On a beautiful, sunny evening in Leixlip, Celbridge U14 ladies footballers maintained their great run in the Division 3 league by recording their fifth straight win. From the throw in Celbridge were on top, with midfielder Niamh Mortell scoring a long range goal in the first minute of the game. This set the pattern for the game, and even though Leixlip worked hard throughout, Celbridge were too strong and skilful in all areas of the pitch, and won the match comfortably 3-10 to 2-2. Dominant throughout the first half, Celbridge added six further points to their early goal with Rachel O’Reilly (2), Niamh Mortell, Ciara Gallagher (2) and Megan Quinn all getting on the scoreboard.
The Management team will no doubt have been happy with the range of skills displayed throughout the game with some fine fielding, slick hand passing and support play demonstrated by the girls. Some of the girls’ kick passing was a joy to watch (I sense the Kerry influence here!) and during the game there were a number of flowing moves that saw the ball being moved swiftly and accurately from defence to attack. Indeed it was Ciara Gallagher’s strong finish to a great team passing move that saw Celbridge get their second goal of the evening and at half time Celbridge led by 2-6 to 0-1.
Celbridge were particularly strong up the middle, with the full back Emma Lynch and half back Roisin Naughton winning possession throughout the game and initiating numerous moves with their strong running and passing. At midfield Leixlip tried out a number of different players but were unable to stop the Celbridge duo – Maria Keating and Niamh Mortell – from dominating this area of the pitch. In the back line strong defending by Claire Landers and Ellen Thornton ensured Celbridge were on top of their opponents throughout. On the few occasions during the game that Leixlip troubled the Celbridge goal, they were thwarted by fine saves by starting goalkeeper Eva O’Hara and her second half replacement Amy Hogan.
At half back Eve Wallace and Caitlin Thomas, marked their opponents tightly and linked up well with the midfield and half forwards. Rachel at half forward was dangerous throughout the game and scored a cracking point from long range. The rest of the forward line Megan, Amy Hogan, Erin Ruddy, Ciara and Amy Hanlon also excelled in their positions.
In the second half Celbridge continued to create chances however they did come up against some great defending from a Leixlip team who never gave up. A looping shot into the top left hand corner of the goal topped off a fine second half performance by Megan while Eve Wallace’s forward runs were rewarded with a well taken point. Nikki O’Keefe and Erin also added to Celbridge’s total in the second half. Second half replacements Emily Farrell, Ciana O’Sullivan Laura Stirblyte, Alison O’Dwyer, Aine McKeon, Anna Peoples, Vivienne Lee and Rebecca Davis all contributed to an outstanding team performance. The game was played in a great spirit and Leixlip persevered to the end and got their reward with a couple of late goals and point. The skill and commitment of the whole panel is to be commended and they have certainly come a long way in the past two years. Well done to the girls and the management quartet (Tommy, Jason, Darren and Paul). Good luck in the next game ‘Keep it Blue!’
Final Score: Leixlip 2-2 Celbridge 3-10
Next Match: Moorefield away Tuesday 10th May