On Monday evening our ladies took on Ballaghaderreen FC in the RDFL pre- season friendly tournament in a David vs Goliath kinda clash but with their sword and armour, the Colemanstown ladies gave it hammer and tongs. They hit the hosts fast and hard with a very changed team as Rachel O’Brien started in goals in the absence of Ashley Roberts and debutant Isabel Griffin started up front. Lucy Kenny who is having a great season in this tournament ran at the Ballaghaderreen ladies on the right wing from start to finish.
Katie Williams started powerfully in midfield where she dominated proceedings and picked out some great passes to the front duo of Rebecca Clancy & Isabel Griffin. Colemanstown attacked for the first 5 mins of the game but got caught on the break when an overload of Ballaghaderreen players pierced the defence 6mins into the game and scored giving Rachel O’Brien absolutely no chance with a bottom corner finish. Colemanstown rallied though and got back on their horse. 5mins later Jessica Doherty put through a beauty for Isabel Griffin which she latched onto perfectly and she found the bottom right corner with her trusty left foot on her debut and sent the Colemanstown crowd into convolutions keeping in mind Ballaghaderreen had 18 players and Colemanstown had 12.
Colemanstown ladies pressed on, defended well and worked hard to get the ball up the field to make chances for the front line. Colemanstown won corner after corner and Claire Keane was upsetting the Ballaghaderreen defence but Colemanstown found it hard to get on the end of Laura Parker’s and Sarah Keanes beautiful corner kicks. With 5mins to the break Ballaghaderreen broke from defence to attack supplying a wonderful through ball into the box which their attacker sprung onto to make it 2-1 to the hosts at half time.
Colemanstown regrouped at half time and with a change of keeper Rebecca Clancy took charge of goal and Rachel O’Brien joined the strike force. Ballaghaderreen started off the second half the better side and attacked with intent trying to finish off the game quickly but Rebecca pulled of two amazing saves. Making a super save from a one-on-one situation she lobbed the ball quickly up the pitch to Sarah Keane who slid the ball through the defence to the ever running Lucy Kenny who finished with aplomb into the bottom corner to make it 2-2. Once more the Colemanstown crowd hit the roof. Colemanstown had their tails up at this stage and with the added strength in the forward line chances came more frequently as they enjoyed lots of possession until 20 mins into the 2nd half when the Ballaghaderreen caught us on the break again and there wasn’t a thing Rebecca Clancy could do about the top corner finish.
3-2 down and still Colemanstown battled like never before. They were like a thorn in Ballaghaderreen’s side which just wouldn’t go away. Every player gave every ounce they had. With just 1 player on the bench Colemanstown started to tire and Ballaghaderreen got through again to score a 4th to make it 4-2. With 10 mins to go Lucy Kenny kept Colemanstown alive running at the Ballaghaderreen defence in that never say die attitude she has shown in this tournament; this helped to spring life back into the team. Jessica Doherty put a lovely through ball into Isabel Griffin and she finished really calmly into the bottom corner to claim a brace on her debut. 4-3 down at this stage and the vocal travelling support were getting behind the team willing them on for the elusive equaliser. Rachel O’Brien had a few long distance shots as tired green bodies were very much in evidence while the hosts had plenty of fresh legs to introduce to the fray.
With 1min remaining Ballaghaderreen broke through yet again to score into the bottom corner to make it 5-3 in the end. Lucy Kenny had to retire late in the game with a foot injury which could have seen a penalty awarded as she darted into the box but the ref seen nothing and from the kickoff the final whistle was sounded to end this epic game. Colemanstown easily had 80% of the possession and if more fresh legs were available it might more so have been a valuable 3 points rather than 3 points lost. That said, it was a sensational effort by the 12 that donned the green jersey. Match report by Philip Dee.
Squad: Rachel O’Brien, Shauna Hynes, Aoife Donoghue, Claire Keane, Laura Parker, Katie Williams, Lucy Kenny, Sarah Keane, Jessica Doherty, Rebecca Clancy, Isabel Griffin, Claire Hannon
A huge congrats to Philip Dee who recently received ‘Soldier of the Year’ award for 2021. This accolade showcases Philip’s true commitment to our Irish army. Well done Philip. We’re very proud of you.