TULLAMORE SHS, sporting a new look in maroon and white, had a busy week on the hockey pitch with three home matches against much fancied Dublin opposition.
Tullamore SHS Senior 1 team played the normally very strong Mount Anville school in the Leinster Schoolgirls league last Wednesday afternoon in the Harriers. Both teams came into the game having won all their matches, so it was no surprise that the game started at a frantic pace with both goalies being tested in the opening minutes.
However, it was the Tullamore girls who showed the greater determination and gradually began to get control of the game. After fifteen minutes the breakthrough came. Right wing Aoife Hehir began a slick movement which saw her rounding her defender and passing the ball through the crowded circle to the left wing Aideen Naughton. Aideen took the ball calmly in her stride and found the net with a precisely executed finish to the corner.
Tullamore continued to dominate the second half and doubled their lead with a move which owed much to the practice ground. Kate O’Brien found herself with space on the right; she moved the ball to Jenny Scanlon who had ghosted in behind her marker. Jenny gratefully accepted the opportunity and gave the Mount Anville goalie no chance with a clinical finish.
Now Mount Anville woke up and piled forward in an attempt to get back into the game. The pressure was to pay off with eight minutes left on the clock as the Tullamore defence was finally breached.
At 2-1 it was very much game on, but the skill and coolness of Tullamore goalie Niamh Doheny and defenders Caoilfionn O’Donovan, Emily Hehir, Ailis Redmond and Colleen Connolly kept the Mount Anville girls from sharing the points.
As the final whistle blew Tullamore were defending a short corner and it was with great jubilation for players and supporters when the Tullamore defence cleared the ball and the final whistle sounded.
Tullamore play St Gerard’s, Bray today Wednesday, January 25 and a result there will most definitely secure their quarter final place.
Team: Niamh Doheny, Caoilfionn O’Donovan, Emily Hehir, Colleen Connolly, Aillis Redmond (captain), Jessie Sommers, Ciara Molloy, Aideen Mahon, Aoife Hehir, Kate O’Brien, Aideen Naughton, Jenny Scanlon, Rachel Abraham, Rachel Byrne, Jane Wyer.
Tullamore SHS Junior 6
Loreto, St Stephens Green 0
Earlier the same day, Tullamore Junior Team played their last group stage match against Loreto, St Stephen’s Green, also in the Harriers. Having won all their matches thus far, Tullamore badly wanted to secure the win that would deliver a 100% record in the group stages.
Tullamore started well, and before Loreto had a chance to settle, Cedhla Quinn opened the scoring. Ciara Izuchukwu and Ciara Murray added further goals to ensure a comfortable 3-0 half time lead.
Coach Clodagh Armitage made a number of changes at half time and saw the home side’s dominance continue as a further three goals were added to Tullamore’s tally in the second half, a second from Cedhla Quinn and Sarah Henry and Eimear Gallagher also adding their names to the scoresheet.
Their place in the quarter finals secured, Tullamore will be looking forward to the competition’s knock-out stages.
Team: Eimear Gallagher, Deirdre O’Connor, Aoife Kelly, Ciara Murray, Ciara Izuchukwu, Aisling Hickey, Maeve Fahey, Jill Keeley, Paula Kelly, Sarah Henry, Katie Cogley, Zoe Coady, Aoife Doheny, Jane O’Reilly, Cedhla Quinn.
Tullamore Senior Seconds 0
Mount Sackville 2
The Senior 2 team played Mount Sackville on Tuesday. The final score was scarcely a fair reflection of a very tight, competitive match.
The match was even in every respect but the final scoreline. On another day, this was a match Tullamore might have won, but that bit of luck that all sides need eluded them and Tullamore went away empty-handed. The Senior 2 team play Loreto, Navan on Monday next in the Harriers.
Team: Rachel Houlihan, Tessa Rafferty, Ailbhe Gill, Aine Gunning, Brenna Shiels, Julie Mahon, Kitty Farrelly, Rachel Abraham, Rachel Byrne, Rachel Harvey, Rebecca Lumley.