Our under 13 squad headed to Ballynoe last Wednesday on a misty and unseasonably wet evening to take on St. Catherines in the opening game of the Imokilly Summer league. 21 girls in total from u12 and u13 made the trip. It was the first time this combination of players have played together this year but we were confident they would blend well together. Thankfully weather conditions improved as the ball was thrown with the opposition opting to play with the wind in the first half. St. Catherines began the stronger, recording the opening point within the first minute. Although we responded well and 2 minutes later had equalised with a point from corner forward, Leah Peddar Duggan our hosts were dominating the middle of the field and putting a lot of pressure on our defence. Our attackers were being starved of supply and we found ourselves down by 2 goals half way through the first half. Being blessed with such a strong subs bench and having the luxury of being able to interchange them as often as we liked, we introduced some fresh legs and, because of a hand injury, Juliet Cahil was replaced by Ashling McCarthy. We began to get a hold on the game with Yvonne Abernathy, Meadhbh McCarthy and Millie Bowles excelling and providing a steady supply of ball to our forwards. A goal and 2 points from Aisling McCarthy, a goal and a point from Lilly Hayes Nally and a penalty saved in the final 10 minutes of the first half had us leading 2-4 to 2-1 at the break. Spirits were high as the girls took on some well needed liquids at half time. The subs were rotated once more and off they set again to take to the field. We continued in the same vein. Aisling McCarthy raised the white flag again within a minute of the restart, although St. Catherines scored a point of their own 4 minutes later. Aishling Lewis and Anna Knowles played superbly around the middle of the field , swooping on any breaking ball, not giving our opposition any chance to settle. Grainne Steele, wearing number 1, made a number of crucial saves and showed great composure under pressure to clear her lines on numerous occasions, ably assisted by full back, and captain, Kate Butler. When St. Catherines began to look dangerous in the attack once more, Monika Jurciukonyte and Ella Fleming were sent in to marshal their most potent threats and did exactly as they were asked. They pestered and harried their opposite numbers, denied them any clear scoring chances and as a result kept them scoreless for the rest of the game. Ruby McGrath, Lilly Fitzpatrick Dorgan, Leah Costigan, Lilly Foley, Mureann Coughlan and Chloe Lane put in huge performances and stuck to their task through out the game. We scored another 2 points, one from a free, and had a second penalty saved before, in the last minute of the game, Alannah Murphy and Roisin Kelly combined beautifully to supply Lilly Hayes Nally with a through ball which she rattled the back of the net with. That was to be the last action of the game and as the final whistle blew the girls were applauded by their delighted parents, siblings and friends. Final score St. Catherines 02 -02, Castlemartyr 03 - 07. Well done to all involved on such a great team performance.