Senior girl footballers make it two from two

Friday saw our Senior ladies football take to the field once again this time away to Ballyhaunis. Through the last few years, this local derby has seen some phenomenal games with tight results. The last few years have seen us lose by a point, draw and win by a point so we know going into this game that we could not rest on our laurels following our first successful outing.
Unfortunately, our first-half performance proved lacking and saw us playing nicely into their hands. It was clear we were not playing to our potential. Some excellent defensive efforts were thwarted by poor passing and unstructured play up front. Add to this some chronic shooting efforts with some going well wide and others playing directly into the goalie’s hands, nothing like what we know we are capable of and have witnessed in the past. It certainly was disheartening to see. While there were some glimpses of excellence, unfortunately, this was overshadowed by some poor decisive moves- making the wrong pass or carrying the ball into challenges and getting dispossessed. This was not unique to one or two players, but generally across the board. This saw us trail by 5 points coming into half time, not a position we wanted to be in, leaving us some hill to climb.
The frustration across the panel was palpable at halftime and some frank conversations amongst ourselves seemed to do the trick as the team that took to the pitch in the second half was unrecognisable. Win, lose or draw, it did not matter as long as the girls could take pride in their performance, and we agreed that was something they could not do in the first half. It was all to play for in the second. The second half saw our girls take to the pitch with fire in their bellies. A switch had clicked into place across the board and they were eager to prove themselves and their capabilities. Winning the throw-in we launched a much more cohesive attack on the Ballyhaunis goal and from there Dunmore decided to keep the pressure on and hold Ballyhaunis pretty much captive in their own half. Megan Healy and Isabelle Murray did fantastic work to ensure this around the centre of the field, while Katie Slattery, Rebecca Noone, and Chloe Costello amongst others ensured that their kick outs were contested and generally won by us. They struck again and again, and in minutes had not only overcome the deficit but inflicted one of their own and continued to add to the tally, each attack obliterating the confidence of their opponents. On the rare occasion in that second half that the opposition made it past the halfway line and launched their own attack, the defence kicked into action, forcing them to overplay the ball, dispossess or panic play it resulting in wides. In fact, Ballyhaunis only registered two points in the second half while our girls racked up an incredible 5 goals and 6 points. It really was a delight to observe. The second half showed us what our girls were capable of. Each one played phenomenal, including any sub that came on as they blended seamlessly into the relentless play. It really was a team performance.
Of course, we know that we have elements of our game that we need to work on and we know that we might not be as lucky in future if we continue to not start strong from the get-go, but this was a superb, valiant effort and a well-deserved win. We have a fantastic senior panel and we look forward to seeing what the girls achieve in their next outings against Headford and Strokestown. Well done girls!