Anna Grant delivers knockout punch for ladies

Our ladies team are back in action this season with a big bang, it might be said, following a years sabbatical taken last year when there was a difficulty fielding a team. However, given the history between Colemanstown & Corrib Rangers ladies teams, the first league encounter played at home yesterday was always going to be a battle between two of the top giants in Galway ladies soccer and so the scene in Colemanstown was set for our ladies first outing of the year, an epic battle. A minutes silence was observed before the game for Tuam native and former referee John Mannion, fondly known as ‘Scallions’. This game was played on a poor pitch surface following the ‘A’ teams game earlier in the day and it was in even worse condition by the time this battle finished.  It could easily have accommodated the ‘run a muck’ contest instead of the ladies first competitive outing.  There was little or nothing between the two sides in terms of goal chances, possession, will, heart and determination to win; in fact a solitary goal separated the sides, thankfully it fell to our lassies. We welcome a couple of new additions to the side, namely Grainne Barrett & Rachel King. Colemanstown opened the scoring on 20mins with some dinky work on the left wing by Catherine Burke, who with a shrug of the shoulders let out a rant of ‘Willie McBride’ before releasing a neat cross to Anna Grant who side footed a great finish into the top corner from an acute angle past a flailing Corrib Rangers keeper. There was little more to shout about in the first half as chances were few and far between and half time came at the right time with our ladies up 1-0. Catherine Burke had the first big chance in the 2nd half when she got on the end of a pass through the middle from the hard working Tessa Mullins but the keeper saved well. Player/manager Kara Mullins then got her head on the end of Tessa’s corner but the ball was cleared off the line while the rebound fell to striker Natasha Finn who also saw her effort cleared off the goal line. Corrib Rangers game plan worked to their advantage as they halted the speed of strikers Anna Grant & Natasha Finn, playing a high defensive line for the entire game as our ladies got caught offside numerous times and at this stage both teams had fully sussed each other out.  Anna Grant was redeployed in midfield as Kara played 5 across the middle in a bid to defend the solitary goal lead in the 2nd half. Corrib Rangers threw all they had at Colemanstown in the second half in search of an equaliser but our rearguard of Shauna Ward, Grainne Barrett, Sarah O’Connell & Alisha Flannery were rock solid while newcomer Rachel King should have been carried shoulder high off the pitch given the top class saves she made to keep Colemanstown in the game. Ruth Dempsey was a regular threat on the wing while the Mullins sisters combined well in midfield and did well given the tricky conditions and movement of the ball on the muddy surface. So the ladies first outing sees them bag full points, but this was no sheer luck result; it was a hard earned graft and richly deserved. Next week they play Shiven Rovers in Newbridge on Sunday at 3pm. Another epic expected. Please come along and support them.