Report by Margot Hughes.
AGB U16s got their 2014 Championship off to a successful start with a convincing win over Blessington on Tuesday August 26th in Pearse Park.
Due to the senior ladies championship semi-final game the previous weekend, Blessington sportingly agreed to play the game on a week day despite the long journey east and this was greatly appreciated by AGB. Sincere thanks to Sinead and all the girls for facilitating the change.
Goals in the opening half from Chloe O’Reilly, Megan Kane, Doireann Kavanagh and Róisín O’Reilly left Blessington with a mountain to climb in the second half. Ellen Quinn added three points for the West Wicklow side after the opening point was scored by the number 7, Emily Chales. The half time tally was 4-6 to 0-4 in favour of AGB as Annie Conroy and Vicky O’Brien joined in the scoring.
In the second half Blessington continued to battle and were unlucky not to score several more points with Shauna Byrne, Catherine Cleary, Emma Reid and Rebecca McNally all coming close and forcing the Arklow backs to do some tough defending.
Doirrean O’Reilly was outstanding in the Arklow goal and her kick outs allowed the AGB midfield and half forward lines to put constant pressure on the Blessington back line led by the hard working Orla Doyle.
Jade Palmer was kept busy between the posts for Blessington and pulled off some fine high catches. However, she was beaten again by Megan Kane, who was having her best game of the season in an AGB jersey, and also by Chloe, Róisín and Áine O’Reilly.
Blessington scored two super goals in the 12th and 20th minutes of the game and never gave up the fight throughout. Further points from Ellen Quinn, who was undoubtedly Blessington’s most valuable player on the day, and substitute, Méadbh Ní Ghealaigh left the final score 8-13 to 2-6 in favour of AGB.
The score does not reflect the competitive nature of this encounter which was ably marshalled by Stephen McNulty. Kayleigh Earls, Kayleigh Carter, Emily Mitchell, Rebecca Hayden and Aoife O’Reilly worked tirelessly alongside Ciara Forde in the backline and Emma Furlong, Lisa Keegan and Vicky O’Brien cleaned up around mid-field. Doireann Kavanagh, Róisín and Chloe O’Reilly made life very difficult for the Blessington backline throughout the sixty minutes, as did Megan Kane who was particularly on form.
AGB: Doirrean O’Reilly, Emily Mitchell, Kayleigh Earls, Kayleigh Carter, Orla Hayes, Ciara Forde, Aoife O’Reilly, Emma Furlong(0-1), Vicky O’Brien(0-2), Annie Conroy (0-1), Lisa Keegan, Róisín O’Reilly(2-3), Megan Kane, Chloe O’Reilly(2-4), Doireann Kavanagh(1-2) Subs: Becky Hayden for Orla Hayes, Megan Boyle for Annie Conroy, Laura Rice, Ellie Jones, Aoife Murphy, Emer Curran, Ann Marie Keegan, Meadbh Ní Chonchubhair, Angelika Pyciak, Áine O’Reilly (1-0), Abbie Doyle, Eimear Kelly
Blessington: Jade Palmer, Nicole Walsh, Sophie Cronin, Lauren Kiely, Molly Behan, Orla Doyle, Emily Chales (0-1), Catherine Cleary, Katherine Ward, Niamh Dillon, Ellen Quinn (2-4), Shauna Byrne, Emma Reid, Rebecca McNally, Lisa Mulally Subs: Amy Ryan, Méadbh Ní Gheallaigh(0-1), Blathnaid Doyle.