Heroic Performance by u-13 Girls
The u-13 girls went to Balgriffin today to play the fearsome Inisfails team that had been unbeaten in 2 years and which boasted several excellent Dublin players. Our approach was relaxed and we really just hoped to put up a good show and enjoy ourselves.
What a surprise was in store for everyone. Inisfails won the throw in, strode up the field with their trademark smooth passing and calmly drove the bar over the bar. Nobody was too surprised and we braced ourselves for what was to follow.
But the Clontarf girls hadn’t read the script and proceeded to give an absolutely astonishing display of commitment and determination. Every ball was contested fiercely. Every player showed enormous courage. They tackled like demons. Within 5 minutes Clontarf led 1-1 to 0-1. Inisfails responded and drove back up the field to score a goal. Clontarf cams straight back down and scored another. And that was the pattern for the entire game. It was a brilliant game of frantic, end to end stuff.
We were dealt a body blow when Lauren McClean had to come off after just 5 minutes with a thigh bruise. It took her until half time to recover. Orla Donohue moved to midfield and Allison Miller dropped back to centre back. At half time we were leading by 2 goals, having played with the wind and the hill. We were delighted with the performance but worried that Inisfails would take over in the second half. As things turned out they didn’t. We stormed into the game again, carried the ball at Inisfails, and maintained our lead as the game wore on. Inisfails edged ever closer. They got a penalty and missed it but the referee ordered a retake. They scored it and really, at that stage, nobody would have complained if our girls had yielded. Amazingly, we went up the field from the kick out and scored a goal. Back they came and scored another.
It was nerve wracking stuff for everybody. In the end we scored a marvellous and famous victory, with a scoreline of 8-4 to 6-4.
There were heroes everywhere. Laura Plunkett marshalled the goals bravely. Maeve Shannon was her usual tower of strength at full back. Ciara O’Byrne was rock solid beside her. Alex Foley and Allison Miller were marvellous in the half back line. Our midfielders (Sarah and Lauren) collapsed at the end, having run their hearts out. Orla Donohue did great work carrying the ball from midfield. Caitriona Loomes was an absolute revelation in her new role at centre forward and carried the ball quickly as if it was stuck to her boot. Margaret Mohan had a quiet game and buried only 4 goals. And every single player who took the field did wonderfully.
This was the best result ever achieved by this team and the best performance they ever gave. They did us all proud. We now sit proudly as league leaders with a 100% record.