Senior Ladies ‘Junior’ County Championship Semi-Final
(report by Maurice Mac Namara).
Austin Stacks 5-15 v Dr Crokes 1-06
The Austin Stacks Senior girls exacted full retribution for a comprehensive defeat last year at the same stage by putting in a complete display in a dull and overcast Connolly Park last Saturday evening. The panel and management team have put in a huge amount of work over the spring and summer and the reward for this dedication came in a flood of skilful, direct and impressive football which washed over the Crokes girls like a tidal wave.
Crokes kicked two very impressive scores in the first minutes and it looked like it was going to be a tough night for the Rock girls but Catriona Horgan was moved to contend with Amanda Brosnan at centre back and she did not put a foot wrong relegating the Kerry star to a bit part as Stacks moved into high gear. The scores came regularly and only reflected the dominance of Stacks throughout the field, Crokes had no answer as Nikki Sheehy, Maeve McKiveragan, Laura Rogers and Marina Barry all struck for goals. In fact we recorded only six wides in the first half and scored 4 goals and eleven points with three points only from frees kicked by Caoimhe Barry Walsh.
As we went into the half time break the Stacks led by that 4-11 to the 2 points scored by Crokes in the first minutes, the girls held the top team in the division scoreless for 25 minutes, just another statistic that reflected the unreal football being played by the Rock. They were first to every ball won every fifty-fifty and showed so much more hunger and desire than the favourites for the competition.
On resumption Stacks went more defensive with Laura Rogers dropping back into defence, this affected our attack but it really frustrated the Crokes who lost a player to a straight red about half way through. The numerical advantage confused us for a while and we struggled to get to the heights shown in the first half but the real game killer came with a great team goal finished expertly by our u16 star Mollie O’Carroll.
When the final whistle was blown the Stacks had laid down a marker and had shown how good they really can be when they put their mind to it. The final score of 5-15 to 1-06 was fully justified and they now move on to a County Final against Kilcummin who embarrassed us in the Co League in April. For those lucky enough to have witnessed the game there was nothing but praise for the girls and the fact that the game was played simultaneously with a Senior mens Co League game has shown how important the recent development of Connolly Park has been for all members of the club. Thanks to Noel, John, Dinny and Kevin for haveing the venue at peak condition for such an important game.
This observer really hopes that the Stacks Senior girls realise how good they actually are at this level and that they are now on the cusp of something special.
Team & Scorers: D Mangan, K Slattery, O Cannon, C Rogers, C Horgan, N O’Connor, E O’Connell, M McKiveragan(1-02), D O’Shea(0-02), K Quilter(0-01), N Sheehy(1-01), L Rogers(1-03), M O’Brien, M Barry Walsh(1-01), C Barry Walsh(0-03 3F). Subs:- B Slattery(0-01), M O’Carroll (1-01 1F)