Wednesday 21 March 2018

O'Dwyer's ladies run riot in Bremore conquest

O'Dwyer's 8-19 Sc Ui Chonaill 3-4

Amy Gibbons comes under pressure during O’Dwyer’s meeting with Scoil Ui Chonaill. Pic: Fintan Clarke
Amy Gibbons comes under pressure during O’Dwyer’s meeting with Scoil Ui Chonaill. Pic: Fintan Clarke

Rory Kerr

Overlooking the O'Dwyer's pitch is the 14th century building, Bremore Castle, and undoubtedly many tried to breach the Norman stronghold in its time.

Equally, the O'Dwyer's ladies, under manager Mick Blount, have slowly but surely been scaling the walls which began three years ago when they became the first team from the club to win a ladies championship.

Erin Healy was the star that night in their famous victory over Naomh Olaf and this year's Dublin minor corner back was again to the fore in O'Dwyer's landslide victory over Scoil Ui Chonaill in the knockout stages of the Junior B Championship on Thursday night.

Healy was the driving force from centre back, while Dublin senior panellist Aoife Curran was influential in her role of sweeper as O'Dwyer's eased past their Clontarf road opponents with 30 points to spare.

Scoil Ui Chonaill briefly troubled their opponents after the break when the visitors poached back-toback goals in quick succession at the third-quarter juncture.

But with Shauna O'Hara proving a pivotal figure up front in the absence of Shannon Richardson, O'Dwyer's regrouped to close out the game in dominant form.

Aside from the odd hiccup at the back, this was a fine display from the Balbriggan girls and although they were made to work hard at times as Scoil Ui Chonaill placed numbers behind the ball, they had the craft and guile to break down their opponents' rearguard.

Erica Byrne gave them plenty of drive from midfield, while centre forward Emily Whelan showed terrific strength on the ball while also pitching in with a generous total of 2-4 on the night.

Pleasingly for Blount, all six of his starting forwards made their mark on the scoreboard, with the foundations laid for victory in the first half where they held their opponents to just the solitary score.

The home side began the game with great intensity and after Whelan had sent over their opening point, O'Hara and Katie McCabe - who had a terrific night in the inside line - exchanged passes before releasing Whelan on the edge of the square. She duly drilled her shot into the corner of the net.

With Amy Gibbons making some penetrating runs from wing back, O'Dwyer's had built up an impressive six-point lead by the time, Scoil Ui Chonaill sent over their first score mid-way through the half.

It was to prove only a brief respite, with O'Dwyer's then striking for the second goal of the game when McCabe came off the shoulder before rifling past the hapless Scoil Ui Chonaill keeper.

O'Hara found the back of the net soon after and a mistake by the visitors' netminder then allowed Whelan in for a simple tap-in with seven minutes to go in the half.

Scoil Ui Chonaill must have been crying out for the short whistle at that stage, but as they retreated further back the home side weren't going to let them off the hook and after a string of excellent passes O'Hara picked out McCabe for her second goal of the game.

Aoife Pollis then ended the first-half rout with another goal for O'Dwyer's as they went in at the break leading 6-6 to 0-1.

Scoil Ui Chonaill enjoyed their best spell in the third quarter, scoring three goals, but O'Dwyer's finished the game as they started, with O'Hara raising their seventh green flag before substitute Alex Tyrell converted a penalty in injury time.

O'Dwyers: Lauren Murphy, Aoife Breathnach, Ciara O'Rourke, Lauren Sweeney, Alana Kelly, Erin Healy 0-2, Amy Gibbons, Erica Byrne 0-2, Amy Gibbons, Jeana Richardson 1-1, Emily Whelan 2-4, Aoife Pollis 0-2, Aoife Curran 0-1, Shauna O Hara 2-6 (1-f) Katie McCabe 2-1. Subs: Alex Tyrell 1-0(pen), Saoirse Blount.

Fingal Independent