Tuesday 20 March 2018

Wicklow ladies seek final place

Ladies' football

Our Wicklow county ladies team take to the road this Sunday when they travel up the M1 to take on Fermanagh in Stabannon in Co Louth in the Lidl NFL Division 4 semi-final at 2 p.m.

This match is a repeat of the earlier round robin match when Wicklow, again on the road in Fermanagh, won on a 3-17 to 1-06 scoreline.

However, Fermanagh have shown steady improvement and now stand between Wicklow and an appearance in the NFL final.

This alone should spur on our girls as it's been a long league journey thus far.

Last year Wicklow reached the semi-final but were unlucky not to reach the decider then so with some strong additions to the squad over the winter all stops will be taken out to ensure progress is made this Sunday.

The team itself has moulded and improved throughout the year following good work in 2016, when reaching the All-Ireland quarter-final, and although the team has not yet been named several key players stand out from our perspective.

The goalkeeping position has been hotly disputed with both Shauna Bermingham and Geraldine Norton throwing down the gauntlet to Kim Connors but the Blessington girl would be expected to mind the net once more.

In defence much will depend on the likes of Sarah Hogan, young Shauna Byrne, Sarah Jane Winder and Niamh McGettigan.

Midfield, not for the first time, will have Jackie Kinch at its epicentre while her young team mate Aoife Gorman has shown a maturity beyond her years in the league so far and a big performance is expected in this area.

Finally the forwards, who stuttered in their last two league matches, will be looking to atone for the Longford match and will surely load all barrels for the weekend.

Certainly in the likes of Amy Murphy, Molly Cullen and Claire Walsh the ammunition is available to fire the match beyond the reach of a talented Fermanagh side.

In discussing the squad with Wicklow's management (Mick O'Rourke, Mick Kavanagh, Emer Miley and Catriona McKeon) the focus is always on the panel and this current panel is strong, laden with talent of all ages, all of whom will certainly be able to step into the breach if required. We wish our warriors the best and hope to be celebrating qualifying for the League final come Sunday night.

Please pack the car and make the worthwhile journey to support our girls - They certainly deserve it for all the work they have put in so far.

U-14 Leinster Championship

Wicklow 7-10, Louth 2-06: Wicklow's under-14s hosted Louth in a sunny but very windy venue on the east coast, St Patrick's, in Wicklow town.

This match completed the round robin series in the Leinster under-14 championship.

Wicklow went in to the game with an unbeaten record and were expected to account for a Louth outfit who needed a victory in order to progress to the C Championship semi-finals.

Wicklow won the toss and chose to play with the strong wind at their backs and had hoped to put up a reasonable score prior to the half.

However, the half didn't go as expected and Wicklow were not finding the range as they had in previous matches.

Louth worked hard and put many of the players behind the ball with the result that with all their hard work Louth restricted Wicklow to 1-05 while scoring 1-03 themselves.

Wicklow realised they would have to work hard when facing into the breeze girls and that plus the fact that Louth visibly tired from their exertions of the first half.

Wicklow's fitness and their skill and determination stood to them as they came out winners on a flattering score line of 7-10 to 2-6.

Well done in what was a great team effort - credit going to all 22 playing in the Wicklow jersey.

Wicklow now go on to the semi final on Saturday, 22nd April where they will meet Westmeath at a time and venue to be decided while Louth will play Carlow in the shield final.

Bray People