Report by Margot Hughes
AGB Minor Ladies took on Bray Emmets in the final of the Minor Shield on Sunday the 12th of October in unseasonably pleasant conditions in Newtown.
Referee John Bermingham got proceedings underway promptly at 11am and the game opened at a cracking pace, which was to continue for the full sixty minutes. Both sides squandered early chances until Katie Furlong scored the opening point for Arklow in the 5th minute. Róisín O’Reilly added a second in the 7th and Furlong pointed a third in the 9th.
Alannah Conroy opened Bray’s account with a well taken point in the 11th minute and Caoimhe Lohan put Bray in the lead with the first of five goals the North Wicklow side were to score in this encounter in the 13thminute of play. A point from Juliette Fortune extended Bray’s lead as did a further point form Alannah Conroy. AGB fought back with a point from Emma Furlong and two points form Sarah Kendrick.
Kendrick was unlucky not to score a goal with her second attempt as she had all the backs beaten and just the goalkeeper to pass. Bray scored another goal and three points to end the half with a substantial 7 point lead on a score line of 2-7 to 0-6.
AGB had a battle on their hands and they certainly took the game to Bray in the second half scoring the first of their four goals in the opening minute of play, off the boot of Sarah Kendrick, who made no mistake on this occasion. Bray responded almost immediately with their third goal.
As AGB’s centre forward Ciara Forde carried the ball forward all the way to the Bray goal she was finally fouled and a penalty ensued. Lauren Hayden dispatched the ball neatly into the left corner to give AGB a great boost; four points the margin once again. Additional points from Lauren Hayden and Sarah Kendrick reduced the lead to two but Bray replied with two more points.
Sarah Kendrick’s goal left the deficit at just one point and it looked as if Arklow might just pull it off. As they pressed forward, throwing everything they had at the Bray defence, there was always the danger of a counter attack and full credit to Bray they were determined not to let this one slip through their fingers.
A goal against the run of play in the 27th minute of regular time put paid to the Arklow resurgence and despite their best efforts the final score was 5-10 to 4-8 in favour of Bray.
This was a very tough encounter with some great effort from both teams and very enjoyable for the spectators from both clubs. Well done to both teams and to their mentors and supporters for a great morning of football. What a shame that these teams only got to play two games at this grade for the whole season. Hopefully next season there will be more clubs competing at this vital grade.
These were two all round team performances with goalkeepers Doirrean O’Reilly and Amy Barry especially in fine form for their respective teams. Best for Arklow outfield were Annie Conroy, Kayleigh Earls, Sarah Kendrick, Emma Furlong and Lauren Hayden. Shauna Douglas, Danika Goulding, Alannah Conroy, Seona Michel and Caoimhe Lohan shone for Bray.
AGB: Doirrean O’Reilly, Sarah Kendrick, Róisín O’Reilly, Becky Hayden, Aoife O’Reilly, Paula Maher, Emily Mitchell, Chloe O’Reilly, Vicky O’Brien, Annie Conroy, Katie Furlong, Emma Furlong, Ciara Forde, Lisa Keegan, Kayleigh Earls, Emer Curran, Laura Rice, Megan Boyle, Lauren Hayden, Doireann Kavanagh, Aoife Murphy.
Bray Emmets: Amy Barry, Clionadh Horgan, Shauna Douglas, Anna Ryan, Ruby Stewart, Danika Goulding, Molly Hunt, Grace O’Donovan, Alannah Conroy, Ciara Nolan, Orlaith Whelan, Seona Michel, Caoimhe Lohan, Juliette Fortune, Aoife Keddy, Sinead Horgan, Lauren Kelly, Nicole Howick, Aoife Sherlock.