Report by Margot Hughes
Dublin 3-10 Wicklow 0-6
Wicklow’s U16 Ladies took on Dublin in the Leinster Championship second round on Saturday 15th March 2014 at Ballyboden St. Enda’s GAA grounds at 3pm. Wicklow had a nightmare first half as the girls seemed over-awed by the prospect of taking on the big guns away from home. They only managed to register one point from the boot of Katie Miley in the opening half while the Dublin girls on the other hand were chalking up the scores at a rate of knots. Their biggest threat was undoubtedly the No. 15 Jade Sweeney Knot, who scored a point in the opening minute, a goal in the second and set up No. 12 Billie Kate Huggard for a point in the third. All this despite the best effort’s of AGB’s Ciara Forde to thwart her. Casey O’Brien and Shauna Byrne dug deep to protect Chloe O’Dwyer in the Wicklow goal from Dublin’s marauding forwards. Clara’s Heather Cullen had a super game at left half back, supported by Aoife Grace in the centre and Ríoghna McGettigan on the right. Annie Conroy took up the number 9 position in the absence of Chelsea Snell and she and Newtown’s Ashling Mc Donald battled bravely at the centre of the park for Wicklow. They held the Dublin’s Danielle Murray and Erica Byrne to a goal and two points between them for the sixty minutes. McDonald was forced to leave the field of play after a clash of heads left her unable to continue. Dublin’s No 14, Rachel Douglas, scored 1-3 while Hannah O’Neill and Laura McGinley both tagged on points for Dublin. The half time score was 3-9 to 0-1 in favour of the home side and it looked as if Wicklow were finished.
After some stern words from the managers and encouragement from team captain Katie Miley, the girls attacked the second half with much more vigour and pride. Katie Miley led by example scoring two points in the opening four minutes with no reply from the opposition. Dublin made very few changes but the Wicklow management used all the available substitutes in the second half. Playing with the benefit of a significant breeze the Wicklow girls acquitted themselves much more satisfactorily. Heather Cullen and Aoife Grace cleared their lines with greater accuracy. Wicklow forwards Amy Burke, Erynn O’ Brien, Lisa Lawlor, Katie Boucher, Marie Kiely and the tireless Katie Miley, launched meaningful attacks and the Dublin backs found themselves having to work much harder to protect their significant lead. Wicklow added a further three points through Miley and Katie Bouchier. Dublin registered their only point of the second half in the 19th minute. The final score was 3-10 to 0-6 in favour of a fitter and faster Dublin side. The Wicklow girls showed great spirit to dominate the second half with effective contributions for substitutes Clodagh Fox, Niamh Clarke, Annie McGuire, Mia Kavanagh, Anna Hedderman, Chloe O’Reilly and Kate Hennessy. The next outing for this panel will be on March 29th away to Meath.
Wicklow: Chloe O’ Dwyer, Casey O’ Brien, Shauna Byrne, Ciara Forde, Ríoghna McGettigan, Aoife Grace, Heather Cullen, Ashling McDonald, Annie Conroy, Amy Burke, Katie Miley (0-5), Erynn O’Brien, Lisa Lawlor, Katie Bouchier(0-1), Marie Kiely
Subs: Annie McGuire, Mia Kavanagh, Niamh Clarke, Chloe O’Reilly, Clodagh Fox, Anna Hedderman, Kate Hennessy
Dublin: Rachel Fleming, Megan Duffy, Tara O’Sullivan, Leona Corr, Chloe Lawless, Laura McGinley (0-1), Ellen Curran, Danielle Murray (1-0), Erica Byrne (0-2), Tara Fitzgibbon, Hannah O’Neill (0-1), Billie Kate Hubbard (0-1), Mia Jennings, Rachel Douglas (1-3), Jade Sweeney Knot (1-2)
Subs: Katie Ronan, Emily Flanagan, Hannah Foster Ryan, Amy Fitzpatrick, Sabrina Maloney, Sarah Kearns, Niamh Carty, Muireann O’Gorman, Martha Dwyer, Robyn Kos, Clare McGrath, Clare O’Sullivan, Riona McTavish, Eleanor Aherne