Mullingar Shamrocks

Founded 1953

Co. Westmeath

Great display falls just short

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The Village Barn Senior LGF Championship: Mullingar Shamrocks 0-14 Garrycastle 2-12

The scoreline suggests a comfortable victory for Garrycastle but nothing could be further from the truth. The best Shamrocks team performance of the season (and maybe for a couple of seasons) is hidden behind the bare statistics of the scoreline. The lack of supporters was disappointing despite the request to come out and support the girls in green but next weekend will give our members an opportunity for redress as we play Killucan in the final game of the league stages of the championship with a place in the knock-out stages at stake.

Shamrocks began impressively withpoints by Rachel Cheevers and Karen Hegarty. The latter point followed a great interception by Susanna Buckley that set up Karen for the score. Garrycastle responded by kicking five successive points from Grace Halligan, Sarah Dolan (0-2), Shannon Mulvihill and Lorraine Duncan. Two great points by Karen Hegarty reduced the deficit to the minimum at the first water break (0-5 to 0-4). Patricia Igoe pointed for Garrycastle before Shamrocks delivered ten minutes of excellent play during which time Garrycastle were outscored 0-4 to 0-2. Chloe Smullen and Anna Jones worked a short free that ended with a Chloe point. Anna pointed from play to complete a long bout of patient possession football; Karen Hegarty added another point from play before Susanna Buckley and Anna Jones combined to create an opportunity for Chloe Smullen who kicked her second point of the half. Áine Lynn completed the first half scoring with Shamrocks leading by 0-8 to 0-7.

Shamrocks tagged on three unanswered points after the interval; Anna Jones and Chloe Smullen combined from a free and this time Anna was the scorer; Karen Hegarty added two superb scores with elements of individual and team brilliance contributing to the scores. Caoimhe Gaffney began the move for the first and Allison Bane set the second in motion. Great blocks by Siobhán O’Donnell, Melek Fagan at the other end prevented a goal to preserve the Shamrocks lead of 0-11 to 0-7. Garrycastle responded and attacked in droves and Danielle Madden and Aoife Connolly pointed either side of the water break. A brilliant Lauren McCormack save preserved the Shamrocks lead before points from Grace Halligan and a spectacular one from Lisa Fitzpatrick brought the sides level once again (0-11).

Shamrocks responded brilliantly and a great passing movement ended with Rachel Cheevers skimming the crossbar with the finishing shot. It might have been a goal; a great restart by Lauren McCormack found Anna Jones who delivered to Rachel who won the ball under pressure and returned the pass to Anna who pointed (0-13 to 0-11). Three kicks and a point. Danielle Madden and Chloe Smullen (after a great Máiread Newman run) exchanged points and with just two minutes remaining Shamrocks held a 0-14 to 0-12 lead.

Two minutes of heartbreak followed as an Aoife Connolly lobbed shot escaped the clutches of Lauren and dropped just over the line for a crucial goal. A turnover from the restart ended with the award of a penalty to Garrycastle that was competently dispatched by Aoife Connolly to guarantee Garrycastle the victory on 2-12 to 0-14 scoreline.

It was a cruel result for a group of players that had produced their best display of the season and one of their finest displays against Garrycastle in recent times. The result was heartbreaking but the PERFORMANCE was a huge positive for all involved. The tactical approach has evolved nicely since our first outing, there is a buy-in to the game plan, the tackling and defending was patient and disciplined and in the forward line Karen Hegarty (with six points form play, the best forward on view), Chloe Smullen (improving with every game) and Rachel Cheevers worked hard to ensure that the game plan remained intact and at the final whistle had contributed 0-11 to the team total.

Mullingar Shamrocks: Lauren McCormack; Annemarie O’Reilly, Siobháin O’Donnell, Melek Fagan; Chloe Swarbrigg, Máiread Newman, Caoimhe Gaffney (Jenna Kelly); Tara Fagan, Anna Jones (0-3); Allison Bane, Karen Hegarty (0-6), Micaela O’Connor; Chloe Smullen (0-3), Rachel Cheevers (0-2), Susanna Buckley.

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