Feis Shield Round 1
Simonstown vs St Colmcille’s (Bettystown)
Date: 13th June 2012
Venue: Main Pitch, Simonstown
Final Score: Simonstown 5-09 St Colmcille’s 2-05
Weather watch: Not a great evening but ok for most of the game
Simonstown kicked off their 2012 Feis Shield campaign with a fine win last Wednesday evening at home. It had been 5 weeks since the Dee Rangers game and while the U16 players have had quite a few games in between, for those not in that category this was a much needed workout. Last year in the same competition the girls lost by a point to the Bettystown outfit. This year they were in no mood to be generous! In goal Nicole Byrne was making her senior debut and put in a very competent performance.
However, despite the home team’s determination it was still the visitors who got the first score when they grabbed a rather fortuitous goal after only three minutes after a high ball in from their centre forward. The ball seemed to rick shade about for an eternity before a Colmcille’s player grabbed it and drove firmly past Nicole. Simonstown responded very soon after when Ailbhe McHugh’s slotted over a fine point. Naoise de Graffe started the game at full forward and before the evening was out her marker must have been wishing she was marking a.n.other! Naoise got the team’s second score which was also a point and Eleanor Lane and Kelly-Marie Harris followed up soon after with further points to tie up the scores.
Simonstown at this stage were working hard all over the pitch to get the upper hand on last year’s Junior B champions. In the middle of the pitch Ailbhe McHugh and Niamh Lister (straight out of the exam hall!) had the edge on their opponents. However, this was only because they were both happy to work their socks off from start to finish. Their dominance helped ensure a steady supply of ball to the forwards. Eleanor Lane at centre forward was busy both scoring points and setting them up while on the wings Kelly-Marie and Miriam Dungan were equally industrious.
Naoise put daylight between the side’s with her team’s first goal of the evening when she pounced on some sloppy defending and after a one-two with Karen Foran, finished calmly. U16 captain Kelly-Marie almost took the paint work off the upright when a fine effort from her after a blistering run through the defence just skimmed narrowly wide. Rachel Gardner, Eleanor Lane and Miriam Dungan then all combined to set up Naoise’s second goal midway through the half. Colmcille’s did respond with a point from a 45 which they worked in and popped over.
The Simonstown defence was not as busy as it has been on some previous outings but Kate McKenna, Grainne Harrington and Catherine Walsh seemed to have the measure of their opponents in the full back line while Niamh Sheridan, dominant at centre back was ably assisted by sister Aisling and Emily McAteer in the wing back positions. In fairness they all needed to be on their toes as this is a fine Colmcille’s side who would happily have punished any sloppiness anywhere on the pitch as they had the players to do just that.
Naoise’s third goal was a rocket high to the roof of the net after a clever pass in from Rachel Gardner and when Kellie pointed soon after things were certainly looking good for the home side. At half time we were 3-05 to 1-2 up. Simonstown were determined not to let a repeat of the second half Dee Rangers slip up occur again and they kept up the first half intensity for most of the second half. Kellie-Marie got the team’s first two second half points. The opposition responded themselves with a point. They were down but not out.
Then just when all appeared to be going swimmingly for the home side Niamh Lister received a dead leg in a 50/50 tackle and had to limp from the field. Rachael Flynn came in at wing back while Aisling Sheridan moved to midfield. Despite Niamh’s temporary absence, the team kept up their momentum and Aisling Sheridan got her team’s third score of the second half with a well worked point. ‘Cille’s responded by hitting the woodwork with a great shot and then a minute later scored a goal which gave them renewed confidence. However, the nail in the opposition coffin was placed by Kellie a few minutes from the end when her firmly struck shot rattled the net. Aoife Mullen and Marion Sheehy came on and with Aoife’s first touch she set up Marion who, with her first touch, blasted over a point, our final score of the game. Ella Devine also made her senior debut and worked hard for the time she was on duty.
Colmcille’s tried hard to narrow the deficit and got two more points but the home side were well ahead by now and emerged winners by 13 points. Simonstown will face Graham Reilly’s charges in the first round of the championship in about 10 days time at home again (exact date not fixed yet) and the east Meath outfit will be determined to exact revenge for this loss. Last year Simonstown opened their championship campaign with a draw to eventual champions Ratoath in a match they possibly left behind. If they play with the same aptitude, resolve and determination the next day as they displayed against ‘Cille’s on Wednesday night, the girls will surely feel they can get the right result.
Team: Nicole Byrne, Kate McKenna, Grainne Harrington, Catherine Walsh, Aisling Sheridan, Niamh Sheridan, Emily McAteer, Ailbhe McHugh, Niamh Lister, Kelly-Marie Harris, Eleanor Lane, Miriam Dungan, Karen Foran, Naoise de Graffe, Rachel Gardner Subs: Rachael Flynn, Marion Sheehy, Ella Devine, Aoife Mullen