Beginning the season with a fresh 3rds team with only a handful of players having played thirds the year before, we began the season with a positive outlook and excitement of being in a higher division. Although we had a rough start to our season getting used to playing as a team and playing at a higher standard we persevered to get our first win against Botanic just in time for our Christmas break!
Our two final games of the season came back to back, which was less than ideal when facing relegation but as always the team came together with the right attitude and ready for a win!
Saturday kicked off with our final home again against Botanic. We knew it would not be as easy as our win against them before Christmas as they too were set to be relegated. With a full squad of 16 we set out for our last home win of the season which was achieved.
Sunday came around all too soon, It was a beautiful start to the day with the sun beaming as we warmed up. We were focused and unphased by the fact that North Kildare were solid in the middle of the table, that fact was irrelevant to us when all we were focused on was a win.
Facing a lot of pressure in the first half we managed to maintain arguable majority of possession only to see North Kildare make use of a short corner which put them in the lead with a score of 1-0. Despite our best efforts we were unable to equalise before North Kildare put away their second goal shortly before halftime. With a positive but firm halftime talk we gathered ourselves together and went back out with our heads held high. The second half saw Clontarf putting North Kildare’s defence and midfield to work and finally our first long awaited goal came from a great run from Nikki McMullen’s who gave a quick pass to Sue Lawless in the D who solidly put it away into their goal. Everyone was on edge of their seat watching as we missed multiple opportunities in the D but sadly a draw/win was not meant to be and as the final whistle blew we walked away in defeat, but not before emotionally eating our loss away with tea and sandwiches that North Kildare kindly provided.
Although there is still the chance we may be relegated, as we’ll have to wait to see the result between Old Alex and Newbridge, we can walk away from this season with our heads held high knowing we gave it our best shot.
It was great to be a part of such a diverse team this season with so many school girls and some more experienced players coming together to share their knowledge of the game and treating everyone with respect regardless of age. Regardless of our division next year we plan on going into the new season with a clean sheet and a new found momentum that our last couple of games brought out in us.
Thank you to all who have helped out with the ladies 3’s this season, with a special thanks to David Nugent, Robert (Bobbo) Forrest, and Sharon Sterritt.
Written By: Ruth Hoban