2002 Girls trip to the Mountains of Mourne

2002 Girls: Trip to Mourne.- North meets South.
Saturday 27th June, 2015.

Not even a broken bus could dampen the spirits of the girls as we eventually set off from Tir na Nog one hour later on Saturday morning 27th June. Things were tense as reports trickled in about the strength of the opposition. Mark ,Colm, Mona and Sinead deliberated on the journey northwards as to the tactics we should employ! Should we deploy a sweeper or adapt our team to match the blanket defence favoured by northern teams.? Eventually it was decided that we would play to our strenghts and let the opposition match us. Pessimism was reinforced when we finally reached Ballymartin and saw they were a well drilled physical team who could play football. Mona was impressed with the beautiful location set in the heart of the Mournes and was delighted to see we had some travelling supporters as well as a few bi partisan locals who cheered every score.

Early on exchanges were tense no quarter given, points were scored on both sides before our midfield duo of Cara Feeney and Shonagh Brady began to dominate possession and some beautiful interplay led to the first of Cara’s goals. A second goal followed from Emma Slater followed by a superb rare goal from the ever industurious Erica Moore. Ballymartin put pressure on our defence but Maura Mooney who had a great day in the half back line stopped key plays. Caomihe Slevin was a thorn in Ballymartin’s defence all day with some super attacking play. She was backed up by the ever dependable Laura Keane who seemed to be everywhere when Ballymartin attacked. Aoife Milore was superb in goals stopping some certain scores and proved her all round ability when moved into defence later in the first period. When called upon our defence was superb Hannah Bourke dependable as ever provided the forwards with the platform to add to their tally, abily assisted by Megan Jordan who dominated her opposite number. Ballymartin were in danger of being over run but thankfully for them the referee blew the whistle for a break.

With the game broken in to three periods Castleknock took the opportunity to make wholesale changes, Ballymartin’s forward line took advantage with some good scores early in the period including a penalty which Laura almost saved. Thankfully our defence tightened up and in particular Leah Guinane and Dearbhla Brady got a hold of things and provided plenty of quality ball for Holly Hayes who put Ballymartin under pressure.

Molly Tiernan whose speed was impossible for her marker to deal with set up Chiara Stokes and Ciara Gallagher who pointed superbly from distance. Sophie Brady worked selflessly setting up some great chances and is one to watch this season. Afric Dixon proved to be a real stand out player with fantastic runs out of defence setting up further scores

Unusual tactics were then employed which saw Sophie King and Emma Strappe moved to midfield and neither looked out of position. Sophie was a rock winning every ball that came near her. Emma put in the dogged performance that we have come to expect and setup some beautiful scores. The second period was a closer affair but Castleknock added to their overall lead.

The final period was probably a bridge too far for Ballymartin, our teams overall fitness proved key. Hannah Gubbins pointed from distance after soloing for twenty yards.Clara Molloy who toiled on the wing all day got her reward with a great goal.Emma mc Menamin was superb on the wing launching attack after attack and proved too strong for Ballymartin. A superb solo goal from Cara Feeney was followed up by a net busterfrom Ellen Baker who also scored a point from three yards out. In the final period.

Castleknock were solid in defence Clare Doherty and Megan cleaned up everything that was thrown their way. A dominant performance from everyone resulted in a 39 to 9 scoreline and bodes well for this team for the future. Special mention must go to Ballymartin whose hospitality on the day including accommodating our delayed arrival was fantastic. Of course a return fixture is in the offing in the future.

Next up was the adventure day in East Coast adventure. Needless to say great fun was had by all. Some super team building exercises and selfie opportunities on tower building ziplines. Special mention to the second group on the ziplines who sprinted themselves to exhaustion to get an extra turn. On the final journey home the expected tiredness never materialised and we were entertained by tales of unicorns and a rather interesting version of the Hail Mary was delivered by one Shonagh Brady. Finally we were home with new friendships made and more importantly on time for Mark to make it on time for his romantic dinner.

“where the mountains of mourne sweep down to the sea”