After a tough but satisfying encounter in Sutton Park on Thursday night, the girls were well up for this one. A cold day in Glasnevin but warm enough for the pitch to be playable and an ideal tip off  time of 2.30. 14 players made the short journey with the prospect of tea and biscuits afterwards a factor without doubt.

The midfield (Louise, Becky and Ruth) were on top in the early exchanges as Botanic relied on their strong defenders to keep us at bay and make long clearances. The home team’s goalkeeper made a good save from a powerful shot from a Sue Lawless short corner. Both Sue and Ailish were popping up all over the pitch to re-cycle the ball and keep the momentum going. As the pressure continued to mount, 21 players were often in one half of the pitch. But as half time beckoned, Botanic came more into the game and our defence had to be alert to keep the game at 0-0 at the break.

The second half saw our defence under more pressure as Botanic decided to go for it. Rachel had plenty to do on her return with Sarah, Aoife and Susie Hare all resolutely keeping the home team at bay. Sophia was especially vocal behind them as she also kept her strong clearances all along the ground. At one stage, there was a chorus from all corners for someone to pick up the girl with the bandanna who kept lurking back post.

Ailish had to dash off to work but Emer Nowlan was on hand to continue the hard work on the wing. Ciara Brody and Maria Fention showed their experience to get control back in proceedings particularly from set pieces and for the last 10 minutes, it was all Clontarf. There was a series of short corners and with a minute on the clock, Katie Conaty found herself pushing the ball out and then getting on the end of the return and placing the winner into the corner.

A fitting reward for a player and team that worked hard all afternoon. Smash and grab at it’s very best, a very welcome 3 points and delight all round.

Our thanks to our hosts for the tea and chat afterwards.

Match: Clontarf Ladies 3s vs Botanic, Away, 16/12/2017

Result: 1-0

Team : Sophia Hijazi, Aoife Brennan, Susie Hare, Sarah Headon, Rachel McGlade, Maria Fenton, Louise Hare, Becky Moore, Ruth Hoban, Ciara Brody, Emer Nowlan, Katie Conaty, Sue Lawless, Ailish O’Neill

Scorers: Katie Conaty

Written by: David Nugent