The freshly cut and lined pitch gave an almost Wembley like feel to this FAI Womens Junior Challenge Cup preliminary round game between Bridge Ladies and St. Pauls of Artane at Tegral pitch Athy on a mild Monday evening last.
FAI Womens Junior Challenge Cup (Prelim round)
Bridge United 2
St. Paul’s Artane 3
The game started well with both sides contesting well for the ball and for the first twenty minutes it looked like a scoreless first half would be the outcome. Both sides had several attempts on goal with Bridge’s Louisia Fennell coming close in the twenty fifth minute.
Bridge began to notice a very high line in the St. Pauls defence and two goals in quick succession, the first in the 29th minute by Lynsey Donavan who easily side footed the St. Pauls’ keeper after an “over the top ball” by Bridge captain Rhona Mulhall and the second came soon after, this time a through ball gave Louisia Fennell a chance and from six yards out and the Bridge striker wasn’t going to miss.
Shortly before half – time St. Pauls’ had three close chances one at the near post by Michelle McCaul which hit the side netting, and two free kicks 20 yards out breezed wide to the relief of Bridge Goalie Donna Hickey who had a relatively quiet first half.
The second half started and it wasn’t long before an under pressure Bridge defence buckled and while trying to clear the ball Rhona Mulhall was deemed to have handled the ball just inside the boxand dthe resultant penalty easily converted by St. Pauls’ Michelle McCaul.
An uncertain bridge team, beginning to tire allowed the visitors Fiona Deirne in to slip through the defence in the 56th minute to score the equaliser.
Substitute upped the tempo and for a while it looked like it was only a matter of time before Bridge would score giving them back the lead, as chances got closer and closer. Mary Lawless 22 yard free kick hit the post with the rebound sliced wide from 8 yards out by Lynsey Donavan.
Injuries on both sides as well as substitutions added stoppage time and in the 94th minute an exhausted Bridge team were unable to stop the counte rattack by St. Pauls and an ambitious effort by Jane Gerrithy from 30 yards out caught Bridge Goalie Donna Hickey unawares as she was unable to stop the ball go in over her head. There was no comeback for a stunned Bridge side as Referee Peter Moore blew full time moments after tip off.
Best for Bridge Ladies were Zara Moriarty, Rhona Mulhall, Lynsey Donavan, Nicola and Mary Lawless. While best for St. Pauls of Artane were Michelle McCaul, Fiona Deirne and Jane Gerrithy.
Donna Hickey, Danielle Foley, Zara Mortiarty, Geraldine O Brien, Nicola Lawless, Aisling Hyland, Jacqueline Mortiarty, Rhona Mulhall, Lynsey Donovan, Mary Lawless, Louisia Fennell, Chloe Ryan, Karen Hickey.
Jessica KenDellan, Judie Murphy, Shauna Ennis, Ailish Hanranhan, Joanne Gerrity, Joanne Reilly, Fiona Beirne, Michaela McCall, Donna Coffey, Sinead McKenna, Carol O Leary, Helen Murphy, Aoife NiFhearghial, Trisha Wall, Maeve Grandegere, Heather O Donoghue, Tracey Clarke.