Last Tuesday evening our ladies team played Castlebar Town in the first round of the Connacht Cup. The crowd gathered on a beautiful summers evening to support the home team Colemanstown who were considered the underdogs for this game. The ladies were well up for this match and were hugely looking forward to it, as they knew it was going to be their hardest challenge to date. A young Castlebar side were put straight on the back foot as Colemanstown piled on the pressure. The two Shauna’s upfront tormented the Castlebar defence, Shauna Ward and Shaunagh Jackson and a run made by Ward on the left was fed through by Catherine Burke. Unfortunately Ward’s shot was well saved by the outstretched leg of the Castlebar goalkeeper. Tessa Mullins swung in corner after corner kick and being met by the heads of Jackson and Kara Mullins, their efforts unlucky not to find the net. After 15 minutes of play another corner kick by Mullins went over the heads of all in the box and Catherine Burke snuck in around the back. The ball hopped in front of her and she caught it sweetly on the laces, her shot looped over the keeper for what was a great goal. This very important first goal gave the ladies the belief that they needed to go on and win this game. Seven minutes later Tessa Mullins assisted striker Jackson who carried the ball 30 yards up the left wing. She stopped in her tracks and pulled the ball back onto her right peg and fired a ‘pocket rocket’ across the goal into the far right upper ninety! This smashing strike is definitely up for contender of goal of the season. Down by two goals Castlebar still held their heads and it seemed that Colemanstown had taken their foot off the pedal in the last 10 minutes of the first half. This was deservedly punished and the Mayo side strung a combination of passes around the Colemanstown defence and their no.9 slotted the ball past keeper Sinead Cosgrave. Colemanstown ladies went into the break leading 2 goals to 1. After a few inspiring words at half time from Liam Mullins, who was subbing for assistant manager Conor Jackson as he had undergone ankle surgery that day, the ladies knew they had to pick it up again and the next goal in this game would be crucial. Colemanstown raised their game again having most of the play and goal chances. One falling to centre back Kara Mullins, her run up through the middle and a ‘one, two’ link up with Jackson she found herself one on one with the keeper. She pulled her shot across the goal to the left and it skint the wrong side of the post. After a long period of shots and passes from Colemanstown, Lorraine Lally gathered the ball and went on a dribble up the left wing. She found the run of Catherine Burke and her cheeky back heel left the Castlebar defender for dust. As she went to pull the trigger she was upended inside the box, the ref blew his whistle and pointed to the penalty spot. Tessa Mullins stepped up to the plate and made no mistake about it blasting the ball straight down the middle to hit the roof of the net. Castlebar never gave up and most of their threats came on the counter attack from their speedy right-winger. A Castlebar corner kick landed in the 6-yard box which Colemanstown failed to clear and was fumbled over the line for Castlebar’s second goal. Experience and strength in the dying moments of the game held Colemanstown to the 3-2 victory. Some great displays on the day for Colemanstown came from newly signed Shaunagh Jackson, Tessa Mullins, Catherine Burke, Alicia Flannery and Orla McCaffrey. The ladies are now into the Quarter finals and will play Corrib Rangers on the weekend of the 29th/30th of this month. Well done to the women, as this is some achievement for them in their first year. Also a mention for Conor Jackson as we all wish him a speedy recovery.
Report courtesy of Kara Mullins