Table-toppers Cappagh will have home advantage when they face 4th placed Celbridge in the semi final of the Kildare Ladies Junior B championship semi final next Tuesday, September 5th.
Cappagh, who were the only side to go through the group stages unbeaten (with a 100% record to boot), finished off their round-robin campaign in style with a 5-10 to 2-4 victory at home to Rheban.
They will now face old foes Celbridge, managed by Cappagh man John Mulligan, for a place in the showpiece and the girls on the Meath border will be confident of getting there unscathed, having come out on top in all previous meetings this year.
Mulligan may have the last laugh yet though and his knowledge of the Cappagh girls style of play could bear fruit fruit for his new club!!
Speaking after his sides last round loss (1-14 to 3-6) at home to Milltown on Tuesday night, Mulligan said; “We struggled last night. We just weren’t focused on game in front of us, I think a lot of us had our minds on the semi finals. We had all possession in the first half but couldn’t convert it into scores. We changed our game in the 2nd half and played better”.
On the subject of returning to his home pitch of Cappagh, Mulligan let out a wry smile before saying; I can’t wait for next Tuesday v Cappagh. There’s going to be a right bit of banter with the lads for the week in the build up but come game time we will be ready for them”.
In the other semi final Milltown will face Rheban. Milltown leap-frogged Celbridge in the table after Tuesday nights win, to avoid Cappagh but with nothing much to seperate them and Rheban, we are in for a close encounter there.
Celbridge senior ladies footballers travel to table-toppers Cappagh in the final game of their division three league campaign in search of a crucial victory tonight, 25th April.
A victory for the visitors would put them right in the hunt for a place in the semi finals and with the hosts already qualified, Celbridge will surely have the greater hunger in what promises to be a titanic battle.
The game will be given an extra bit of edge with current Celbridge manager John Mulligan returning to his home club, a place where he has played and coached since a very young age.
Mulligan will know each and every Cappagh player inside out having trained their senior ladies over the past few seasons, leading them to glory in the Junior C championship.
When asked about the game he was in optimistic mood; “Yeah I’m all set. Looking forward to it. It’s something new for me!! It will be strange been in Cappagh as opposing manager. Tonight I’ll be 100% Celbridge and we are going there to put it up to Cappagh as they are the level we want to be at in this division”
Paul O’Brien produced a scintillating display at Kilcock Gaa on Monday night to ensure that Kilcock’s 2nd team got their Senior B division one league campaign off to a winning start against Celbridge.
The experienced, pacey forward hit a hat-trick of goals and also contributed two points as Padraic Carroll’s side got the better of their well fancied neighbours in their first game back in the top tier.
Two of O’Brien’s goals came in the first half, the second an unstoppable effort when one on one with the Celbridge net minder. Daragh McArdle netted the third and with points from the midfield duo of Chris McCarthy and Darren Byrne (2) along with an O’Brien free, the men in green and gold lead 3-4 to 0-4 at half time.
Kilcock took up where they left off upon the resumption and ended the game as a contest when debutant Conor Dewe Stokes tapped home a goal after some smart build up play from a number of his team mates including the star of the show O’Brien.
Celbridge rallied somewhat and struck two goals of their own but were dealt another blow when O’Brien completed his hat-trick to land Kilcock’s fifth. Further points from McArdle (3), Ronan Mulligan, Cian Mulhall (2), O’Brien, Byrne and substitute Michael Stokes wrapped up proceedings as Kilcock ran out eleven point winners, 5-13 to 2-11.
There was an added special moment on the night when Michael Stokes came on to play alongside Conor. It’s been a long time since there was a father/son combination on the field at the same time for Kilcock.
In addition it was clearly visible to see that many of the Kilcock lads were playing for their places in the upcoming SFL Div2 game at home to Johnstownbridge and there’s no doubting O’Brien will have caught Declan Gibbons’ attentions.
John Mulligan has become the new manager of Celbridge Ladies adult football team for the 2017 season.
Cappagh man Mulligan, whose previous managerial posts include stints in charge of Kilcock Ladies and his home club Cappagh (where he also coached the ladies), will take up his new role from this week.
Celbridge will be looking to push on under the guidance of their new manager after enjoying a fairly successful 2016. The girls in blue and white enjoyed League glory and were beaten finalists in the Junior B Championship.
Speaking to an excited Mulligan, he said; “This is a great opportunity to build on the momentum from last year and I hope to continue with the development of Ladies Football in Celbridge. I met with the club executive last Monday and they are aiming high and have a very professional approach so I am delighted to be a part of it.”
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