Cashel Town ladies fall short on historic evening

Cashel Town Ladies 0

Cashel Town Ladies 0

Holycross Ladies 1

Cashel Town Ladies FC made a small piece of history in Palmershill last Friday evening, when they played their first ever league game, but fell agonisingly short in a game where they deserved better than the narrow defeat they suffered. The team began training last summer in preparation for the league, and kept going right throughout the cold winter nights, honing their fitness and skills to make themselves ready.

And, resplendent in their new colours on a beautiful evening for football, they were first out of the traps against their opponents from Holycross. The game started in a flurry of chances for Cashel as their midfield took control and set up some good early opportunities. Only a combination of last ditch defending and poor luck in front of goal stopped the Cashel girls from taking a deserved lead. Even after the game settled down as the first half progressed, Cashel’s centre field trio of Yvonne McLoughlin, Aoife O ‘Gorman and Nicole White were in control, while central defenders Mary Barron and Aoife Hallissey mopped up any danger coming from the rare Holycross attacks.

Alas however, disaster struck 10 minutes before the break, when a speculative ball from the left wasn’t dealt with by the Cashel defence and Holycross’s Sandra Cullen sneaked in at the back post to poke the ball into the Cashel net, putting her team a goal to the good. This poor turn of events was compounded 5 minutes later, when Cashel’s left back Gemma Hayde had to be stretchered from the field after an innocuous tackle forcing the Cashel defence into some premature changes. The ten minute delay when dealing with the injury meant the last minutes of the first half we mostly played in a subdued atmosphere, and Holycross took their slender lead into the break.

Holycross started the better of the second half, as the Cashel girls’ minds seemed to be with their injured colleague, and they had a couple of half chances to extend their lead, but when the game settled down, Cashel once again went back on the attack, albeit without making any real chances of regaining the initiative. During this time, Holycross’s central defensive partnership of Emma Spillane and Leanne Yeung were magnificent, clearing everything that Cashel threw at them with ease.

In a last ditch effort to try to gain an equaliser, Cashel threw caution to the wind by bringing goalkeeper Kelly Anne Fennell out to left midfield, and she had an immediate impact, setting up chances for Ashleigh O Brien and Aoife O Halloran. However, agonisingly, these chances were to slide by the post or be saved time and again, until time ran out on the Cashel girls, condemning them to a hardly deserved defeat. All in all, the Cashel girls deserved more from the game, but sport can be cruel sometimes. Nevertheless, the girls showed that they are more than capable of competing in the division, and it won’t be long before they taste the sweet fruits of success that all their work richly deserves.