Monday 18 December 2017

Shels overcome Killoe

Deirdre McMahon, who lined out at full-forward in Ringsend on Saturday last and scored a point.
Deirdre McMahon, who lined out at full-forward in Ringsend on Saturday last and scored a point.


3-7 0-8

SHELMALIER LADY footballers travelled to Clanna Gael's pitch in Ringsend, Dublin, to take on the Longford champions Killoe in the Leinster Senior club championship on Saturday night last. This game was due to be played in Killoe on Sunday but with the Killoe men's Minor and Senior teams in the Longford county final, the Wexford champions facilitated their opponents with a Saturday night fixture at the Dublin venue.

The Shels girls set a blistering pace from the start and opened the scoring with a smartlytaken Kate Kelly point after four minutes. This was quickly followed up with a Leona Tector goal when she shot right-footed past the 'keeper after a quick interchange with Kate Kelly following good approach work from Mag Kelly and Sandy Carr.

Killoe were guilty of some wild shooting before the Shels girls added a further major when a flowing move out of defence involving Fiona Cullen, Clara Donnelly, Kellie Kearney and Kelly again found Tector racing in behind the Killoe defence to give the 'keeper no chance, to open up a seven-point lead by the seventh minute.

Killoe opened their scoring after nine minutes with a Sabrina Hackett pointed free. Even though Killoe enjoyed almost as much possession as the Wexford girls, they failed to make inroads on an outstanding defence, all of whom excelled. Clara Donnelly and Shauna Murphy put the shackles on the pacy Edel Quinn and Sabrina Hackett.

With Maeve Quill counter-attacking and linking up with the dominant midfield partnership of Bridget Curran and Kellie Kearney, the Shels girls added a well-struck point from Tara Moloney which was quickly followed with a Deirdre McMahon point following good approach work by Kearney, Curran and Tector.

Shelmalier effectively gave the Longford girls a mountain to climb after 15 minutes when, after another quick break from defence involving Cullen and Quill, Bridget Curran found McMahon who transferred to Kate Kelly and the captain raced through to give Dervla Murphy no chance.

To their credit the Killoe girls never gave up and exerted strong pressure on the Shelmalier defence. With Nikki Scallan, Fiona Cullen and Shelly Doyle giving an exhibition of blocking and Laura Corrigan dealing capably with high testing balls combined with the workrate of Mag Kelly and the distribution of Sandy Carr, all Killoe had to show for their efforts was two points from Hackett and Jacinta Brady in the 16th and 29th minutes. Tara Moloney pointed a free in the 21st minute following a foul on Tector to leave the halftime score 3-4 to 0-3 in favour of the Wexford champions.

Killoe changed their tactics in the second-half from trying to pull out and out-flank the Shels defence to running at them and started strongly with two quick points from Jacinta Brady and Anne Marie Bratton. With the two county girls, Elizabeth and Jacinta Brady, gaining the lion's share of the midfield play, the Killoe attack had a plentiful supply of ball.

However, despite having three of Longford's top forwards who reached the All-Ireland Intermediate semi-final, they failed to penetrate the Shels defence. They were forced to shoot hurriedly on numerous occasions, kicking eleven wides in total. It is a credit to the Wexford girls' defence that they held them to 0-5 for the second-half. Killoe's only reward for this period of dominance was a Catherine Carrigy point from play after 46 minutes.

The Shels came back strongly in the last ten minutes with Aine Lacey pointing from play after 54 minutes, finishing off a move involving Tector, Doyle and Kate Kelly to open Shelmalier's account for the second-half. Hackett pointed a Killoe free on 55 minutes before Bridget Curran fielded a long ball from Mag Kelly to fire over the bar on 56 minutes.

Sabrina Hackett, who worked extremely hard throughout, pointed a free following a foul on herself after 59 minutes and Kellie Kearney finished off the scoring after 62 minutes with a point from play for the Shels girls to win by 3-7 to 0-8, a scoreline that didn't do justice to the heroic efforts of the Longford side.

Shelmalier: Laura Corrigan; Fiona Cullen, Nikki Scallan, Shauna Murphy; Maeve Quill, Clara Donnelly, Shelly Doyle; Kellie Kearney (0-2), Bridget Curran; Tara Moloney (0-2), Sandy Carr, Mag Kelly; Leona Tector (20), Deirdre McMahon (0-1), Kate Kelly (1-1). Subs. - Aine Lacey (0-1) for Carr, Róisín Murphy for Scallan, Catherine Doyle for Curran, Eleanor Neville for M. Kelly, Jane Mythen for Moloney, also Mary Cullen, Lisa Quill, Ciara Neville, Ceara O'Brien, Ciara Donohoe, Josepha Buttle, Niamh Doyle, Caroline Curran, Hannah Duggan.

Killoe: Dervla Murphy; Fiona Toher, Kathryn Lynch, Cora Kiernan; Alison Kenny, Niamh Devaney, Orlaith Doherty; Elizabeth Brady (0-1), Jacinta Brady (0-1); Fiona Fox, Edel Quinn, Anne Marie Bratton; Anna McDonnell, Sabrina Hackett (0-4), Catherine Carrigy. Referee: Pat Kehoe (Carlow). Shelmalier take on Meath champions Seneschalstown in Hollymount on Saturday next at 2 p.m. prior to the Under-21 championship clash, Shelmaliers v. St. Anne's, at 4 p.m. Both these clubs have met on numerous occasions in the past with honours shared. The last time that they met was in the Leinster Club final of 2003 which the Meath champions won.

The Meath girls defeated Boardsmill in their county final by 2-7 to 0-7 before overcoming Kildare champions Confey on a 0-17 to 2-6 scoreline on Saturday last.

They have an abundance of players with Senior inter-county experience such as Philomena, Orla and Mary Sheridan, Edel McGrane, Fiona Mahon, Louise McKeever and Stephanie Byrne.

The Shels, who were defeated by Sarsfields of Laois at this stage of the competition last year, will be hoping to go one better on this occasion. Since their victory over Clonee in the county final they have defeated the Tipperary champions, Cappawhite, and Kildare Intermediate champions, St. Laurence's, a challenge games before overcoming Killoe last weekend.

Whilst the Meath girls will be hot favourites to advance, Shelmalier are renowned for their battling qualities will provide stiff opposition and could cause an upset.

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