With only weeks to go until the start of the new season, our new look senior ladies squad, bolstered by several of our under 16s, opened their account today by lifting the winner’s shield at Naomh Eanna’s invitational blitz under sun drenched skies.
Opening up against Cuala GAA from Dalkey, our girls quickly found their feet and delivered their first win of the day. Any nerves were settled quickly as it became clear that the mix of youth and experience was going to serve us well in the hours ahead.
Next up, a young, pacy and well drilled Carryduff team quickly laid out their intentions as their slick hand passing and clever finishing saw Naomh Brid staring at a 4 point deficit at half time. However, after a no nonsense half time team talk from Manager Barry Mulligan, our girls took to the field again, fully focussed and determined to make life tricky for the Downe champions. Clinical finishing from our front line saw us turn the deficit round and complete the game with a 4 point win, setting us up for our last qualifying game against our hosts St Endas.
Perhaps the end to end battle against Carryduff had tired our girls as they struggled in their final game ahead of the finals, giving away possession too often and neglecting several chances to put the game out of reach. St Endas fought hard to the final whistle but the South Belfast girls hung on by the skin of their teeth to post a single point victory and set up a return match against Carryduff for the title, the Downe girls having posted the best results behind Brigid’s.
Following an entertaining runners up match that saw St Endas claim the win over Cuala, the stage was set for the rematch of the day as Naomh Brid and Carryduff resumed their battle.
Both teams had learned a lot from their previous encounter and the game started at a hectic pace as each forward line traded scores and the back lines threw everything into defence in an effort to foil the opposition.
After 30 minutes of score and counter score, the game finished in a deserved draw, both teams having played themselves into the ground. A fair result in reflection.
With St Brigid’s getting the better of their first encounter, our girls were awarded the championship win on merit of points won and the invitational shield was presented to our captain for the day, Colleen Quinn.
Naomh Eanna layer on a fabulous spread of hot food and drinks for all teams and were most courteous and welcoming to all. A big thanks must go to their helpers and mentors for a great day.
Here’s hoping that we can return to defend our title next year and that this silverware is the first of many for this new and evolving Senior team as we head into season 2016! Congratulations to all our girls…..Naomh Brid Abu!