Senior Ladies Intermediate Championship Rd 1
Austin Stacks 4-17 (29) Scartaglin 6-13 (31)
What a great game we were treated to last evening, (Mon Aug 3rd) in the opening round of this year’s senior ladies Intermediate Championship featuring Austin Stacks and Scartaglin. This game was played in ideal conditions in front of a sizeable crowd in Connolly Pk.
Scartaglin were quick off the mark and had raced into a 3 point lead before Megan O Brien opened our scoring with a point from play. Emma Mc Carthy had her shot on goal cleared off the line for a ’45. Megan O’Brien was quickest to react and scored a point from play as Caoimhe Barry Walsh’s kick rebounded off the post. Then straight from the kick out Scartaglin found their way into the Stacks goalmouth and when their forward was fouled a penalty resulted. The penalty kick rebounded off the post and after a scramble for possession Scartaglin won a free which was duly scored to put 2 points between the teams. Caoimhe Barry Walsh replied with a pointed free before Stacks ace striker Mollie O Carroll shrugged off her marker to score her first goal of the evening. In what was to be the feature of the game, the visitors responded perfectly & immediately scoring 1-2 without reply. Another pointed free for Caoimhe Barry Walsh brought the first 20 minutes to a close (water break) on a score line of Austin Stacks 1-4 Scartaglin 1-6.
On the resumption Scartaglin kicked an excellent long range point to go 3 ahead. Then in a brilliantly worked move out of defence Mollie O Carroll was in for her 2nd goal of the night. But again Scartaglin hit back and punished some loose Stacks marking with 1-1. The hard working Megan O Brien who made some great runs throughout the game chipped in another point from play, before Mollie rounded 2 defenders & got in to score her hat-trick. Another 2 pointed frees for Scartaglin now left 5 between the sides HT Score Austin Stacks 3-6 Scartaglin 3-11.
Stacks dominated from the resumption. Their hard work paying off as the Rockies scored 6 points without reply to bring themselves right back into the game (Megan O Brien (3), Caoimhe Barry Walsh (2 1f) and Rachel Ryan (1). But as was the story all night Scartaglin regrouped to hit back with another 1-1. Stacks Emma Mc Carthy was on fire at this stage of the game and her surging runs through the middle paid dividends as she hit Scartaglin with an individual 1-1 in the space of a few minutes before the referee indicated another water break. Austin Stacks now leading at this juncture 4-13 to 4-12
Sarah Hoare now playing in the forwards opened the scoring for Stacks before Scartaglin took advantage of some slack marking to tap in their fifth goal. Then came the defining moment of the game when Emma Mc Carthy was deemed to have committed a foul and a free was awarded. Both sides looked to play on but in a decision which could only be described as extremely harsh and certainly one that left many spectators scratching their heads Emma was ordered to the sin bin by referee Pat Brosnan. Her loss to the home team at this crucial point of the match was pivotal.
Stacks goalie Chloe Fitzpatrick made a very important & fantastic point blank save before Stacks worked a great move up the pitch. A goal looked on the cards before Caoimhe Barry Walsh was dragged to the ground. The Scartaglin player receiving an undisputed sin bin for her offence. Another converted free from the unerring Caoimhe Barry Walsh had the sides level again 4-15 to 5-12. But Scartaglin came again and scored their 6th goal (the best of the evening) right into the top corner, a real sucker punch for Stacks with injury time fast approaching.
In a game that had ebbed & flowed all evening could there be one more twist in the tale? Austin Stacks got to their feet once more. Sarah Hoare kicked her 2nd point of the evening and now 3 down the Rock girls went in search of that all elusive goal and were most unlucky not to get it. In one last grasp attack Caoimhe Barry Walsh surrounded by Scartaglin defenders managed to get her shot away only to see it scream over the crossbar in what would be the final score in this pulsating & gripping encounter.
Well done to both teams on producing such a high scoring & entertaining game FT Austin Stacks 4-17 (29) Scartaglin 6-13 (31). Next up for Stacks in this competition will be an away game V Castleisland (Mon Aug 10th) while our minors (4 of whom played tonight – Chloe, Eimear, Clodagh & Ciara) will be in action V ISK at home this Friday night in the Minor Co. League at 7.30pm.
Austin Stacks team: Chloe Fitzpatrick, Norma O Connor , Sarah Fitzgerald, Sarah Hoare (0-2), Karena Slattery, Eimear O Sullivan, Maebh Mc Kivergan, Clodagh Murray, Ciara Nix, Megan O Brien (0-7), Rachel Ryan (0-1), Emma Mc Carthy (1-1), Caoimhe Barry Walsh (0-6 (4f), Mollie O Carroll (3-0), Marina Barry Walsh. Subs used: Sarah Higgins for Marina Barry Walsh at HT
Photographs by Adrienne Mc Loughlin: