Senior ACL Quarter Final
by PRO on the 29th of June 2023
Windgap 1-09 Piltown 1-07
Senior ACL Quarter Final
by Jason O’Brien, Piltown PRO
Windgap made full use of home advantage and took advantage of the breeze to come out on top and progress to the semi finals after an entertaining 60 mins on a sunny evening.
The home side outscored us by 1-06 to 0-03 in the second half to overturn a four point deficit at half time.
Piltown won the toss , and elected to play with the breeze. And we started quickly, as straight from the throw in Lorraine Long delivered the ball into the full forward line, Heather Phelan got it into hand , turned and blasted it to the net to raise the green flag after 30seconds. What a start for the away side.
It was just the start any team would want, but Windgap came straight back up and got their first score with a point from Sontae Jackson in the second minute.
Heather Phelan stood over a free in the sixth minute on the right hand side at the 45, and she made no mistake to put 3points between the teams again. Emily McCarthy, playing in a midfield role, then stretched it further with a nice score from outside the 45 as she put it over the black spot in the 16th minute.
Then Windgap’s number 12 , Ciara O’Shea got her first score of the game as she got possession from a Piltown puck out , and put it back over the bar. And to complete the trio of points within 3 minutes , Piltown’s number 12 , Lorraine Long got her own point from straight down the middle. It was turning into a battle for the ball after an initial 15 mins of scoring, as markers got tighter, and there was less space for forwards to get possession. Emer Long denied Sontae Jackson what looked like a certain goal in the 18th minute when Jackson was free and unmarked , but Long got across and blocked her shot.
Leah Cooney did get free though , and put it over the bar off her left side from out on the right hand side in the 20th minute. Ciara O’Shea then ended the scoring for the first half with her second point in the 24th minute.
Would a half time lead of 1-04 to 0-03 be enough for Piltown? Time would tell.
The second half started, and much like the end of the first half, both sides had to work very hard to create any scoring chances. The workrate was increased by both sides as Piltown started to struggle as Windgap turned the screw.
It took Windgap seven minutes to score as Denise Foley scored from in front of the posts, and was quickly followed by a converted 45 from Ciara O’Shea. Lorna O’Shea scored a point in reply as she broke free down the right and as her pace got her free , she put the sliotar over the bar.
Ciara O’Shea got the opportunity from a placed ball , as the free count increased against Piltown with some soft frees. O’Shea put two over the bar from placed balls and one from play in the space of 5 minutes , as the tide turned in Windgap’s favour. The breeze was definitely a factor and was highlighted perfectly in the 50th minute, as Catherine Foley struck a free from her own 45 and it travelled like a missile through the air, passed through the 8 hurleys held in the air, trying to block its path, it bounced 10 yards in front of Maire Beth Kirby in the goal , struck the crossbar, and landed 15 yards out the field. It was another near miss that kept Piltown alive in the game.
But that was soon to change as Sontae Jackson got her hand on another loose ball inside the 21 yard line and unmarked in a central position , she made no mistake to send her side 2 points ahead with 9 minutes left. Soon after , Ciara O’Shea got another point from another free to stretch the lead to three points . Heather Phelan got a point from a free on the 54th minute to narrow the gap and despite a very near miss from Lorna O’Shea, Piltown could not catch the home side.
Final Score : Windgap 1-09 Piltown 1-07
Windgap Scorers: Ciara O’Shea 0-07 (3f + 1 45), Sontae Jackson 1-01, Denise Foley 0-01
Piltown Scorers : Heather Phelan 1-03 (3f), Lorraine Long, Emily McCarthy, Leah Cooney, Lorna O’Shea 0-01 each
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