Monday 19 February 2018

Geevagh have no answer in Connacht senior clash

Connacht Ladies Quarter-Final: Kilkerrin/Clonberne 12-18 Geevagh 1-3

Austin Garvin at ballyhaunis

Your eyes aren't deceiving you. The above score is accurate and is a true reflection of the domination Kilkerrin-Clonberne exerted over Geevagh at Ballyhaunis on Saturday afternoon.

From beginning to end this was a lob-sided contest in which the Galway girls were quite magnificent.

Their execution of the basic skills was a delight to watch as they simply demolished the Sligo girls with a display of power-packed football.

Kilkerrin-Clonbern didn't seem to have any weaknesses; however they won't know for sure how good they really are until they receive a more searching test of their credentials.

Geevagh must be hurting after this heavy defeat. They really caught a tarter in an above average Kilkerrin- Clonbern side.

Rather than feel sorry for themselves, they should learn from the experience and come back with renewed vigour in the future.

The losing side were dealt a cruel blow in the opening moments when they lost their full back Yvonne Fraser after an accidental clash with an opponent.

This was bound to affect them as they were forced to rearrange their formation so early in the game.

Within minutes the winning side were a goal to the good courtesy of a brilliant strike from their magnificent full forward Louise Ward.

She finished with a personal tally of 5-3 and was at the vanguard of most of their attacks of note.

Stephanie O'Reilly countered with a fine point for the Sligo girls after Jemma Brehony set up the chance.

Then Annette Clarke found the net for the winning side from a penalty after Louise Ward was fouled.

The next stanza of the game saw the eventual winners' display some brilliant combination play leading to Hannah Noone scoring a sublime goal

Geevagh showed that they were capable of prising open the Kilkerrin-Clonberne defence when they attacked.

Nora O'Reilly found the net on eight minutes when Jemma Brehony left the ball on a plate for her.

The ensuing play saw the Galway girls extend their lead with some champagne football.

Louise Ward scored two further goals, with Olivia Divilly also raising a green flag.

Geevagh moved Jemma Brehony to full forward and this helped to give them more purpose in an attacking sense.

They added two points from Elaine O'Reilly (free) and Sinead McTiernan.

But the winners' added another major from Louise Ward before the break to leave them leading by 7-6 to 1-3 at half time.

Wind-backed Kilkerrin-Clonberne were totally dominant after half time.

They attacked incessantly and added scores at will. So pronounced was their superiority that they held the Sligo ladies scoreless and added a further 5-12 to their tally.

In addition, they introduced several of their substitutes into the fray without any diminution in their performance.

To be fair to Geevagh they continued to take the game to the Galway side and because of some poor shooting they failed to add further scores to their tally.

Nicola Ward kicked two goals for the impressive winners' during the half, with Ann Marie O' Boyle, Olivia Divilly, and Louise Ward all raising green flags.

On this performance Kilkerrin-Clonberne will take some beating against anyone.

But they could easily be lulled into a false sense of security because of such a facile victory.

Geevagh will be disappointed but they needn't be as they were pitted against a really fine side in Kilkerrin-Clonberne.

Geevagh had comprehensively defeated St Nathy's in the county final with some fine performances on the day but last Saturday wasn't to be their day as they were up against a dominant force.

Kilkerrin-Clonberne team: L Murphy; A McStay, S Mee, C Dunleavy; C Costello, N Ward (2-0), H Noone (1-2); S Divilly (0-1), L Gannon; O Divilly (2-6,1f), A Clarke (1-3,1pen), C Miskell (0-1); L Noone (0-1), L Ward (5-3), A Mahony. Subs used: A M O' Boyle (1-0) for H Noone; S Gormally for S Mee; D Bracken (0-1) for L Ward; A Costello for A Mahony; C Boyle for C Costello.

Geevagh team: A Sweeney; M Supple, Y Fraser, R Breheny; J Brehony, N Brehony, C Mulvaney; S McTiernan (0-1), B Byrne; S Reynolds, S O'Reilly (0-1), K Cullen; S Maxwell, E O'Reilly (0-1f), N O'Reilly (1-0). Subs used; N Ryan for Y Fraser (inj); M Davey for S Maxwell; M Mostyn for K Cullen; S McTiernan for N O'Reilly; S Moran for R Breheny.

*Player of the match: Louise Ward is the choice. She was absolutely brilliant from start to finish, and finished with a grand total of 5-3.

Referee: G Carmody (Ballaghadereen)

Sligo Champion

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