Sunday 25 February 2018

Tinahely triumph

Tinahely 6-04 St Nicholas 1-12

Tinahely, the Intermediate football championship winners
Tinahely, the Intermediate football championship winners
Tinahely captain Anna Doyle receives the cup from Wicklow President Margaret Allen

Conor Hatton at Joule Park, Aughrim

Tinahely produced an outstanding second half display as a rush of goals in the final ten minutes helped them overcome a seven- point half-time deficit against St Nicholas and win the Intermediate football title in Joule Park, Aughrim, on Sunday afternoon.

They say goals win games and that was certainly the case here as Tinahely managed six compared to St Nicholas's one.

Despite this though it was far from plain sailing and, other than a brief few moments in the opening five minutes, St Nicholas were either ahead or level until the 53rd minute.

Tinahely made a couple of substitutions at half-time which seemed to have an immediate impact, with the introduction of Eimear O'Brien in particular making a big difference, but all over the field they were a completely transformed side and upped their game immeasurably in the second half.

It was the Western women though who owned much of the play for the first 30 minutes. Jill Fadian, Lisa Lawlor and Sarah Reid were especially dangerous and they looked to have the Tinahely backs in big trouble at times when they ran at them.

Whatever was said at half time though worked a treat for Tinahely as woman for woman they stood up to the plate with Aoife O'Neill in goal, Shannagh Goetelen at half-back, midfielder Emma Katus and Síofra Byrne up front particularly impressive.

In the end it was two brilliant solo goals from Katus in the final minutes which proved to be decisive and pull Tinahely from a one point deficit to a two score lead.

Nicholas owned the first half though and they were fast out of the traps as Sophie Mills and the hugely impressive Jill Fadian quickly got them off the mark with good points.

Tinahely needed something to settle them and they got the perfect tonic as Eimear McCrea won the ball and put Tríona Byrne through and the centre forward made no mistake from close in.

Incredibly though what was to be Tinahely's only score of the half as Lisa Lawlor levelled matters after weaving in and shooting off her right.

Lawlor along with Fadian was beginning to be a real thorn in the sights of the Tinahely back's as they used their searing pace and finishing ability to add another two points to the Nic's tally.

Tinahely just couldn't seem to get into the game as numerous passes went astray and their support play in building attacks was lacking.

Nic's were availing of these turnovers brilliantly and they broke quickly affording their main danger woman inside more space and putting the Tinahely back line under serious pressure.

Nic's closed out the half with a further three scores, among them their only goal through Fadian. She used here pace to get in behind once more and despite a brilliant save initially from Aoife O'Neill she was on hand to finish to the net and give Nic's a seven point half time lead and Tinahely a mountain to climb.

But alas it was a climb that Tinahely were well able to scale as they improved immeasurably upon the restart.

Their passing and interplay was much improved with centre back Kate Hatton especially linking the play very well and showing great composure on the ball.

Substitute O'Brien had an immediate impact and her goal at the start of the second half set the tone for Tinahely and they certainly kicked on from there.

Dervla Byrne hit over following a brilliant solo run after two Fadian points to leave four in it with just over twenty to go.

In the space of a minute Tinahely were level as firstly Síofra Byrne pointed before O'Brien once more finished to the net, low to the left this time.

In a complete reversal of the first half Tinahely were now the ones using their running game to the detriment of the Nic's backline as O'Brien, Emma Katus, Orla Kealy and Maude Robinson Greene cut through time and again.

Lawlor gave Nic's the lead once more but the momentum was firmly with Tinahely and when Emma Katus ran through from midfield and finished to the top corner from 20 yards they would never relinquish the lead again.

The sides exchanged points once more before in a carbon copy of the first goal Katus ran through and finished to the same spot to give Tinahely a five-point cushion with less than five minutes to go.

Nic's fought on bravely but it was Niamh Dillon and Tinahely who rounded off proceedings as she put the icing on the cake with a sensational sixth goal.

Sarah Reid had the final say with a point for Nic's but it was Tinahely's day as they came out deserving seven-point winners with Kate Hatton lifting the cup to jubilant scenes after the match.


Tinahely: Eimear O'Brien 2-1 (1 f), Emma Katus 2-0, Niamh Dillon 1-0, Tríona Byrne 1-0, Eimear McCrea 0-1, Dervla Byrne 0-1, Síofra Byrne 0-1.

St Nicholas: Jill Fadian 1-5, Lisa Lawlor 0-4 (1f), Sarah Reid 0-2, Sophie Mills 0-1.

Tinahely: Aoife O'Neill, Rebecca Kelly, Áine O'Keefe, Sarah Tyrell, Shannagh Gogtelen, Kate Hatton, Orla Kealy, Dervla Byrne, Emma Katus, Abby Doyle, Tríona Byrne, Síofra Byrne, Emily O Reil, Deirdre Lancaster. Subs: Maud Robinson Greene for Emily O'Reilly, Niamh Dillon for Eimear McCrea, Eimear O'Brien for Abby Doyle.

St Nicholas: Sorcha Wright, Rachel Murtagh, Casey O'Brien, Niamh Doyle, Aoife Sinnott, Aoife Grace, Becky O'Neill, Samantha Mills, Chloe Dwyer, Sarah Reid, Jill Fadian, Claire Grace, Lisa Lawlor, Laura Miley, Sophie Mills. Subs: Yvonne Rouse for Aoife Sinnott, Maria Doyle for Laura Miley.

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