O’Donovan Rossa 4-9 Manhattan Gaels 1-8
June 18, 2021
The ladies GAA were out in force at Gaelic Park this week. Shannon Gaels and Leitrim played out a tense draw Tuesday and that was followed by a cracking contest between O’Donovan Rossa and Manhattan Gaels Wednesday.
This Junior Championship clash was an intense battle right from the first blow of referee Simon Gillespie’s whistle with ODR netting a goal inside the opening two minutes courtesy of a bullet of a strike from Doireann Tarrant. The forward quickly added to her tally with two lovely points.
Despite being rocked early doors Manhattan kept their cool and Laura Burke sent a point over to get them into the game and that was followed by a goal from Una O’Brien to tighten up the scoreline.
Two more points from Manhattan players Burke and Laura Brennan edged the Gaels ahead at the first water break but this would be their only lead for the rest of the game.
On resumption, the two number six’s for both teams – Lauren Kennedy of Manhattan Gaels and Amy Brett of ODR – kept their teams ticking by impressively catching and clearing a plethora of balls.
Tarrant continued to cause havoc for the Manhattan defense by taking on two to three players at a time. She bagging her second goal of the game with a beautiful one-two with team-mate Ashling O’Callaghan, followed closely by a point from Breffni McEntee.
Shelly Hackett of Manhattan made a powerful run down the field to cut through the ODR defense and sent a point flying over the bar. Burke then followed suit by slotting over her second to bring the game to 1-5 to 2-3 at halftime.
With the second half underway, all was to play for in this nail-biting display of top-class GAA.
Manhattan full-back Niamh Reilly commanded the backline and kept off advancements from Clare Dilger and Aoife Cannon, as much as they tried to power through.
The introduction of super sub-Enya O’Connor for ODR cause mayhem for the Gaels – her injection of fresh legs came at a crucial time for ODR. A superb trio of blocks from Emma Quinn, Amy Brett and Zoe O’Sullivan sent the ball into O’Connor’s hands and she tore down the field before belting the ball off the goalie only for it to reflect into Dilger’s welcoming hands. Dilger made no mistake and fired the ball straight into the back of the net.
Manhattan never put the heads down, however, and a quick ball sent up the pitch aligned up full forward Lisa McHugh to pop one over the bar to keep the Gaels in the game. Two more points from Burke brought the score to 1-8 to 3-9, after a fleece of points from Tarrant, followed by a point each for Kerri Conroy and Ashling O’Callaghan.
The ODR ladies weren’t finished just yet, and, with just two minutes left on the clock, cornerback Sinead Darcy was shown the yellow card from Gillespie and sent to the sideline following a late tackle.
While many teams would panic the ODR defense calmly carried on as before clearing four attacks in a row before sending the ball down the field via O’Connor for her to score her first and only goal of the game.
A great game of football between two strong teams and an exciting season awaits for both sides.
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