Gaels Blow Ravens Out Of The Sky

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Ranelagh Gaels 3-6 Fingal Ravens 0-11

Ranelagh Gaels’ ladies footballers produced arguably their most complete performance of the year to beat Fingal Ravels in the Junior D Championship on Wednesday night.

The win gets the Gaels’ campaign off to a great start, with two more group games to go.

Ranelagh won the toss and chose to play against the howling gale that was blowing the length of the pitch in the North County.

This meant they were under serious pressure throughout the first half, they worked hard enough to ensure they were in a good position at the break.

Ravens found it almost impossible at times to break through the Ranelagh defence which was led magnificently by captain Aoife Long at centre back.

The full back line of Maria O’Neill, Eimear Power and Louise Connolly tackled and blocked as if their lives depended on it while in front of them half-backs Emma Kiernan and Fiona McDonnell stopped Ravens runners, won breaking ball and attacked as often as possible.

Louise Donohoe, playing in her new sweeper role made great interceptions and took pressure off the over-worked defence before the break.

The all-action trio of Edel Brennan, Edel O’Brien and Eva O’Driscoll around the middle third did an enormous amount of running and blocking as well as trying to break anytime Ranelagh got possession.

Sinéad Ní Raghallaigh, Ger Connolly, the key link player throughout the game, and the skilful Sharon Nic Géidí combined to play in Michelle Treanor.

Once Michelle got the ball 30 metres from goal there was only one thing on her mind, she beat two players, raced through on goal and expertly rolled the ball into the bottom left hand corner to give Ranelagh a huge boost just before half-time.

This helped leave the scores 0-9 to 1-3 at the break and gave the visitors a fighting chance after the change of ends.
Ravens dropped players back and adopted a running game, making them a different proposition.

Ranelagh didn’t get on the scoreboard until nearly 15 minutes of the second half, though this marked the start of the revival.
Sinéad Ní Raghallaigh got that point and it was followed up immediately by a trademark goal from the lethal Michelle Treanor.

Following a change of tactic and two influential substitutions in the form of Bríd Firtéar and Aoife Buckley, who added a new dimension to Ranelagh’s game, the Gaels continued their quickfire scoring.

It was heart-in-mouth stuff with Ravens instructed to go for goals in the last few minutes.

Late on Bláithín Brady somehow managed to get a finger tip save to push a great shot onto the bar. Brady gathered the rebound and went bursting out delivering the ball away to safety.

Nothing at all was going to break through the Ranelagh defence and some more last ditch defending by Aoife Long, Maria O’Neill, Emma Kiernan, Eimear Power and Bríd Firtéar made sure it was a night to remember for Ranelagh Gaels who held on to win 3-6 to 0-11.

Ranelagh will hope to carry this momentum forward to their next championship game at home in Bushy Park against Whitehall Colmcille on Wednesday, August 20. All support welcomed!!

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