Next Sunday June 9th Healy Park, Ballyrickard will be teeming with U10 girls as North Kerry hold their annual North Kerry U10 Ladies Blitz. Registration will be at 10a.m. and the ‘FUN BLITZ ‘ will commence at 10.30a.m. We will have a shop in Ballyrickard with everything reasonably priced as always.
Last Tuesday our U12s were bussed back to Killarney to play Dr. Crokes in Round 6 of the Co. League.
There was fierce excitement on the way back and even more on the way home after a great win for us with a final score of 3-10 to 2-2.
We are away to ISG in a back game next – more details to follow once we get confirmation.
Last week our U14 girls headed out to the Centre of Excellence in Currans for the division 2B Co. League Final v Glenflesk.
It was a great game from start to finish . Both sides had already played 2 games against each other and it was one a piece going into the final decider.
Lauren Doody was captain on the night and played a massive part in the full back position winning every ball that came at her . Kelly Fitzgerald was once again outstanding in goals while our new centre field duo Keelan Coffey and Hollie Leane had a massive game with Keelan attacking from the centre and Hollie dropping back to help out the defence.
We got some great scores from Bronagh O’ Carroll 1-01, Lia Mclysaght , Aoibhín O’ Connor MacCarthy, Sophie Hassett, Katie Nix and Keelan Coffey. It was our best team performance of the year to date . There was great movement throughout the game . Glenflesk are a very good side and scored 2-12 . They found it difficult to break down our backline of Anú Hayes, Ava Ward, Lauren Doody and Rachel Foley as well as Ella O’ Connor and Nathali Mulumba.
The management are delighted for the girls who have a special team bond and never give up attitude. It’s always nice to win a trophy and well deserved.
Co. LEAGUE SEMIFINAL v DR. CROKES
Two Sundays ago we played Dr Crokes in the U16 Semifinal of the County League in Pat Healy Park, Ballyrickard.
We had played this team in a previous round and were well aware of how well coached they were and that their style of play was really impressive but we were equally as strong .They back line and upfront forwards were really strong with some of the best forwards we have met this year so far, Their score line of 4 goals and 8 points in the finish reflected this.
Once again they started well and raced into a 5 point lead but we fought back with 2 goals of our own and the game ebbed and flowed with really good quality football and at half time we were 3 points ahead .
The second half of this game was the best football we have played this year so far and as coaches it was just brillinat to see. All 20 players including what was on the field and subs were all superb and some of the tackling,intercepting,passing both kicking and hand passing was just outstanding with really high quality goals and points scored. It needed to be as for every score we got the Crokes responded with their own attacks and every mistake on both sides was penalised.
Kelly Fitzgerald again was super in goals and every kick out hit the target and some of her saves in the second half were brilliant . Siúna Crowe,Katie Dwyer and Alex Sheridan were exellent at the back. Eugenie Kerins and Maedhbh Hanafin were outstanding on their best player and Hollie Leane followed the instructions to a tee not giving their fowrards an inch Leonie Dowling and Isobel O’ Connor were equally effective when they came in along with Jennifer Murphy who never lets the side down and importantly when they are not in possession they fight like demons to get the ball back and upset the the kicker which in turn led to plenty turnover balls .
Éabha Murphy and Aoife O’ Connor worked hard in the middle of the field and were superb.Between blocking every attack and driving the ball in at every chance they gave our inside forwards all the ammunition they needed to do maximum damage. Keelan Coffey was again outstanding and never stopped running all night along with Rachael O’ Donnell who scored an awsome penalty . Kate Kerins who had probably her best game this year so far and again worked like a demon when she didn’t have the ball and when she did she got quality ball into the inside forwards at speed which was vital . Both Sarah Costello and Bronagh Carroll both slotted in perfectly to the game plan and put in a solid shift when they were brought in and the more they play the better they will get.
The 3 inside forwards, Katie Nix who scored 1- 3 ,Liana Williams 2 goals and 9 points and Aoibhín O’ Connor MacCarthy 3 points were excellent on the night .Their point scoring was a joy to behold and their combination play was super and impossible for any defender to hold them when in possession . For any one watching that game the sheer ability of all 3 made this game worth attending on its own. In training they work harder than most and the hours they put in practicing with both feet where they are now equally as strong on both sides make them a nightmare for any defender to defend against with good quality ball going in.
The finishing score was 4- 15 to 4-8 but in truth the game was a tough battle right to the final whistle and we would like to thank Dr. Crokes for the sporting manner in which the game was played.
U16 Co. League Final
We played Castlegregory ladies in a highly contested final on Friday last in Annascaul. When the LGFA website say this was a result great game they are 100% in that statement .
Castle had great support on the night as did Kerins O’Rahillys . We had nearly a full squad to choose from bar we were missing Keelan Coffey who definitely was a loss to us as she is influential in every game she plays .We came into the game wth confidence in that the last two games against the Crokes were probably our best two performances all year .
We started this game slowly though and a few errors had us behind in the scoreboard early on. But we fought back wth great scores from Liana Williams, Katie Nix and Aoibhín MacCarthy to have us 2-6 to 6 points down at half time and despite some debateable, game-deciding refereeing decisions which drew the ire of the supporters.
In the second half of this game it was exhilarating to watch -the team work by us, the blocking , the fielding , the finishing and the pure ‘never say die ‘ attitude shone through in spades with our team playing like their lives depended on it. The crowds were screaming their support and with the effort put in by everyone including those on the field, players, subs, supporters, parents and everyone else had us a point ahead wth 10 minutes to go after some super scores . We played football the way we trained to play it, fast moving, good ball control and wth good hard tackling and some great scoring positions being put together. When it looked like we had this game for the taking, Castlegregory fought back again and drew the game. Again one or two refereeing decisions went against us, one in which what looked like a foul on our player was given the other way and the resulting play finished up with a Castlegregory goal. This was hard to take when combined with a questionable penalty decision awarded to Castle in the first half. We had a penalty miss ourselves with about 8 minutes left on the clock and it hit the cross bar, bounced out instead of in and the resulting rebound was saved again and once the ball moved up the field Castle gained energy from that and scored a few frees to seal the game. We felt our forwards were subjected to over-zealous challenges on the night with a low return on frees given, yet at the other end of the field there were several frees for minor touches given against us and our team would be widely regarded as a clean footballing side who don’t foul a lot and that’s evident by just one player sin binned in two games in the whole year and that a midfielder.
Well done to Castlegregory. We will meet again and more importantly well done to every single one of our panel, the efforts put in by most of you since last February have brought your football to a whole new level and this was evident with some awesome scores and football played on the night. Final score was 3-12 to 2-10.
I won’t single out one as that would be unfair on the efforts of the team and this was a final. Our inside forwards were super again as were our backs and midfielders and subs .To go one ahead with ten minutes left and up against one of the fittest , strongest and best footballing U16 teams you’re likely to meet says it all . No one beat them in 2019 but by God they knew they were up against a right good team last Friday night who just came up a little short.
Thanks to the parents who supported us and offered to drive players out and thanks to those who all thanked us afterwards , it means a lot both at training and at matches. A lot of effort gone on since last February on cold dark nights . It will be worth it before this year is over I can promise ye that.
There are no further games now until September and with exams throughout June and holidays there won’t be training until July . Paddy and Con are taking the senior ladies both Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30p.m. for the next two weeks as Erris is away so if any of the U16s who are not doing exams or are on holidays want to keep ticking over come on down.
Lastly but not least the selectors are still in a state of depression 3 days later. This game meant an awful lot to that team and us. We feel it for everyone one of them . They put everything into winning it and I know some are down but we will be back . In the past there were times in the 80s and 90s when we might be beaten in semis or finals and it could take you weeks to come back but the friends you win with and lose with are the friends you’ll have for the rest of your life and wherever you go or whatever you do they will always be there or at the end of the phone. Remember that!
For me the best ones I have today are all the Strand Road born and bred and those friends have been there for me for the last 40 years and I expect till the day I die and that matters more than any win or loss I’ve ever had so remember that on these days and when you win again and you will win and be the best ladies team ever to come out of Strand Road if you stick to your football and this club .
Training continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30p.m. in Ballyrickard. Numbers are growing weekly under the excellent coaching of Erris and Rory. If anyone is interested come along and join us.
Wishing everyone all the best for your exams. Believe in yourselves and try your best, that’s all anyone expects of you!