Wicklow Maintain Winning Ways


Wicklow ladies took to the road last Sunday to take on Antrim on a beautiful afternoon for football in the Rathmore Grammer School pitch on the outskirts of Belfast. Again when facing Ulster opposition Wicklow took time to settle and Antrim took an early lead through Aoife Taggart. This lead however was short lived and points from Molly Cullen, Katie Miley, Jackie Kinch and Aoife Gorman gave Wicklow a 0-04 to 0-02 lead – Antrim’s point again coming from a further Taggart point. Wicklow were comfortably on top but some wayward shooting kept the Antrim girls hopes alive. Then in the 28th minute of the half the Antrim centre forward broke through and beat Ger Norton in the Wicklow goal and Antrim, against the run of play, led by a point. However that lead last 2 minutes as first Ciara Byrne followed by Georgina Canavan and finally Molly Cullen pointed to leave the half time score Wicklow 0-07 to Antrim’s 1-02. Cavan’s Maggie Farrelly blew the whistle to signal the start of the second half and Wicklow drew first blood as Amy Murphy, introduced at half time, and Molly Cullen pointed and Wicklow’s lead grew to 4 points. Then a serious mix up in the Wicklow defence gifted Antrim’s Natasha O’Neill a goal. There had seemed no danger to Wicklow as the ball broke but somehow Norton and Hogan spilled the ball and suddenly after 40 minutes there was again only a point in the game. The Wicklow ship was again steadied by points from Georgina Canavan and Ciara Byrne before the game again took a twist as Taggart , who had a great game throughout for Antrim, was fouled and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. However the earlier error was well atoned for as Ger Norton dove well to her right to pull off a great save and Wicklow got a quick point from Aoife Gorman on the movement following the penalty save. Wicklow up to this point had been somewhat wasteful in attack but this massive turnaround for Wicklow was just the shock they needed to awake them from their slumber. Georgina Canavan goaled and when Laurie Ahern and Jackie Kinch pointed the game was in the bag. Although Taggart again replied for Antrim Wicklow had the final say as Amy Murphy buried the ball past Amy McCarthy in the Antrim net to leave the final score Wicklow 2-14 to Antrim’s 2-3.

Wicklow were best served by Emily Mulhall, Niamh McGettigan and Aoife Gillan while at midfield both Jackie Kinch and Aoife Gorman held sway for most of the match. In a quieter than usual forward division Molly Cullen, Georgina Canavan and Katie Miley showed well as did Amy Murphy on her introduction. Aoife Taggart, Eimear Gallagher, Niamh Enright and Niamh McIntosh were the pick of the Antrim in a side full of young players which bodes well for their future. Again we had a visit from some local Down GAA stalwarts in Mark McCartan who had very positive things to say about both sides but particularly Wicklow’s movement. Wicklow currently sit on top of their division still level with Longford and their next assignment is against Longford in An Tochar’s complex in Roundwood with a 2pm throw in next Sunday. Although both these sides have qualified for the semi-finals it will be interesting to see how both managements approach the game from a confidence booster point of view. Wicklow’s management will certainly be looking at sharpening up the Wicklow forwards shooting. Good positions were created with no resulting scores. However the business of picking up the 3 points on offer was the most importanyt thing and this was done comfortably enough in the end.  

Wicklow ; Ger Norton (Baltinglass), Emily Mulhall (Tinahely), Sarah Hogan (Tinahely), Rachel Byrne (AGB), Aoife Gillan (Bray Emmett’s), Niamh McGettigan (St. Patrick’s), Sarah Jane Winder (Baltinglass), Aoife Gorman (Tinahely) 0-02, Jackie Kinch (Tinahely) 0-02, Helena Dowling (Baltinglass) 0-01, Molly Cullen (Blessington) 0-03, Georgina Canavan (AGB) 1-02, Ciara Byrne (Tinahely) 0-02, Katie Miley (Clara) 0-01, Clodagh Fox (St Patrick’s) Naoise Baker, Tara Costello, Amy Murphy 1-01, Shauna Bermingham,  Shauna Byrne, Laura Hogan, Jessie Byrne, Kim Connors, Sarah Fennelly, Aoife Grace, Sammy McCoy, Amy Ryan, Aisling McDonald, Laurie Ahern 0-01. Antrim ; Amy McCarthy, Katie Rafferty, Ciara Madden, Lucy Wallace, Niamh McIntosh, Chloe Danunsi, Caoimhe Stewart, Aine Sheehan, Orla Corr, Caitlin Taggart, Eimear Gallagher, Niamh Enright, Emma Kelly, Abigail Carleton, Aoife Taggart.

Referee ; Maggie Farrelly (Cavan)

Wicklow        2    –    14

Louth             2    –    03



In other news our Under 14s and Under 16s both had very good wins over Carlow and Kilkenny respectively and congratulations to both sets of players and mentors. The Under 16 squad are out again this weekend as they take on Wexford in the Wicklow GAA County Grounds in Aughrim at 11.45am on Saturday. Our Minors team play Louth at 2pm in Clane GAA in the Leinster Minor C Final again on Saturday Also Wicklow Ladies Football would like to congratulate Stephen McNulty and his team of umpires on refereeing the first ever Ladies NFL match in Croke Park (Dublin v Mayo) last weekend. The Wicklow Ladies feile is also taking place this weekend starting on Saturday at 11am in Ballinakill – Wicklow Centre of Excellence. Then on Sunday the senior ladies squad are in Roundwood at 2pm taking on Longford in the Lidl NFL.

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