Eoghan Rua’s Under-16 ladies football team got their league campaign off to a disappointing start last Wednesday evening when they lost away to Claudy.
A number of the Eoghan Rua girls had played football on Sunday and camogie matches on Monday and Tuesday and perhaps this showed as they visibly tired in the second half after closing the gap considerably at the start of the second half.
The game began with the Eoghan Rua girls having hopes of avenging last years Under-14 defeat but these hopes were dealt a heavy blow early on as midfielder Brenda Grant had to be carried off after three minutes with what turned out to be ankle ligament damage. The Claudy girls seized the initiative and proceeded to rack up a 2-4 to no score lead before the Eoghan Rua girls got going again. When they did Shauna Doherty and Aoife Bradley began to ask some questions of the Claudy defence; such was the trouble this pair was causing Claudy deployed a second marker on Doherty to limit her influence. However she still managed a goal and two points with good support fom Aoife Bradley, Aoife Kelly and Niamh Morrison. Eoghan Rua trailed at the break 3-5 to 1-2.
In the first half Anna Frizelle and Sarah Moore were playing well in an overworked defence. Aimee Tweed and Darcey Kelly improved as time went on, and with Aoife Boorman at wing half back and Niamh Boorman at full back helping out where they could, it was clear that all of the girls seemed to cope better with the Claudy attack as the half wore on.
At midfield Anna Morrison and Francesca Watson were finding things tough but to their credit they continued to battle for possession and release the ball to the forwards when available. Niamh Morrison continued her recent improvement with winning possession and intricate passing to team mates Aoife Bradley and Aoife Kelly. Leah Dollard tried hard but was finding the Claudy defenders a tough proposition, though did well with continual harassing and challenging for possession and passing to a team mate when options arose. Aoife Kelly and Caitlin McFall were also retaining possession when it came forward and helping create the opportunities for Shauna Doherty and Aoife Bradley to register on the scoreboard.
With the start of the second half Eoghan Rua goalkeeping duties changed from Cora Lagan to Aimee Tweed. In the first Claudy attack Aimee suffered an injury as the ball struck her in the face and crossed the line for a Claudy goal. Another Claudy goal preceded the best spell for the Eoghan Rua girls as they dominated proceedings with Anna Morrison and Aoife Boorman winning the midfield battle, and rattled off two goals and two points to haul the Eoghan Rua girls back into contention in the game. However the toils of the last three or four days began to take their toll on the Eoghan Rua girls. As the Eoghan Rua girls wilted Claudy took full advantage and scored a further goal and six points to no score leaving the final result Claudy 7-11 to Eoghan Rua’s 3-4.
In the second half Cora Lagan again gave an accomplished display at corner back. Aoife Boorman’s switch to midfield worked too as she tracked and tackled the Claudy playmaker and while the girls were under pressure at the end of the sixty minutes they did take the game to Claudy early on in the second half. Francesca Watson won a couple of kick outs and her accurate passing helped Anna Morrison link with second half substitutes Grace Taylor and Simone Boorman to create the scoring opportunities for Aoife Bradley and Shauna Doherty. Aoife Kelly and other replacements Alana Crowe and Oonagh Jordan were also battling for possession when it came their way and did well while under pressure.
All in all it was a disappointing result for the Eoghan Rua side but they can still take but plenty of positives from their display. They lost key player Brenda Grant early on but the Eoghan Rua side rallied in the latter part of the first half and at the start of the second half. Cora Lagan, Niamh Morrison and Sarah Moore continue their improvement while Niamh Boorman and Anna Frizelle in defence were excellent throughout; the industry of Anna Morrison, Leah Dollard, Aoife Boorman, Aoife Bradley and Shauna Doherty kept all the players around them working hard.
Team: Cora Lagan, Aimee Tweed, Niamh Boorman, Sarah Moore, Aoife Boorman, Anna Frizelle, Darcey Kelly, Anna Morrison, Brenda Grant, Leah Dollard, Aoife Bradley, Niamh Morrison, Aoife Kelly, Shauna Doherty, Caitlin McFall
Subs: Francesca Watson for Brenda Grant, Simone Boorman for Leah Dollard, Grace Taylor for Niamh Morrison, Alana Crowe for Caitlin McFall, Oonagh Jordan for Aoife Kelly.