work finally paid
off, albeit with a slightly fortuitous goal.
With Bray upfield in search of a winning score
the west Wicklow side hit them with a fast
counter attack which put Elaine Murphy clean
through on goal. Christine Murphy pulled off
and outstanding save from the fiercely struck
shot but was desperately unlucky to see her
block rebound back towards the goal, and as
it trickled towards the line Elaine Murphy
got there just ahead of the keeper and defender
to poke the ball home.




Bray went all out for the equaliser but a
combination of inspired goalkeeping by Emer
Miley and ill luck meant that all they had
to show for their huge effort was a Catherine
Corbett free. So Blessington took it by two
points, a deserved win after a gritty, intelligent
performance. Bray will rue those missed first
half chances, but above all their failure
to hit top gear for most of the match. Although
they fought doggedly in the second half the
free running game which has become their trademark
in recent years was sorely missed. Blessington
waited patiently for their chances and played
to their strengths. Much credit must go to
their defence however, they shackled Bray’s
young forwards extremely effectively and imposed
their game upon Bray. So honours even in 2004
– Bray took the championship and Blessington
the league, and the rivalry looks set to continue
for a another while yet.



Emer Miley, Eimear Kavanagh, Mary Whelan,
Brenda Kavanagh, Karen Whelan, Maura Reid, Marie
Kavanagh, Julie Fitzmaurice, Niamh Ryan, Ciara
O’Donaghue, Elaine Murphy (1-0), Jessica Carroll(0-2,
1 free), Niamh Carroll (1-1), Nadina Murphy (0-1),
Eidin Byrne. Jill Heatley, Breda Reid, Breda McEvoy,
Audrey McDonald.
Bray Emmets: Christine Murphy, Caroline
Bolger, Aoife Heffernan, Kim O’Farrell, Lisa Brady,
Aisling O’hAnnaidh (0-1) , Laura Richardson, Eadaoine
Lenihan (0-2, frees), Niamh Ryan, Ciara O’Hagan,
Val Hughes (0-1), Michaela Shelley, Sinead Boland
(1-0), Catherine Corbett (0-1, free), Aine O’Gorman.
Amy O’Farrell, Eileen Henley, Niamh Coleman, Claire
O’Keefe, Kim Cusack, Sarena Sweeney.

In the junior league semifinal played in Newtown
yesterday Clara came out on top with a 4-7 to
3-7 win over Eire Og. Eire Og were rattled by
the early loss of Lorna Fusciardi and found themselves
six points down at half time. A much improved
second half performance got them right back into
the game, with Caolfhinn Deeney and Laurie Ahern
getting on the scoresheet and Margaruite Wardick,
Ciara Brolly, Jenny Groom and Deiredre Walsh also
impressing. But it was not quite enough, and when
Tracey O’Halloran’s late free hit the bar Clara
knew luck was on their side.

In the two shield semi-finals Donard overcame
Newtown by 1-10 to 1-2, and Baltinglass had the
better of newcomers Shillelagh, eventually winning
2-6 to 0-2.



Sign up to our email newsletter


Partners & Supporters





See all LGFAClubs