Kilcock Ladies Point The Way To Victory:

KILDARE LADIES SENIOR LEAGUE DIV3: ROUND 1
10/04/12:

Kilcock 1:20
Kilcullen 1:07

The Kilcock Ladies senior football team started their league campaign with a bang as they brushed aside the challenge of the visitors Kilcullen by thirteen points at Kilcock GAA on Tuesday night, April 10th. With a relatively new look panel, if not starting fifteen, the large crowd in attendance were unsure what to expect from manager Shane Stone’s side but what they got was an exhibition of point taking that no supporter or player would expect at this time of year. In fact this reporter likes nothing better than seeing the white flag raised and while some people may say that goals win you games, I always say ”that one point takes two to beat it” and I take my hat off to this bunch of girls for last night’s performance. I will be honest I feared for them last night, not because I doubted their footballing ability but because they didn’t look like a team that was going to savage their opponents. Their warm up lacked intensity, they laughed and chatted among themselves and I felt for their manager, they ran for the cover of the trees at the sniff of a small shower and they looked like a beaten team before the start…. But I apologise, How wrong was I?
When the referee finally showed up and the game got under way twenty minutes behind schedule, the Kilcock team that I stood under the trees with, that messed about in the warm up, had gone home. A new team had arrived and they meant business right from the off. While a lot of praise was heaped on the forwards in the aftermath of this game, some stout defending in the early stages from Paige Byrne, Linda Byrne and Fiona Campion kept a dangerous Kilcullen attack at bay, while captain Shona Cagney pushed forward at any given opportunity on the overlap. In fact it was her sister Orla Cagney that got Kilcock’s only goal of the game with only a few minutes on the clock as she calmly slotted home from close range following a well worked hand passing move involving a half a dozen players. Argentina scored a goal like it a few years ago after twenty six consecutive passes before Cambiasso finished it off. They still talk about that to this day, well Orla Cagney and Kilcock take a bow, it was special!!
This goal was to be rare though as then the points took over, with Emma Robinson and Grace White to the fore. The former must get a mention for her quick thinking in fist-passing a couple of points over the bar. After Louise Keane got her name on the score sheet, Kilcock were 1:03 to a goal to the good, with the concession of the goal been the only blemish on an excellent start. The Kilcock defence were caught too far forward and after goalie Eimear Kelly saved an initial effort, their full-forward pounced on the rebound and put the ball into the empty net. But that was as good as it got for the visitors in the opening half and from there the girls in green and gold kicked on with points from Grace White (2), Emma Robinson, Shanon Byrne, Shona Cagney, Sheena Byrne and midfielders Caoimhe Fagan (2) and Aisling O’Connor (2), to make the half-time score Kilcock 1:13 – Kilcullen 1:00
Complacency at this stage was the only thing that was going to beat Stone’s charges and he kept them on their toes during the interval but Kilcullen were always going to come at them early in the second half and have a purple patch. And Kilcock were going to have to deal with this without the impressive Paige Byrne, who had to withdraw due to a back injury, she was replaced by another up and coming star in Laura Ward, making her competitive debut for the senior team at half back. As the night began to close in, so did the girls in black and white with three unanswered points early on in the second period but a Sheena Byrne point settled Kilcock’s nerves a bit and helped them once again kick on and dominate. Fagan and Robinson added two more in between points for Kilcullen and as Kilcock began to ring the changes, the game lost a bit of its shape. Young Emma Maguire was very unlucky to be sin-binned near the end when some of the away side could have followed her to the line as their frustration grew. Grace White grabbed herself another point before Robinson and Shona Cagney capped off a wonderful display from Kilcock.
 Linda Byrne kept the dangerous Peacock quiet throughout while Fiona Campion showed plenty of energy getting forward from corner back. Shona Cagney put in her usual business like performance while the new look midfield pairing of Caoimhe Fagan and Aisling O’Connor dominated throughout and made sure everything went through them. All six forwards performed to their maximum with full-forward Robinson particularly impressive. Stone has a big squad and while some girls can feel aggrieved not to start, the year is long and their chance will come and those that did enter the fray did not weaken the team one bit and players such as Noelle Conlon and Mary Tighe would walk onto any team around the county. Players and supporters may have been apprehensive about Kilcock’s chances for the coming year after losing some players from last year’s championship winning team. But after last night’s showing and the bulk of the victorious minor winning team joining the panel, those worries were put to bed.

Final Score:
Kilcock 1:20
Kilcullen 1:07


Player Of Match: Aisling O’Connor.

Kilcock Team + Ratings:
Eimear Kelly (6)
Fiona Campion (7)
Linda Byrne (7)
Therese Macken (6)
Emma Maguire (6)
Paige Byrne (7)
Shona Cagney (c) (7)
Caoimhe Fagan (8)
Aisling O’Connor (9)
Orla Cagney (8)
Sheena Byrne (6)
Grace White (7)
Shanon Byrne (6)
Emma Robinson (8)
Louise Keane (6)

Subs:
Laura Ward (6) for Paige Byrne
Noelle Conlon
Aoife Divily
Mary Tighe

By. Robert Cox

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