15 Jun 2015

First half masterclass wins it for Castlebridge

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Castlebridge 5-3 Piercestown 1-4

Castlebridge did more than enough damage in the first half of this Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn B camogie final to leave Piercestown with a mountain to climb in the second half.

Castlebridge wing forward Andrea Fielding was quick to draw blood when she scored a goal and point within the opening minutes. In fact, she was unlucky for a quick second when Roisín Waters denied her with a great save. Aoibhe Murphy and Hannah Hearne continually powered through the Piercestown defence to create more chances. The former scored a well taken point while the latter set up Andrea for her second goal as Castlebridge got off to a flyer. Castlebridge made life very hard for Piercestown with their silky dribbling skills and quick ground ball into space. Hardworking wing forward Chloe Murphy was also a thorn in Piercestown’s side. Aoibhe Murphy heaped more misery on the Piercestown girls when she nabbed a goal before halftime to bring the scores to 3-3 to 0-0. Again, this could have been even worse had Roisín Waters not pulled off two more sublime saves. Some tight Castlebridge defending, led by Ciara Banville and Amy O’Connor, ensured that Piercestown did not get a sniff of a chance.

The second half told a different tale. This time it was Piercestown who started the stronger. Wing forward Abbey Mulligan constantly troubled the Castlebridge defence with her direct soloing and Aoife O’Connor and Niamh Cullen led the comeback from the heart of the defence. They could have had the best possible start had Aoife Doyle not gotten in a brave block on Claragh Keane. Instead, Piercestown had to be content with points through two Aoife O’Connor frees and a Niamh Cullen score from play. Castlebridge goalie Sinéad Banville also had to make a great save to ensure that Piercestown didn’t get too close on the scoreboard.

Castlebridge needed a break to get back into the game and Andrea Fielding duly obliged when she shook off three defenders and finished for her third goal of the evening. Piercestown had time to pull one back when Aoife Cullen and Emma Barry combined well but this was quickly matched with another Castlebridge goal through the good work of Hannah Hearne and Caoimhe Parker. Try as they might, the gap created in the first half was simply too much for the Piercestown girls to overcome. They gave it their all though and when Aoife O’Connor tapped over a late free it ensured that they won the second half by a point.

Proving that she is as much a lady off the field as a warrior on it, Castlebridge captain Andrea Fielding made a memorable speech on the final whistle. The Castlebridge girls have now put pressure on the boys to emulate their success when they take on Ferns later in the week in the boys ‘Roinn B’ final.

~Seán Óg Whelan

Castlebridge: Sinéad Banville, Catie Byrne, Aoife Doyle, Amy O’Connor, Rebecca Halligan, Aoibhe Murphy, Ciara Banville, Nicole Gillen, Hannah Hearne, Chloe Murphy, Caoimhe Parker, Andrea Fielding, Nicole Harding Kenny, Danielle O’Leary, Keeva Campbell, Ciara McMahon, Mai Ling Tynan, Abigail Gillen, Aoife Hearne, Lily Stoutt, Katie Feeney, Sophie Whelan, Erin Kehoe, Erin Byrne, Sophie Denby

Piercestown: Roisín Waters, Eileen Roe, Kate Barrett, Ellen Ormonde, Aoife O’Connor, Niamh Cullen, Beth Miller, Claragh Keane, Sinéad Hegarty, Heather O’Leary, Abbey Mulligan, Aoife Cullen, Sally Barrett, Emma Barry, Isabelle McCarthy, Demi Byrne, Megan Murray Byrne, Isabelle Murray, Hannah Murphy, Ashling Kelly, Lauren Devereux, Dara Kelly, Jane Sinnott