Positives Even In Defeat For U-18 Ladies Footballers

Castleknock 0-15 Na Fianna 3-9
Date: 14/9/2020

The bad news first. In spite of a superb last quarter display Castleknock lost out to Na Fianna in Somerton this evening (Sept.14) but the good news is, that in spite of the defeat Castleknock qualify for the Ladies Football Div.1 Championship Semi-Finals for the first time in club history.

Castleknock scored the last seven points of this game, without reply, and in doing so laid down a marker that should these teams meet again in this year’s Championship this evening’s outcome can most definitely be over-turned.

Castleknock, forced into a number of positional changes before this game, took a while to settle trailing by 1-4 0-1 after 19 minutes, Aisling O’Neill scoring the home point after a forceful burst through the centre.

Hannah Bourke added a second point on 20 minutes and then a minute later Alison Egan was pulled down to win a Castleknock penalty but unfortunately Aisling O’Neill who even by then had covered every blade of grass in Somerton couldn’t find the target from the spot-kick.

Caitlin Coffey fired over a fine point following an Emma Strappe pass and Aisling O’Neill pointed at the second time of asking as her first shot came back of an upright to leave Castleknock four behind at half-time, 0-4 1-5.

The remarkable thing about the third quarter was that while Castleknock won almost 50% of the possession Na Fianna outscored them by 2-4 0-4. It was a decisive phase of the game, with Emma Strappe, Aisling O’Neill and Hannah Bourke the Castleknock point scorers.

Behind by 10 points 0-8 3-9, Castleknock then began to play the kind of football we know they are well capable of playing. The defence held Na Fianna scoreless for the last 16 minutes helped by a brilliant Emma Byrne save and with confidence growing the scores flowed at the other end.

Wave after wave of Castleknock attacks resulted in seven points in the final 13 minutes as Castleknock cut through the Na Fianna defence. Caitlin Coffey began Castleknock’s best spell with two points, the second after a long, mazy run.

Aisling O’Neill who tormented the Na Fianna defence throughout hit another three, two of those huge efforts from play and Cara Feeney who had earlier played so well in the half-back line popped up to reduce the margin to four points 0-14 3-9.

Aisling O’Neill’s 8th point meant that there was just a kick of a ball between the sides but try as they might Castleknock couldn’t work the goal that would have saved the game. A very positive conclusion to the match though which should give Castleknock plenty of confidence for the Semi-Final against Clontarf.

Castleknock: Emma Byrne; Kaci O’Neill; Eabha Mooney; Caoimhe Sawyer; Sinead Feeley; Emma Strappe (0-1); Cara Feeney (0-1); Caitlin Coffey (0-3); Shona Brady; Emma Diamond; Aisling O’Neill (0-8); Aoife Coppinger; Hannah Bourke (0-2); Alison Egan; Erika Moore. Subs: Sophie King; Laura Keane; Eva Coughlan.

Management: Danny Kelly; Stephen Rafferty; Tom Quinn.

Tonight’s U-18 Ladies Football Div.7 Result – Castleknock 5-5 St. Vincent’s 1-10

Great win. Congrats to everyone involved