Even though the ladies result didn’t go our way against a strong and youthful Cregmore outfit yesterday, nevertheless, it was a historic day as our 2nd pitch opened for business. It was nice to see the cars lined up on the roadside with some spectators sitting on the ‘wall’ – a little bit West Utd style for the first official match on ‘Pitch #2’
Fielding without Catherine Burke who was ‘minding herself for Friday next’ and Orlaith Hannon, injured, Colemanstown put in a strong defensive effort in the first half, but got sucker punched in the 2nd half, although they did create a few reasonable chances. The game was only minutes old when the Cregmore ladies drew first blood when a cross from the right was volleyed home from the edge of the box. Niamh Nolan had a good effort for Colemanstown but was well saved by the keeper. Another sucker punch arrived on 11 mins as Cregmore scored an OG which Ciara Lally was in hard luck for. Niamh Flan had a half chance which she put wide but provided the assist for our goal which came on 14mins as she shook off the beverages from the night before when her through ball into the left corner was perfect for speedy Gonzales Mary Walsh to run on to and she cut in across the box and shot from an acute angle as the ball took a deflection before it found the net much to the delight of the sizeable Colemanstown contingent. Orla McCaffrey made a great double save as she quickly advanced off her line to avert the imminent danger while her long kick out was lovely for ‘Speedy’ to run on to but the ball was snuffed off her toe and in a split second, the half chance was gone.
Teresa Loughnane had a snap shot mid-way through the half which went wide while another long kick out from McCaffrey found Mary Walsh who went on another decisive run before crossing to Niamh Nolan but she failed to get the power on her final touch. Just on the half hour mark, Cregmore added another as a long delivery from midfield beat our defence for their striker to run on to and she smashed home a 3rd goal as the ball took a deflection off the post on its way. Orla McCaffrey showed some no-nonsense goalkeeping as she made another superb save, this time with her feet and in the ensuing play fortunately for Colemanstown a diving header from Cregmore went out wide. Half time: Colemanstown 1; Cregmore 3
2 mins after the restart, Colemanstown had a glorious chance to claw back a goal as Ciara Naughton’s through ball found Teresa Loughnane but she forgot her shooting boots as she powered her one-on-one effort over the crossbar. Straight up the other end Cregmore moved the ball beautifully and their striker met a cross on the edge of the box to power home No. 4. Cregmore turned the screw with their 5th 16mins after the restart following a long passing movement and their striker finished from the edge of the box. Orla McCaffrey made another superb save with a long ball that more favoured the striker than our keeper but she was quick to advance and throw her body on the line to save. 5-1 it finished to a classy Cregmore outfit. It might be said that the Colemanstown ladies lacked sharpness in front of goal but when you see girls like Kate Kennedy giving her valuable time and commitment to the game in the midst of her leaving cert study, one can just be in awe. Also special mention to Aoife Lally who has nursed every little injury from broken nails to foot injuries since the ladies season began. It might not have been the perfect result for the first game played on new turf but will still go into Colemanstown United archives. It may be a quiz question in years to come: Who scored the first goal on the 2nd pitch? Answer: Mary Walsh. We wish Mary and her colleagues all the best in their 2 week voluntary work trip to Belarus.
Squad: Laura Parker, Ciara Lally, Kate Kennedy, Niamh Raftery, Amy Kenny, Shauna Ward, Teresa Loughnane, Niamh Flannery, Mary Walsh, Niamh Nolan, Ciara Naughton.