On a cold and wet Wednesday night our under 16s took to the field in their second round league match. This time Castlelyons provided the opposition and the arena. A much improved turn out from their first outing with a squad of 23 players vying for the coveted starting positions. With dark clouds gathering the game began. From the throw in both teams challenged hard to gain the upper hand. The early battles saw attacks from both sides in an evenly contested affair. Castlelyons defense stood firm until Ciara Leahy's shot found the back of the net to open the scoring. Attacks from both teams proved fruitless until ,with the help of a strong breeze, Castlelyons raised the white flag. With both teams trading points Castlemartyr seemed to be getting the measure of the opposition with Kelsie Asamoah, Aisling Murphy and Aisling Harty winning lots of fifty / fifty ball around the mid field. Pressure began to mount on the Castlelyons goal but to their credit their defense dealt with the threat. As the shots rained in, our forwards began to press for scores resulting in a succession of 45s. With heavy rain now pouring down and a strong wind blowing these were proving hard to convert. The half progressed with both teams having scoring chances but it was Clodagh Mulhare who provided the next point which was to be the final score of the half, bringing the tally for Castlemartyr to 01 - 02 to Castlelyon's 2 points. As we neared the interval Sadhbh Beausang replaced influential Aisling Harty due to injury.
The weather improved as the teams returned to the field for the second half. We would have the benefit of the wind in this half. Again both teams started with renewed energy and the contests between the players intensified. Aisling Murphy and Zara Bowles linked up well and with outstanding performances from Molly Beausang, and Shauna Horgan Castlemartyr were more than able for the task. Clodagh added another point from play after more good work from Kelsie and Ciara. Changes were made with Ellen Harty making way for Kate McCarthy and Maggie O'Connor making way for Hannah McEihinney who slotted in on the left wing and gave an extra dimension to our attack. With an offload from Zara, Ciara went on a solo run from half way and was bearing down on goal when she was clumsily brought down to earn Castlemartyr a free. This provided an opportunity for Clodah to extend our lead which she duly obliged. Even with a concerted effort from the Castlelyons team, our goalkeeper Grainne Lynch gave a solid performance between the posts and with the staunch protection of defenders Niamh Molloy, Saoirse Coughlan and Lucy Horgan kept the home side scoreless for the second half. As proceedings were drawing to a close a final change was made with Tara Crotty replacing Fia Carey Hurley. Castlelyons pressed for the last few minutes for that elusive score but our defense held firm and their efforts were to no avail. The final whistle blew to the delight of the Castlemartyr players and supporters alike.The final score was Castlemartyr 01-04, Castlelyons 00-02.
It was a tough and grueling game and to quote manager Dermot O'Halloran, " Another great victory, but more importantly we out battled, out worked and in the end out classed a very strong Castlelyons team.
Full squad:- Lia Hipwell, Fia Carey Hurley, Molly Beausang, Kate Mccarthy, Shauna Horgan, Saoirse Coughlan, Niamh Molloy, Aisling Murphy, Maggie O'Connor, Ciara Leahy, Hannah McElhinney, Lucy Kenneally, Ellen Harty, Carla Cosgrave, Lucy Horgan, Aisling Harty, Sadhbh Beausang, Clodagh Mulhare, Zara Bowles, Grainne Lynch, Tara Crotty, Ellie McKenzie, Caoimhe Dowley, Shannon Barrett, Kelsie Asamoah & Lilly McElhinney.