Kildare Ladies Senior Football League Div3: Round3

Kilcock 2:14

Na Fianna: 2:04

Jekyll And Hyde Kilcock Blitz Na Fianna:

By: Robert Cox

The Kilcock Senior Ladies football team made it back to back league wins on Tuesday night last, the 24th of April, with a comprehensive ten point victory over Na fianna in Kicock GAA. To say it was comprehensive though is probably been a bit kind to the hosts, who had to wait until the second half before they could stamp their authority on the game, while also been a bit unfair to the visitors who looked the better side in a tight first half. Kilcock manager Shane Stone had to make one change to the starting fifteen from the round one defeat of Kilcullen, with the injured Paige Byrne been replaced by the experienced Mary Tighe. Na Fianna for their part looked a well disciplined side and took to the field in large numbers for their warm up, well before the hosts. Though that may seem like a small factor, it reaped dividends for the Allenwood girls as they were the faster team out of the blocks and took the lead after only two minutes when their full forward Tara Higgins kicked a fine point from thirty yards. Kilcock took time to settle but got off the mark after some quick thinking from free-taker Grace White, who took the Na Fianna defence by surprise and played her first set piece short to Louise Keane who turned and slotted over from close range. White raised the white flag twice more in quick succession, one from a free and the other after her shot crashed off the crossbar and luckily bounced over. Kilcock were scrappy though and not their usual fluent selves, with many passes going astray all over the pitch. Na Fianna took advantage of this and scored their opening goal, after a bad mix up in the home defence handed their corner forward Chloe Smullen the easy task to blast home to an empty net. Kilcock were struggling at this stage and could not get out of their defence and were lucky not to concede a bizarre own goal when corner back Fiona Campion nearly put through her own net after a break down in communication with goalie Eimear Kelly. Na Fianna added another point, again from Higgins, before Kilcock enjoyed a purple patch of their own with Emma Robinson fisting a point and White getting a goal, when a point was on her mind, with what was her only ”bad” free of the night which dropped short but was missed by the goalie and sneaked under the bar and into the net. They say though that you are at your most vulnerable just after scoring and this was the case for Kilcock, who let their opponents work the ball the full length of the field to score their second goal through midfielder Rebecca Donoghue. White levelled up just before the break with another free, this time raising the white flag.
Kilcock trudged off the field at half time looking an unhappy team even though the sides were level at Kilcock 1:05 Na Fianna 2:02. But this was a good sign as it showed where this team has come and they no longer settle for the silly mistakes that were been made by the whole side throughout the first half. Stone himself looked none to happy but whatever he said to them at the interval would change the whole pattern of this contest.

The new look midfield partnership of underage county stars Aisling O’Connor and Caoimhe Fagan, that looked lethargic in the opening half, showed they meant business right from the throw in of the second half when O’Connor tapped down to Fagan and from there the latter cut a path to goal and kicked a fine point to put the ladies from Branganstown into the lead, a lead they would not surrender for the duration of the game, Only extend. The accurate Louise Keane pointed almost straight away after some good work from fellow forwards Shanon Byrne and Emma Robinson. The next ten minutes were to become the Grace White show as she struck four unanswered points, (three frees) to put the girls in green and gold six points ahead. Then came the score that put the contest beyond any doubt, captain Shona Cagney started the move and fed centre forward Sheena Byrne who’s shot rattled the crossbar only to fall into the waiting arms of Robinson, who calmly finished the ball to the net. Na Fianna did try and rally a bit and hit two points without reply, through Micaela McKenna and Smullen, before White, O’Connor and Fagan finished the scoring for the night with three well taken points to make the score Kilcock 2:14 Na Fianna 2:04. Stone rang the changes in the last few minutes, giving some of the younger panel members some valuable game-time experience.
For the home side, goalie Eimear Kelly recovered well from the concession of two soft first half goals and pulled off a top drawer safe in the second period. The defence did not have its greatest night and struggled at times when Na Fianna were on top. Their passing out of defence will need to improve in the coming weeks but they did enjoy a better second half with Mary Tighe, Shona and Orla Cagney to the fore, with the latter moved to wing back to deal with the dangerous Na Fianna wing forward Micaela McKenna. In the middle of the park, O’Connor and Fagan grew into the game and dominated that sector of the field in the second half, while also contributing to the score board with some well taken points. All the forwards worked well, even when the chips were down, with Sheena Byrne carrying the ball well and laying the it off to girls in better positions to set up scores at crucial times. She seems to be revelling in her new position on the forty, with young Emma Maguire working non stop beside her, showing experience well beyond her years. Shanon Byrne, Emma Robinson and Louise Keane won their fair share of ball in the full forward line and took their scores when needed. But once again Grace White top scored, this time with 1:08 to her name as she pulled the strings in the forward line throughout. For Na Fianna, Tara Higgins and Chloe Smullen were a constant threat in the full forward line while Rebecca Donoghue can be happy with her display in midfield. Once again though they relied too much on star player Micaela McKenna to try and make things happen and though she had a great first half, her second half was hampered after receiving a nasty bang to the head. To her credit she played on and it was only after the game that she began to feel the full effects of the knock. The ten point win flatters Kilcock and Stone knows that improvements must be made and mistakes must be cut out if they are to keep up their 100% record away to Robert Emmets next week. Stone also knows though that his side will need to perform in both halves, something they have failed to do so far this year but the year is young and so is his team, and with some encouragement and positivity around this group of girls they can continue their winning ways.

Final Score:

Kilcock 2:14

Na Fianna 2:04

Player Of The Match: Grace White

Kilcock Scorers:
Grace White 1:08
Emma Robinson 1:01
Louise Keane 0:02
Caoimhe Fagan 0:02
Aisling O’Connor 0:01

Na Fianna Scorers:
Chloe Smullen 1:01
Rebecca Donoghue 1:00
Tara Higgins 0:02
Micaela McKenna 0:01

Kilcock Team:

1:Eimear Kelly (6)
2:Fiona Campion (6)
3:Linda Byrne (6)
4:Mary Tighe (7)
5:Therese Macken (6)
6:Shona Cagney (c) (7)
7:Emma Maguire (6)
8:Caoimhe Fagan (7)
9:Aisling O’Connor (7)
10:Grace White (9)
11:Sheena Byrne (7)
12:Orla Cagney (7)
13:Louise Keane (6)
14:Emma Robinson (7)
15:Shanon Byrne (6)

Laura O’Neill for Shanon Byrne
Hayley White for Mary Tighe
Eve Powderly for Emma Maguire
Katie Devine for Louise Keane

Na Fianna:
1:Karen Lawlor
2:Emma Wright
3:Sinead Crowe
4:Christine Hynes
5:Roisin Murphy
6:Niamh Quinn
7:Amy Ennis
8:Nicole Carroll
9:Rebecca Donoghue
10:Emily Jacob
11:Aoife Jacob
12:Micaela McKenna
13:Danielle Mcdonald
14:Tara Higgins
15:Chloe Smullen

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