The Senior ladies played Ballerin in the first round of the championship at Longfield last Monday evening. Although Balllerin stared as hot favourites they were just ahead by two points with five minutes to go and had to call upon all their resources in the last few minutes to guarantee their passage to the next round. Desertmartin gave a whole hearted performance and each girl gave their very best on the night.
The sides were level at two points-a- piece after ten minutes with Thomasina Cassidy scoring for the Saffrons. Play was then halted for quite some time as a Ballerin player picked an injury to her shoulder and had to leave the field. The Sarsfields girls added two further points before Desertmartin had a goaling opportunity that resulted in a fisted point from Patricia McFlynn. The following ten minutes saw Ballerin at their very best as they cut through the home defence scoring 1-4 approaching halftime. Desertmartin stemmed the onslaught when T Cassidy pointed from a free leaving Ballerin ahead 1-7 to 0-4 at the break. Desertmartin suffered a blow seconds after the throw-in to the second period when Aideen Fullen who was playing really well at midfield damaged an ankle when she landed heavily and couldn’t continue. But Desertmartin brought the game to the visitors and won a penalty on the thirty-sixth minute when T Cassidy was fouled as she bore down on goal. Thomasina struck the penalty firmly but the Ballerin keeper saved and the danger was cleared. Desertmartin at this stage were very measured in their play with Edel McGuckin pulling off good saves in goals, Noleen McGuckin very assured at full-back, Paula McElwee intercepting repeatly at wing back and Louise O’Connell now playing at centre-half they looked very solid in defence. This along with Suzanne McGuckin working hard at mid-field and Shannon McCrystal making surging runs through the middle they forced Ballerin on to the backfoot. Although the Sarsfields scored two further points the highlight of the game arrived in the 55th and 56th minutes when Desertmartin’s Cara Donnelly making her senior debut scored two marvellous goals to leave only two points between the teams. Sensing danger Ballerin went up a gear with Nos. 10, 11 and 14 who were a threat all evening rose to the challenge. As time was running out, St Martin’s with tiredness creeping in couldn’t contain a determined Sarfields late rush as they powered forward scoring 1-4 to maintain their quest for championship honours. Although beaten 2-13 to 2-4 the Desertmartin girls played their part in a thoroughly enjoyable game.
Desertmartin: Edel McGuckin; Niambh Fullen, Noleen McGuckin, Emma Donnelly; Paula McElwee, Suzanne McGuckin, Erin McKernan; Aideen Fullen, Shannon McCrystal; Cara Donnelly (2-0), Louise O’Connell, Ciara Scullion; Sinead McGuckin, Patricia McFlynn (0-1), Thomasina Cassidy (0-3).
Subs used: Roisin McElhennon, Megan Grant, Eileen McIvor and Megan Murray.