Warwickshire Ladies Football Championship Round 1
Sean McDermotts 3-01
St. Barnabas 9-17
Pictures and reports by Christiana E Carey
St Barnabas of Nottingham put in a dominant display to comfortably see off a young Sean McDermotts of Birmingham in the opening game of the Warwickshire ladies football championship.
Both teams shared possession in the opening 5 mins before Barnabas opened the scoring with a well taken goal from range by Jenny England. The resulting goal kick put Barnabas immediately back in possession with Cammy Kelleher calmly notching her first point of the afternoon. This was to be the pattern for the next ten minutes with Macs struggling to win their own kick out and Barnabas adding 1-02, the goal coming through Erin Thompson, points from Maebh O’Hare and Erin Murphy before then faltering slightly to hit three straight wides.
Barnabas did not relinquish their strangle hold on the game and Mary Fee added to the scoreline finishing off a fine move from midfield with a well taken score. Erin Murphy followed that up with the score of the game, a blistering attack down the left with Erin Thompson involved twice in the build up and duly setting up Murphy who finished powerfully from 8 Yards. From the kick out, again it was Murphy first to react and gain a point from 30 yards.
McDermotts, clearly suffering from the onslaught, worked tirelessly to try to gain possession and their Midfield pairing of Aoife Mannion and Michelle McCarron, along with Tish Hutchinson began to see more of the ball. With a strong run from Mannion followed by an excellent delivery, Macs had their first effort at the posts on 20 minutes with the ever busy Rihann Shannon unfortunately pushing the ball wide on this occasion. Despite Macs seeing more of the ball, Mannion in particular, the inexperience of the forwards was cost them and many of their attacks were swept up and brought out the field by the very comfortable yet focused backs of Barnabas.
Barnabas then went up another gear to score another 1-05 without reply, the goal coming again from Murphy, with points from Kelleher, England, Thompson, Fee and Pippa Billyeard.
Macs efforts were finally rewarded when a long ball in by Mannion was met by Shannon who tucked the ball nicely under goalkeeper Kat Bell. Unfortunately for McDermotts, this was not to turn the tide, with Barnabus registering a further 1-04, the goal coming from Thompsons fist after a Murphy shot had struck the crossbar, the points from England (2), Murphy and the impressive Laura O’Neill notching her first point. It was then Macs turn to strike the crossbar, sadly with no one their to pick up the rebound. O’Hare would then add another goal to Barnabas‘ tally to make the half time score Sean McDermotts 1-0 St. Barnabus 6-14
The second half began in much the same vein as the first had ended, with Barnabus‘ Thompson carrying strongly up the field and hitting the net from the first attack. This was followed by another goal for Murphy after a good interchange of passes with Fee. Murphy then added another point after a good save from Jeanette Harris in the Macs goal.
This was where Barnabas‘ dominance was to end. The Mcdermotts backs became more tigerish in the tackle, winning a lot more 50/50 ball against a tiring Nottingham forward pack. They began to create more opportunities in the forwards and from a blocked attempt, Mannion steadied herself before brilliant hitting the roof of the net directly from the resulting 45. She would then follow this up with a fine point from all of 40 yards. Macs, their confidence up, were now throwing caution to the wind, emphasised by corner back Eilish Staunton breaking forward and beginning attacks from the half back line. It was her block down which regained possession for macs and resulted in Shannon hitting her second goal of the game. In spite of their best efforts, this was to be macs final score of the game, Barnabas, maybe realising they had eased off a little, would finish strongly with points from Murphy and Kelleher and a goal from half back Lauren Murphy to leave the final score at 3-01 to 9-17 in favour of Barnabas.
While McDermotts will be disappointed with the scoreline, they can take some comfort from their second half showing, and with youth on their side are no doubt a team for the future. Barnabas on the other hand are the genuine article now and will be definitely one of the favourites to take the title if this clinical performance is anything to go by