Junior A ACL ¼ Final
by PRO on the 23rd of June 2023
Piltown 2-15 Graiguenamanagh 1-13
By Jason O’Brien, Piltown PRO
A game of two halves in Piltown in beautiful, warm sunny conditions on Thursday night. It was sunny and warm for us on the sideline, but the players would have settled for an evening a bit cooler.
Even the water breaks in each half couldn’t cool down the game as both teams took control of a half each and it was an entertaining game right to the end. It turned out that it was won in the first half by Piltown after a great display and it was nearly won by Graiguenamanagh in the second as they hunted them down.
Piltown played towards the Showgrounds into the setting sun for the first half, but the sun didn’t seem to affect them as attacking duo Heather Phelan and Chloe Holden both grabbed two points each by the 8th minute after Aisling Prendergast of Graig had scored the first point in the 3rd minute.
Heather was involved again in the 10th minute as she laid off a superb handpass to the flying Ciara Dunne and Ciara buried the ball to the net. It was one way traffic in the game now , with Edel Long and Chloe ,from a free, extending the lead , with just a point from Sinead Lanigan Graig’s only other score by the time ref Willie Kearney blew for a well deserved and needed, water break.
The break didn’t put the home team off their stride with Heather Phelan continuing her fine form with another two points , and Edel Long getting her second from a hop ball after a contested point. At this stage the away side couldn’t match the intensity and running of the home side and when a long range shot went into the net via a Graig player in the 28th minute , they looked in big trouble. But Aisling Prendergast and Hannah Moran scored a point apiece before Edel Long finished the scoring to leave the score at half time : Piltown 2-10 Graiguenamanagh 0-04.
It was a massive lead at half time and surely it’s a good as won?
Graig didn’t think so though, and straight away from a free near halfway, Aisling Prendergast was cool in the heat as she put the ball over the black spot, this was followed by another from Sinead Lanigan, and then another point from Prendergast from a 45 this time. It was one way traffic again towards the Showgrounds, but this time it was the team in green that were on top.
There was a massive increase in intensity from the visitors and Piltown couldn’t match it as Prendergast scored another two points and one from Alicia Barrett was eating into Piltown’s lead then Maire Beth pulled off a great save in the 38th minute to deny Graig a certain goal. But there was no let off in the 41st minute as Sinead Lanigan broke through and beat Maire Beth to raise a green flag.
Graig had scored 1-05 to no score since half time and they had all the momentum, until Nicola Phelan scored a point just before the second water break to maybe steady the nerves,
Would the water break help Piltown get a foothold back in the game? It looked like it would , as Chloe Holden stepped up with two points, but still Graiguenamanagh chipped away at the lead. With Aisling Prendergast still scoring and Sinead Lanigan also raising flags. But Piltown’s first half haul looked like being enough , as Heather and Chloe ended the scoring to confirm a place in the ACL semi final.
A fabulously entertaining game, on a fabulous evening.
Final score in Piltown: Piltown 2-15 Graiguenamanagh 1-13.
Scorers – Piltown – Chloe Holden 0-6 (2f, 1 45), Heather Phelan 0-5, Ciara Dunne 1-0, Edel Long 0-3, Nicola Phelan 0-1
Graiguenamanagh – Aisling Prendergast 0-8 (2f, 1 45), Sinead Lanigan 1-3, Hannah Moran, Alicia Barrett 0-1 each
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