Ladies Senior Football : St. Laurences 2 v Celbridge (26th April 2016)

Written by Damian Thomas. Posted in LF-Seniors



On what turned out to be a bitterly cold night in South Kildare, Celbridge used this semi-final warm up game to bring in new players to starting line-up, empty the bench, and as it transpired, experiment with a new team formation (as you’ll see later !).  Although some of us struggled to find the St. Laurence ground without the use of a Sat Nav/google maps, the girls had no problem in the finding the net with 3 excellent goals in first five minutes, coming from Gemma Kilduff, Nicole McDonagh & Grace Flynn.  With Leah & Grace dominating at midfield, chance after chance opened up for the Celbridge forwards, with Ben shouting to pop the ball over the bar, but the goals continued to come, from Orla, Leah, Eilish & 2nd from Gemma.  There were a number of chances spurned, but credit has to be given to the St Laurence goalie for some great saves, with woodwork helping out on a number of occasions.  There were some fantastic points taken from a variety of different angles (4 from Gemma, 2 from Orla & 1 from Nichola), following great link up play with Aoife & Eilish charging forward at every opportunity, thereby creating the space & opportunity for all those scores.

Given the dominance of the midfield & attack in the first half, the Celbridge defence, ably marshalled by Rowen in goal, remained alert to any potential attacks from St Laurence with Robyn, Niamh & Kellie solid as usual.  A special mention has to be made of Laura Fitz, Sinead & Laura O’F for their first starts of the campaign, where they performed admirably, and great to see the battle for positions and strength of the squad shining through.  As the half time whistle was blown, the scoreline read St Laurence’s 0-1 ; Celbridge 7-7, so a tough team talk was to follow from Ben in order to keep the girls focussed for the second half.

Then came the twist in the story of the game, when Ben decided to switch the forwards to defence and vice versa.  Gemma became full back, with her father remarking ‘hope she doesn’t score in this half’ (or something to that effect !) with Robyn switching to full forward.  Orla & Sinead also switched positions with Hannah, Emma Barry, Emma Keane & Maeve coming on for Niamh, Grace, Aoife & Nicole.  Apart from evening up the game, the changes provided the opportunity to challenge the girls to adapt to new positions, see how they would react in terms of support play, covering back and with the introduction of all subs at once, how the balance of the team would be affected.

With the second half kicking off, Celbridge were back on the offence and looked to build on their lead.  Robyn was a key target and didn’t disappoint with a great display rounded off by another goal with Emma Keane also getting on the scoresheet with a fab goal.  Probably one of the scores of the game came from Maeve from a tight angle on the right of the pitch popping the ball over the bar, but also her creativity and running off the ball making herself available at all times.  Thankfully St Laurence provided a stiffer test for our backs in the second half, but with Orla acting as sweeper & the other defenders marking tightly, blocking down kicks & generally disrupting their attacks, opportunities & scores were limited. Eilish & Nichola increased the lead with two great points with Leah putting in another sterling performance adding to her tally with 1-1 in second half.

Not the toughest test they will face, but well done again to Ben and the Senior Ladies squad …..

Final score

St Laurence’s     2-3          :               Celbridge             10-11


Next Match:

Saturday 30th April

Ladies Football Senior Semi-Final

Venue: Celbridge V St Laurence’s 2:  19.00 Main Pitch



Ladies Senior Football: Celbridge v Ballymore 19/04/16

Written by Damian Thomas. Posted in LF-Seniors

Celbridge Senior Ladies continued their unbeaten start to the league with a hard fought but ultimately well deserved victory over a competitive Ballymore team.  Despite playing against a strong breeze Celbridge matched their opponents point for point in the first quarter scoring three points, the pick of which was a fine score from an acute angle by corner forward Alex Casey. After hitting the woodwork on a couple of occasions Celbridge eventually scored the first goal of the night when Nicole McDonagh caught a Ballymore kick out and ran through the defence before finishing powerfully.  This score put Celbridge ahead 1-3 to 0-3 and as the half progressed Eilish O’Brien and Leah Earley’s dominance at midfield combined with the strong running and link up play of Nicole McDonagh, Orla Gowran and Alex Casey saw Celbridge stretch their lead.  Celbridge’s second goal of the night came when Alex Casey reacted quickly to palm a ball, that had deflected off the bar, into the net.  The third goal followed superb interplay between the midfield and forwards with Orla Gowran's calm side-foot finish a fitting end to a great move. The same player then split the Ballymore defence with a great through ball to Alex Casey who finished accurately into the corner.  With the wind at their backs Ballymore continued to press hard however Robyn Murray and Aimee Bolger were resolute in defence throughout the game.  Aoife Smith, having moved to half-back, also did a fine marking job on Ballymore’s most dangerous forward.  Half-time score 4-4 to 1-6.

Ballymore were first off the mark in the second half scoring 1-1 however Celbridge responded quickly with points from Gemma Kilduff and Leah Earley.  Then two quick goals and a point were to see Ballymore edge into the lead for the first time since early in the first half.  To their credit Celbridge retaliated superbly and after a series of quick hand passes Alex Casey scored her third goal of the night.  Following a point from Niamh Flynn, Celbridge then went further ahead when a strong run and finish by Orla Gowran resulted in Celbridge’s sixth goal of the night.  At the same time the defence led by Robyn Murray and Emma Keane re-asserted their dominance ensuring that Ballymore did not score again and in the end Celbridge won by 6-8 to 4-8.  Overall, apart from a brief period in the second half, Celbridge played the better football throughout the game and thoroughly deserved their third win of the campaign.  Although there were a number of stand out performances this ultimately was a fine team effort.  It is also worth noting the contribution of the players who came off the bench and this strength in depth should be a key factor in meeting the challenges ahead.  Well done Ben and the girls.

Final Score: Celbridge 6-8 Ballymore 4-8

Next up St Laurences 2 v Celbridge (away) 26th April



Ladies Senior Football: Milltown v Celbridge 12/4/16

Written by Damian Thomas. Posted in LF-Seniors

Ladies Senior Football
12th April 2016 Milltown v Celbridge
Written by Darren Gallagher
Following a very convincing win against Athgarvan last week, the pressure was on the girls to produce a similar performance and build on the momentum generated from the great start to the league campaign. Unlike the previous game the first half was an evenly contested affair with a mere 2 points separating the sides following end to end action throughout, with key battles in midfield where Leah & Grace performed admirably. Rowen made some great saves throughout the game (but especially in the second half when denying a goal following the award of a very controversial & disputed penalty) and had great success with picking out teammates on her kick-outs. Our defence were solid with full back line of Emma, Robyn & Niamh marshalling their opponents and restricting their scoring chances to a few points. They had great support from the half backs with Kellie & Éilish getting forward when opportunities arose, and Aimee providing great cover to midfield and blocking off the threat posed by many of the opposition attacks. I have been asked to make a special mention of our star forward Orla Gowran (under the alias of Ailish Gorran for Athgarvan game!). Orla made frequent off the shoulder runs splitting the home defence and scoring/setting up points at ease with Maeve & Aoife getting stuck in from the start. The full forwards provided suitable outlets with off the ball running & great scores from Nichola & Alex with Gemma key target and having another great performance and building on her season tally.
After no doubt some encouragement from Ben in the half time team talk, Celbridge looked a different team as second half kicked off, especially from an attacking perspective. The support play was excellent with slicker passing and space opened up for forwards to take some excellent team scores (especially the goals !). The work rate and commitment demonstrated by the girls was beginning to pay off as they continued to build on the scoreline, with a number of excellent goals from Orla (given the link up play that proceeded the brilliant finishing). And as we all know, it’s all about the squad and with the introduction of Nicole (for Maeve), it demonstrated the depth available, as Nicole continued the good work by Maeve to fight for the ball & take scores when presented. Emma & Hannah also used the opportunity to put pressure on first team starters and great to see the competition for places in the team. Although Milltown fought back, the resilience, teamwork & support didn’t wane with whole team fighting for every ball, chasing back when needed and always looking to burst forward. Our Captain Leah Earley led from the front and with the continued encouragement to the girls resulted in another great victory for the team.
Let’s keep up the hard work on the training pitch and continue building momentum to ensure we deliver the ultimate prize.
Apologies to all those I have omitted from report (& those with wrong names/spellings), but have attempted to broaden report to include non blondes also (per request from girls !)
Well done again to Ben and the Senior Ladies squad …..
Final score
Milltown 1-10 : Celbridge 10-9

Other result from Division 5:
St Laurence's 2 0-6 Ballymore 4-10

Ladies Senior Football: Celbridge v Athgarvan 5/4/16

Written by Damian Thomas. Posted in LF-Seniors

Celbridge Ladies Senior Football team got their Division 5 campaign off to great start, with a resounding victory over Athgarvan.  From the throw in Celbridge were the stronger team though initially they failed to translate this into scores firing several wides.  Eventually however their fine link up play was rewarded with full-forward Gemma Kilduff scoring two points in quick succession.  Indeed once the home side had settled they began to overrun their opponents with Ailish Gorran scoring two fine goals.  Leah Earley and Ailish O’Brien remained dominant at midfield while the running and excellent link up play of the half forwards Ailish Gorran, Aoife Smith and Niamh Flynn continued to create scoring opportunities for the home side’s dangerous full forward line.  By half time the game was effectively over as a contest as Celbridge had accumulated 4-7 to no score.  The second half was a similar story as Celbridge continued to notch up the scores, including a couple of well worked points from their half backs.  To their credit Athgarvan kept battling until the end but with the defence well marshalled by captain Niamh Plunkett and co., they only managed to put one score on the board.  Indeed despite some heroics from the Athgarvan keeper, Celbridge still put away a further four goals in this half ensuring that they ran out comfortable winners by 8-10 to 0-1.  There will be tougher opponents ahead for Celbridge ladies but with the fine football they displayed today they are sure to be up to the challenge.  While the whole team played well there were particularly strong performances from Niamh Flynn, Leah Earley, Ailish O’Brien, Aoife Smith, Gemma Kilduff and Ailish Gorran.  Well done to Ben and the team and continued success for the rest of the season.

Final score Celbridge 8-10 to Athgarvan 0-1


Next Match 12th April v Milltown (away)