Sunday 24 April 2016. The girls took to the road once more, for their fourth away match from five fixtures, to take on high-flying Drumbaragh, in the final group match in the Spring League. Walterstown had to win to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout stage. The instructions from Cahal and Thomas were to “empty the tank” and, as ever, the girls did not disappoint. Missing a number of regulars, Walterstown played their part in a very entertaining match, which took place on a dry but cold evening, on an excellent playing surface.
With the wind to their backs in the first half, the Walterstown goalkeeper and the backs gave assured performances and, for the second match running, limited the opposition to a single point during in the first 30 minutes. The midfield pairing and the forwards made good use of the ball and kicked three points. Just before the interval, a well taken goal gave the Blacks a five-point advantage, which their overall possession and territorial dominance probably warranted.
Half-time: Drumbaragh 0-1 Waltesrtown 1-3
Injury and illness threatened to disrupt the Walterstown effort, but positional and tactical changes from Cahal and Thomas ensured that any disruption was minimal and all of the girls went on to the complete the match. Aided by the wind, the hosts chose to move the ball through their more physical players, in an effort to reduce the deficit. Again, the Walterstown goalkeeper and the backs held firm and largely kept the home team at bay. The Walterstown midfield and the forwards proved well able to play against the wind and scored a second goal and a further two points, to add to their first-half tally. The goal featured a storming run and a ‘screamer’ to the back of the net that the watching Joey Farrelly would have been proud of in his heyday (i.e. the days of black-and-white television). To their credit, the home team never gave up and, late on, scored two goals to give the travelling support a few nervous minutes. However, further saves by the Walterstown goalkeeper and timely interceptions by a number of the backs ensured a deserved victory for the Blacks.
Full-time: Drumbaragh 2-4 Walterstown 2-5
Following the match, the opposition coaches were full of praise for the girls in black. Walterstown’s Coaching Officer, Joe Treanor, also commented favorably on the performance and the skills on display, although he did make a note of the lack of cones on display during the Walterstown warm up.
To celebrate victory, Cahal treated the team, coaches, water boys and assorted hangers-on to ice cream from the shop nearby, with Thomas remarking that Cahal with an open wallet was something else that was last seen in black-and-white.
For the record, the girls finished the group with a win, two draws and two defeats and await the outcome of other matches to see whether they proceed to knockout football.
The Walterstown panel on the night was: Rachel Caroll, Rosanna O’Neill, Chloe Moran, Kate Byrne, Annie Martin, Áine McGuire, Lauren Genocchi, Isabel O’Connor, Helen Lenehan, Emma Looby, Abigail Stewart, Ella Farrelly, Isabel Rogers, Danielle McFadden and Sinead Treanor
Report Courtesy of McGuire News Inc…