Kildare Ladies Junior A Championship
By Robert Cox at Kilcock GAA
Kilcock made it two wins a row in the Kildare Ladies Junior A Championship with a comprehensive win over a resilient Kilcullen side at Kilcock GAA on Sunday (10th August).
This win followed on from the previous Tuesday’s success against Na Fianna at a rain-sodden Allenwood as the David Keogh/Donal Cummins managed side looked to get their campaign back on track following defeats in their opening two games.
Second half goals from Sheena Byrne and Emma Robinson put a gloss on the eventual score line but in truth the home side were never really troubled throughout and would have been out of sight by half time had they not been as wasteful in front of goal.
Luckily enough for the large home support in attendance, the sun decided to make an appearance for this encounter, paving the way for some good, free flowing football at times from both sides.
Despite all their first half possession, Kilcock only went in at the break a few points in the lead and could have easily found themselves in arrears had Eimear Kelly not pulled off two excellent point blank saves late on from Kaylee Coogan and Jayne Peacock.
Peacock kicked two close range points for the visitors, while at the other end Eve Powderly, Caoimhe Fagan and Emma Robinson raised the white flag in what was a low scoring opening thirty minutes.
The second half proved to be more fruitful for the girls in green and gold, with Fagan hitting some excellent long range points off the right boot, while Robinson, Powderly and Substitute Lorna Murray (2) and Sheena Byrne (2) were also on target.
The crucial scores however came midway through the second half. First midfielder Sheena Byrne struck a low shot from twenty yards through a packed Kilcullen defence that somehow managed to find its way into the back of the net. This goal settled the home side and when Robinson netted from a free soon after, the result was put beyond any doubt.
Kilcullen to their credit battled hard until the end and were rewarded with a penalty, which the accurate Peacock calmly dispatched low to Kelly’s left.
Referee John McLoughlin brought proceedings to and end soon after as the light faded pretty quickly.
The Kilcock management will be particularly impressed with their teams’ defensive display in restricting Kilcullen to no scores from play. Kelly was her usual brilliant self between the sticks, while at full back Linda Byrne showed that she can read the game as good as any number three in the county, keeping the dangerous Peacock scoreless from play. She was ably assisted by Laura Ward and Andrea McGrath but in truth all six defenders plus their replacements deserve a mention.
Sheena Byrne and Caoimhe Fagan worked tirelessly in midfield, with both chipping in with scores at crucial junctures. Upfront Eve Powderly was a constant threat at wing forward with her weaving runs, while Suzanne Lett won countless ball in the inside forward line. But the star performer on the night was Aisling O’Connor. O’Connor served as a link player between defence and attack and carried the ball with aplomb all night.
Up next for Kilcock is a tricky trip to Suncroft on Saturday evening where they will be looking to make it three in a row as they bid to make the Junior A semi finals.
Final score: Kilcock 2-12 Kilcullen 1-02
Kilcock Team: Eimear Kelly, Andrea McGrath, Linda Byrne, Holly Burke, Laura Ward, Emma Maguire, Paige Byrne, Sheena Byrne, Caoimhe Fagan, Aoife Divily, Aisling O’Connor, Eve Powderly, Suzanne Lett, Emma Robinson, Laura O’Neill
Subs: Maeve Mulhall, Lorna Murray, Hayley White, Laura Gibbons, Megan O’Connor, Shona Cagney