Sunday 25 August 2019

Wilson on fire for Castletown

Ladies' football, league final - Castletown 4-6, Fethard 2-8

Dean Goodison, Division 3 in Farmleigh

Not for the first time and almost certainly not for the last, an Amy Wilson-inspired Castletown powered to victory in the ladies' football Division 3 league final in Farmleigh.

The high-scoring attacker nabbed all but one of her side's scores, the first, as they edged out a gallant Fethard outfit in an entertaining contest.

The county forward also cracked the crossbar twice as she continues to morph from dominant under-age prodigy into adult focal point.

Not that the new champions had it all their own way, as Fethard were gutsy around the pitch and are probably a more complete team unit.

Playing Intermediate football, they are a more experienced group and will still hope to end the season with silverware by taking the shield in that grade.

Castletown have their eyes on Junior 'A' success but were focused on league gains when Cailín Fitzpatrick and Susan Boyle combined to release Laura Stafford for the opening goal in the third minute.

Fethard's two most influential players, Fiona Rowe and Libby Sutton, pulled points back but Castletown soon started to breach their last line of defence.

Wilson opened her account with a point before her dipping shot from distance crashed into the roof of the net.

She skidded in a free-kick that found the corner of the net to make it 3-1 to 0-2, but Fethard responded with a Sutton goal from the penalty spot after the tireless Eimear Whelan was taken down.

Wilson raced away to register her major hat-trick inside 23 minutes but, after Megan Cullen came off three minutes later, Castletown looked a bit ragged.

Fethard scored 1-3 in the remainder of the period, with Sutton getting a cracking goal, to leave the game in the balance (4-2 to 2-6).

The goalmouth drama of the first-half didn't translate into a crazy second period too. Instead, Wilson scored two early points that Sutton and the now-forward Stephanie Foley countered by the 48th minute.

Wilson increased the lead to five with ten minutes left (4-5 to 2-7). Sutton had just run out of time on an advantage when she netted in the 54th minute, and while she slotted over the resulting free, it proved to be her side's final score.

In fact, Castletown dominated the last few minutes. Wilson walloped the crossbar and then saw Jennifer Dunne save another shot onto the woodwork.

She did add the insurance score in the last minute as her side go into their championship semi-final with HWH-Bunclody with the league title under their belts.

Castletown: Doireann Cullen; Donna Morrissey, Saoirse Condren, Joanne Byrne; Megan Cullen, Ciara Goland, Susan Boyle; Sarah Whelan, Muireann Fitzpatrick; Rosie McGuckin, Laura Stafford (capt., 1-0), Eimear O'Hagan; Niamh Spencer, Amy Wilson (3-6, 1-3 frees), Cailín Fitzpatrick. Subs. - Rachel Pierce for M. Cullen (26), Alex Young for O'Hagan (43), Lauren Kelly for Spencer (48), also Ellen Kinsella, Cáit Kavanagh, Ava Pierce, Hannah Woods, Teighlour Fegan, Triona Stafford, Ciara Power, Alex Byrne, Kerry Byrne, Bethany Renwick.

Fethard: Stephanie Foley (0-1); Maura Tubrid, Gillian Barry, Sarah Molloy; Róisín Donohoe (capt.), Siobhán Rowe, Méadhbh Nunan; Eimear Whelan, Fiona Rowe (0-2, 1 free); Sinéad Flynn, Sandra Foley, Storm Eaton; Jennifer Dunne, Libby Sutton (2-5, 1-0 pen., 0-2 frees), Amy Molloy. Subs. - Stephanie A. Foley for Eaton (12), Shirley O'Neill for Molloy (48), also Evelyn Barry, Leah Molloy, Chloe Waters, Katie Kelly, Claire Barry, Kathryn Whelan, Eimear Mullan.

Referee: Ian Plunkett (Marshastown-Castledockrell).

New Ross Standard