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