(Celbridge Vs Blessington – Thursday 13th April 2017 – League Match)
After their successful win over "Round Towers" (Kildare town based team) in teams first league opening game away, back in March and then followed on by the successful win over "St.Ultans" (Meath League Team) in a friendly game in Celbridge GAA at the start of April, the Celbridge girls had been training hard for this second league match in counter with Blessington. Of course, with Blessington having already won their opening league game as well in this league, this game had a lot of importance for the two sides, as both teams were currently top of the table in Division 4, with two other teams yet to play in their first league game, so there could be three teams on top.
Also! With the News filtering in, that the Celbridge U14's girls had just received sponsorship to buy, New InterSport LGFA Football Jerseys, thanks to the new U14's LGFA girls team sponsorship with: Michelangelo's Restaurant in Main Street Celbridge - http://www.michelangelo.ie . Needless to say, all the girls are delighted, as these jerseys will be delivered in time for the Kildare Feile tournament in end of April.
For this home league match tonight! With the exception of two players out, Celbridge had every other girl available to play this match, which was the first time this year having such a big squad to choose from, due to all the girls being off school/hobbies/county games and being injury free during the Easter period. So the U14's Management team had to pick a starting 15 girls, out of 27 and now had 12x subs for this match, of course the mentors would also have the dilemma of only being able to play the sub change limit of the match. But! As the two mentors always say to the girls! "It's a full team effort and everyone plays there part in this team, whether they get to play on the night or not!"
The game kicked off, under the watchful eyes of: Maurice Mulcahy an experienced LGFA referee. Celbridge were playing from Left to right in the first half and within a matter for two minutes, Blessington opened the score with a strong point from play; this was followed by another point, just two minutes later again. However! Celbridge responded with two great points from play by Niamh Mortell in centre half forward. It was short lived, as Blessington then scored a fantastic goal from the run of play and this was responded by an excellent worked goal from Celbridge (Laoise Mimnagh) and suddenly it was game on!
As both teams were neck and neck in the first 20mins, there was a real battle in the midfield and the defence on both sides had to dig deep, to try stopping the forwards. But! The midfield play from Megan Quinn and Laura Syrbit as excellent, as they worked up the field to supply the centre half forwards, which ultimately gave way to 2x more goals which were setup beautifully between the Celbridge full forward line again, who were in top flawless form tonight (Laoise Mimnagh, Abbie Pimlott and Rebecca Davis), along with an excellent half forward line (Orla, Gallagher, Niamh Mortell and Eaibhin Flood) who played their hearts out and also scored points and helped few more points scored by the Celbridge girls and along with cracking goal by Niamh Mortell with assistance from forward line girls, all the time Blessington with their 4x county players making their own impact on the game. The score line showing: Celbridge 3-6 and Blessington 2-3 just before the half-time break and with both Celbridge & Blessington making two subs in the 1st Half, trying to slow down the centre half forwards.
As the second half resumed, after an encouraging team talk with the Celbridge U14's mentors, the mentors made two more substitutions to the Celbridge team, just to stall the Blessington forward line from the half backline and increase the impact at the defence, which to their credit were battling hard throughout the first half.
Holding their own with a strong Celbridge full backline was thanks to the likes of the team Captain Emma Lynch, Nikki O'Keefe and Meabh O'Donovan who defended valiantly. The Celbridge girls u14's came out with a new lease of life in the second half and before you knew it, after a great cross from the centre half forward Niamh, they scored another wonderful goal & point from the right corner full forward Abbie Pimlott, this was followed by excellent point and goal by Laoise Mimnagh in full centre forward, who playing excellently and then a goal from left full forward Rebecca Davis, followed by some more super goals from half forwards (Orla Carragher & Niamh Mortell), point by Eaibhin Flood and then midfield point & goal by Laura Syrbit who had a great game on the day, followed by a points from Megan Quinn who kept feeding the ball excellently up the field, with Emma Lynch to the overpowering half & full forward lines of Celbridge. This was followed by an excellent save from the Celbridge Goalkeeper (Niamh Barnes) preventing at least two goals on the night, who had a super game.
Blessington did manage to put two more goals into the Celbridge net later in the game, but! It was too little too late for Blessington, as Celbridge were a different unit in the second half, as all the girls played and supported each other, both on and off the pitch like a true unit, also the fitness levels of the Celbridge girls showed to be a big winning factor in the second half, as all the training tough weekly training had paid off!
Credit also has to be given to the Celbridge half back line over the course of the game, which battled and defended very well and to the end, against the 3x Wicklow county players (the half backline was covered by Kate Farrington, Leah Murphy, Tara Nevin, Orla O'Keeffe, Erica McGivern, Georgia Mooney, Aoife Walters, Eabha Daly and Naoise Kavanagh).
A Happy Birthday was also sung out to Emma Russell by the whole team after the game, as she was dedicated to the team, even on her birthday! Celbridge had an extremely large subs panel tonight, not everyone got a chance to make an impact tonight, but! With at least four more league games to play both away & home, they'll all get a chance to make their mark in the coming weeks. On the night these girls were: Aisling Mimnagh, Emma Russell, Vivienne Lee, Aishling Carthy, Rachel Synnott and Simone O'Reilly.
A truly well-deserved win for the Celbridge Girls Tonight!
The final score ending: Celbridge 9-10, Blessington 5-6.
Both U14's Celbridge Mentors – Brendan Pimlott & Paul Lynch were very proud of all the girls, as they played as a team, supporting each other throughout the game!
Goals Scored by: Niamh Mortell, Laoise Mimnagh, Abbie Pimlott, Orla Carragher, Laura Syrbit and Rebecca Davis.
Points Scored by: Niamh Mortell, Laoise Mimnagh, Abbie Pimlott, Laura Syrbit, Rebecca Davis, Megan Quinn, Eaibhin Flood.