Moate U16 A Semi Final To Look Forwrd To…..
MCS’ u16 ladies provided a thrilling spectacle as they faced off against Scoil Criost Rí in their final qualifying game of their u16 A championship. The windy conditions were helpful in the first half as Moate played with a strong breeze. However, it was perhaps a nervous start for MCS as a foul from Moate and the subsequent free meant that Portlaoise scored the first point of the match. However, Moate soon settled into the game as a quick free from Shannon Mulvihill to Ava Cornally saw the ball hit the back of the net. The level of skill on both sides could be seen as Portlaoise responded with another point. Ava Cornally once again took a shot at goal after a well-won battle with the Portlaoise defense but unfortunately hit the crossbar. Moate were not disheartened however as after winning the oppositions kickout, Shannon Mulvihill quickly scored another goal. A credit to Moate’s pace and power, Kasey Rotheroe made a lightning-fast attack up the pitch before passing to Áine Gaynor who scored Moate’s first point. Portlaoise’s kickouts continued to not find their targets as it was followed up by another point to Moate. After being awarded a 45, Aine Gaynor made a strategic kick into the hands of Megan Clinton who hit the crossbar once again. Hope was not lost as the ball then fell to Hazel Kelly who scored Moates third goal. Portlaoise sprung into action, answering with a point of their own. Shannon Mulvihill looked to score but hit the post. The ball then fell to Saoirse McGuiness who unbelievably also hit the post and caused the ball to go wide. Quick hands from Portlaoise resulted in their first goal of the game. Ava Cornally sought to answer with a goal of her own but the Portlaoise keeper had a lucky save, pushing the ball over the bar. Mulvihill scored another point, followed up by a quick goal from the ever-dangerous Ava Cornally after winning the oppositions kickout. An over-enthusiastic tackle from Saoirse McGuiness resulted in a yellow card in the 24th minute, leaving Moate without a key player. Portlaoise then scored a point from free, followed up by a point from Hazel Kelly leaving Moate with an impressive lead at half time on a score line of 4-5 to 1-4.
Moate’s sheer hunger for success shone through in the second half as they played against a strong breeze. After a few missed scoring chances, Cornally won a free in front of the goals, easily converted by Áine Gaynor. The counter attack seemed to be on however, as Portlaoise scored a point and a goal consecutively. Gaynor fought back with a point of her own, but despite intense pressure from Moate’s talented back line this was soon followed up by 2 points and a goal from Portlaoise. Moate refused to lose hope as Hannah Doolan scored a point for Moate. The atmosphere became tense as Portlaoise managed to put two points over the bar after a ferocious battle with Moate’s defense. However, the MCS Ladies bounced back and showcased their sheer grit with a point from the deadly Shannon Mulvihill, followed by another coolly converted free from Áine Gaynor, which were to be Moate’s final scores of the game. Portlaoise battled hard to get a last two points but it was too little, too late against the incredible talent of the MCS ladies as they took home another hard-fought victory with a final score line of 4-10 to 3-11.
The u16 girls are now looking forward to playing Ballymahon in a championship semi-final next Friday.