Co. Kildare Ladies Football Intermediate Championship 2017   21/08/2017


Naas 4-08         

Clane 2-05       (Report by Stephanie Bergin)



Naas hosted Clane in a highly anticipated match in the fourth round of the Intermediate Championship. It was a warm, calm evening, ideal conditions for a game of football which was loaded with importance for both teams. 


This match result would decide one of the semi- final positions in this prestigious competition on the Ladies’ Football calendar.


The Naas tea,  featuring  young and eager players , determined to bridge a gap of a few years and reach the business end of this championship in 2017.Clane , on the other hand , fielded a more experienced team and they used this to their  advantage throughout the match.


Clane opened the scoring and laid down a marker with a well -executed goal courtesy of the corner- forward Molly Nason.     Clane continued to exert pressure on the Naas defence and were rewarded with another goal to ease them into a six point lead. 


The Naas players responded positively and settled into game, undaunted by the Clane pressure at the outset of the match. Following some free flowing passes, Ciara Breslin, playing as centre forward , rattled the net and registered the first score for Naas. 


This inspired her team mates who continued to claw back the Clane lead as Niamh Bergin and Laoise Dunne slotted over two points, bridging the gap to a single point. The play swept from one end to the other and Naas had equalised after twenty minutes with a free slotted accurately over the bar by Niamh Bergin, playing at mid field. 


The match ebbed and flowed and both teams challenged their opposing defences but both sets of defenders withstood the attacking forwards; Molly Ryan and Rachael Corrigan playing pivotal roles in the Naas defence while Katie Christensen and Lauren Deay battled very well for Clane. Naas forged ahead in the final quarter of the first half as Áine Cummins and Aoibheann Woods, the Naas captain, added two points to their tally. 


Clane’s corner forward Yvonne O’ Rourke registered a point from play and rewarded her team for their efforts. Clane secured two more points to complete their scoring in this half.  Naas were intent on not relinquishing their lead and Lisa Shaw ensured a healthy lead with a well- executed goal after a darting run. This was quickly followed by Chelsea Crowe who persevered and wove her way   through the Clane defence and scored a fine individual goal. Naas enjoyed a seven points lead at half time on a score line of

 

Naas 3-07    Clane 2-03


The second half resumed at a frantic pace and the play flowed from end to end. Clane were determined to prevent Naas adding to their scoring tally and in spite of possession at both ends, the two teams did not record a score in the first quarter. 


This was testament to the gallant efforts of both defences; Naas goalkeeper Aoife Hederman and her counterpart in the Clane goal Catherine Fallon played their part in preventing scores at both ends and encouraged their respective defences as the opposing forwards launched attacks. 


The first score of this half was finally registered as Niamh Bergin converted a free and stretched the Naas lead to ten points. Clane continued to battle with great spirit and recorded three points to complete their score for the match with scores from Niamh Whiteker and Niamh Whiteley.  


The Naas defence had to call on all their resources and they defended tenaciously in the final ten minutes and were particularly well served by Maeve Hughes, Kate Coffey and Alison Walsh. The final score of this low scoring half was registered by Naas as Shannon Doheny received a fine pass from Mary Creaton and duly used her turn of speed and rattled the back of the net. 


This score brought this entertaining match to a close. It was a great spectacle and showcased all the positive attributes of Ladies’ Gaelic Football; namely great team work, spirit and skill. 


Both teams and their mentors represented their respective clubs with great pride and their supporters were treated to a very exciting match. 


Naas will now face Maynooth in a semi- final and this competitive encounter against Clane will certainly stand them in good stead.








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