Senior girls vs Ballyhaunis Community School

Today, Friday, saw our ladies Senior team perform in their first match after securing a bye in the first round. It was a game worth waiting for. Despite missing some players to injury, we were determined going into this game in our ability and our potential. Conditions were ideal and the pitch was in good nick despite the horrendous rain of late. We started well winning the throw in and making the first attack, a great start. However, when Ballyhaunis had their chances, they took them capably, taking points from good distances and rarely missing. Despite ourselves scoring 1-8 at half time, we still found ourselves down by 5 points as their points tally put distance between the teams leaving them with 1-13 going into the half. Regardless of the score difference, performances were tremendous throughout the field, as was workrate. Majority of our kickouts by goalie Amy Burns were beautifully taken and won and Dunmore turned over possession in all of Ballyhaunis kickouts in the first half. Wides were 3 a piece, but we just didn’t seem to be taking advantage of winning their kickouts and were slow to punish them for it. This left them in the game and even ahead as they didn’t dither with their opportunities in front of the posts. Despite great play, we knew that there was room for improvement and this was mainly with our passing. Panic passing under pressure and high 50/50 balls up the field weren’t going to cut it. For the second half, we set ourselves goals: improve passing, look for the right option and get the blocks in and fair play to the girls they followed through. Our passing game improved hugely, as did our support play and the difference was immense. The space was used excellently and this avoided bunching in our forward lines which led to excellent scoring. Indeed Dunmore dominated the start of the second half blasting in two goals courtesy of Emily Hannon to add to her goal from the first half as well as a number of points from Emily and Ellen Murray. Suddenly not only had we recovered from the five point deficit and levelled, we had taken the lead as our defence had worked tirelessly to hold off the Ballyhaunis attack to keep them scoreless. Things then got interesting as Ballyhaunis found their second wind and their way back to our goal and began to even the score. The ball proceeded to go up and down the pitch with each team matching each other. An injury to Mairead Glynn, a key play maker who worked seamlessly with fellow midfielder Holly Reddington, was worrying but didn’t faze Dunmore as Meadhbh Hanley took on the midfield role beautifully while Megan Smyth took up residence in the forwards on her behalf. Another beautiful goal coming from the boot of Ellen Murray, gave us the edge, or so we thought until they worked back to match the goal and put themselves ahead. Credit to Dunmore on workrate as each player dug deep to maintain possession, find space and work the ball in. With seconds to spare, Orla Costello, playing centre back, charged up the field and placed the ball squarely between the posts to level the game. Game ended in a draw: Dunmore 4-14 to Ballyhaunis 3-17, and all watching the game agreed that that was the fairest result for such an epic battle. A thrilling match, that even the referee commented he hadn’t seen as good in as long. Credit must go to all players on their performance, but special mention to Charlotte Burke who gave a superb performance as sweeper, reading the game well and linking excellently with full back Amy Canny and half back Orla Costello to curb the attacks. Lets hope that we are in for as much entetainment in our next match against Strokestown on Friday the 25th.