Clan na Gael make history
Due to space issues last week we were unable to publish the diaries from the girls football teams who competed so well in the one-day Féile competitions.
We are delighted to bring them to you this week.
The first is from Clan na Gaels’ Aoife Fox and the second is written by Maggie Sue Morris from Valleymont.
My name is Aoife Fox and I play in the forwards for Clan Na Gael.
We qualified for our first ever girls Féile, which took place in Portlaoise on Saturday, June 4.
We left early Saturday morning at about 8.30am to arrive in Portlaoise for 9.45am.
Our first match was at 10.30am but we wanted to be there a bit earlier, so we had time to warm up and get our jerseys on.
After we got our jerseys on, we went out onto the pitch and did our warm-up. After warming up for about 20-25 minutes it was time for our first match.
Our first match was against Ballyfin from Laois.
The match was a very even encounter for the first half, but for us, the second half didn’t go our way as the opposition had the very strong wind in their favour.
We were awarded a penalty in the second half after Hazel Prendergast was taken down in the box.
Beibhinn Lavery stepped up to take the penalty. It was a great strike, planted in the bottom left corner.
Unfortunately, that would be our only score of the game.
The match ended 1-0 to 3-4 to Ballyfin.
We then had a break as there was another match between two other teams in our group on the pitch we were playing on.
We were given a goody bag each which had a bottle of Lucozade, packet of crisps, Nature Valley bar and a packet of sweets to give us sugar. This was a nice treat to receive from our club.
After our break we were brought to a smaller pitch to warm up and stretch.
We went out onto the main pitch to play our second game of the day, against Confey, Co. Kildare. This again was a close game in both halves.
We had the wind for the first half and we scored a goal from Beibhinn Lavery and a point from Millie Free.
We came back out in the second half knowing we had a challenge ahead as we were against the wind.
We won a free which I took and scored.
Unfortunately, this would be our only score in the second half which cost us the win.
The final score was 1-2 to 1-4 to Confey.
We then had a longer break as there would be two more matches between the other teams in our group.
After our long break we had to go and warm up and stretch again as we were preparing to play our final group game against a strong Mostrim team from Longford.
We went back out to the pitch to play our final group match. It was a tough match as we suspected it would be, but we were again awarded a penalty after Hazel Prendergast was taken down again in the box.
Beibhinn Lavery stepped up to take the penalty after her success with the other one. This time her penalty hit the top of the net as it went in.
Then one of our players had to go off the field after she had been hit hard in the chest. The final score of the match was 1-1 to 4-6 to Mostrim.
We then moved pitch to prepare for our shield semi-final match against Glen Emmets from Co. Louth.
We again did our warm-up and got ready. We went out onto the pitch ready for the match.
This was a very close match the whole way through. We got two points in the first half while the other team had scored two goals.
We came in at half-time and knew we could do better. We went back out and were fighting even more for the goal which resulted in points from myself, Beibhinn Lavery and Regan King.
There was a shot at the goal by our team, but it hit the crossbar. We didn’t give up as a ball was then kicked into the box which I caught and scored a goal. This brought the game to a point in the difference.
We kept on fighting for the ball, not giving up. If the ball wasn’t up with the forwards the defenders were doing an amazing job keeping them out. Sophie Maloney did an amazing job as a full-back, not letting them in to have a scoring chance.
But we just didn’t have enough time as the referee blew the final whistle as the match ended 1-5 to 2-3 to Glen Emmets.
Although the day ended with a loss, the team can be so proud of themselves for many reasons. We had qualified for our first ever girls Féile in the club’s history and we were by far the youngest team there so there is definitely a bright future ahead for the club.
We then went back to Burger King (another treat from our club) as a team to get some food and to celebrate how far we got. It was a good day overall and very fun and enjoyable, as all the girls played their hearts out,
On behalf of the team, we would really like thank our mentors Mick Blackbyrne, Christine Murphy, Pamela Prendergast, Ryan Lavery and Lesleyann Wylie.
Glan na Gael: Ruby Wheeler, Sarah Hussain, Katie Moore, Keiten Barretto, Millie Free, Saoirse Lavery, Beibhinn Lavery, Aoife Fox, Regan King, Isabelle Draper, Daisy O’Reilly, Sophie Maloney, Leah Devlin, Hazel Prendergast, Emma Wylie, Sophie Blackbyrne, Saoirse Di Biasi, Grace McBrearty, Farrah Hussain, Anna Boucher Hayes, Dearbhla Kinsella, Amber Scully.