Scoil Lesson

The Ranelagh Gaels Ladies experienced their first loss of the season against an impressive Scoil Ui Chonaill outfit in Clontarf on Wednesday.

Unfortunately the omens appeared to be against the Gaels girls from the beginning, with heavy traffic and an unhelpful throw-in time resulting in the the Gaels starting with only fourteen players.

Compounding this numerical disadvantage was a strong wind which favoured Scoil for the first half.

However, it must be conceded that the opposition were a formidable unit, with a dominant figure at full-forward supplying plenty of ball for a powerful half-forward line to exploit.

Although somewhat rattled by an initial onslaught, the Gaels defence, reinforced by Lil, and driven on by Edel and Claire, eventually came to grips with the situation.

Indeed, the Scoil half-forwards now had the rather unforgiving task of attempting to keep tabs on Mary and Lil as they sped forward from the half-back line.

Midfield also began to stamp their authority on proceedings, with Aoife, as per usual, perpetual motion, always at the heart of the action.

Having made hay when the wind blew, Scoil enjoyed a good half-time lead and continuing Gaels’ bad luck the wind died down signficantly after the change of ends.

Despite conceding two quick scores on the restart, the first twenty minutes of the second half saw the Gaels more than match their opponents, with the game developing into quite a contest.

Kirsty’s class inevitably began to cause all sorts of problems for the Scoil defence, her series of points awakening the real possibility of a comeback.

Such optimism seemed to be confirmed when Kirsty slotted home a well taken goal after an incisive one-two with Claire Larkin. The Gaels attack now began to enjoy the occassion, with Fiona, Mags, Maria and Ger finally getting the breaks their efforts deserved.

As the game entered the home stretch, an injury to Ger appeared to halt the Gaels momentum, with perhaps the unrelenting tempo now beginning to tell on weary legs.

Without question Scoil dominated this final period, with only inspired goalkeeping, the resolute defending of Caoimhe and a hobbling Patricia, and the tireless tracking of Kate halting the Scoil advance.

Although disappointed with the result, the Gaels came away from the game with many positives, many taken from observing (and matching) an excellent football team at close quarters.

The Gaels will undoubtedly play much worse than on Wednesday evening and win so this was a valuable learning experience.

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