Path to the Shield Final
Report by Orla Boyle/Margot Hughes
AGB Minors took on St. Pat’s in the opening game of the Minor Championship in Roundwood under lights on Wednesday 16th October.
The first half was dominated by AGB with Aine O’Reilly opening the scoring with a goal in the second minute. Annie Conroy and Vicky O’Brien added two points in the third and fourth minutes and Sinead Arthur added two more points before Pat’s registered a score. Their opening point came from Niamh O’Brien in the eighth minute and Pat’s added another two from frees in the next four minutes. A goal from Áine O Reilly in the thirteenth minute and further points from Sinead Arthur, Georgina Canavan and Jessica Hurley left it 2-7 at the break for AGB.
Pat’s tacked on a further four points to leave their half time tally 0-7.
With just two scores between the teams and with AGB having had the upper hand in the opening half, St. Pat’s came out fighting in the second half and showed great self belief as they whittled away the Arklow lead.
A goal on the restart lifted their spirits and they added a further two points from frees before AGB registered a score in the second half. Points from Annie Conroy and three further points form Aine O’Reilly were wiped out by a second goal and a point from Pat’s in the sixteenth minute.
Arklow’s lead was now reduced to two points and it was nip and tuck in the final minutes. St. Pat’s scored their third goal and took the lead in the seventeenth minute. Another point from Pat’s in the eighteenth extended their lead to two points.
Each team scored a point a piece in the nineteenth and twenty fifth minutes and this blistering encounter ended on a score line of 2-13 to 3-12 in favour of the Wicklow side. This was a great display of skill, talent and gritty determination from two hard working teams and left very little doubt as to who would go on to win the cup and, indeed the shield competitions.
AGB were given a walkover by struggling Clara in the shield semi final and went on to play St. Nicholas in the final at Arklow on Saturday October 26th.
In this game the girls Arklow did not, at any stage, take their foot off the pedal to allow the opposition into the game. Jessica Hurley and Orla Hayes led from centre field and both girls dominated their positions to lend strength to the Arklow attack and defence.
The experienced Sinead Arthur, Georgina Canavan, Annie Conroy and Áine O’Reilly led a formidable forward line, and Katie Larkin, Kirsty Hughes and Ciara Forde also led by example in the backs. With Lauren Hayden’s safe hands between the posts St. Nick’s could find no way in through the solid Arklow back seven.
The half time score was 4-8 to 0-5 and the West Wicklow side had a mountain to climb. AGB had a strong bench and introduced Kirsty Hughes, Claire Murray, Aisling Appleby, Emma Deasy, Doirrean Kavanagh and Emma Furlong with no loss of tempo or strength. AGB scored 1-11 in the second half to 0-2 and the shield was presented to the Arklow side.
Full credit is due to the St. Nicholas side for the way in which they continued to battle throughout the sixty minutes against a very strong and determined Arklow team.
Shield Final team AGB:
Lauren Hayden, Emer Curran, Katie Larkin(0-1), Caoimhe Crowley, Vicky O’Brien(0-1), Ciara Forde, Kayleigh Carter, Jessica Hurley(1-2), Orla Hayes(0-1), Doirrean O’Reilly(0-1), Annie Conroy(1-2), Lisa Keegan(0-1), Sinead Arthur (1-2), Áine O’Reilly(0-4), Georgina Canavan (1-3).
Subs: Kirsty Hughes (1-1), Claire Murray, Aisling Appleby, Emma Deasy, Doireann Kavanagh, Emma Furlong, Megan Boyle, Chloe O’Reilly, Katie Furlong, Aoife O’Reilly, Molly Lee. Missing due to work commitments: Paula Maher, Sarah Kendrick
Shield Final team St. Nicks:
Ciara Furlong, Casey O’Brien, Mary Healy, Eimear Kelly, Chloe Dwyer, Jade Manley, Aoife Grace, Anna Kelly, Imogen English, Rebecca O’ Neill, Lisa Lawlor, Claire Grace, Wendy Daynes, Laura Miley, Grace Kelly.
Subs: Niamh Sinnott, Katie Byrne, Deirdre Handbidge, Emily Rouse, Hannah Figgis.