Firsts edged out in tense Trophy battle by Kildare

Kilkenny Firsts 1; North Kildare 1 - North Kildare won 3-2 on shuttles

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Firsts edged out in tense Trophy battle by Kildare

A Paula Farrell goal couldn’t give Kilkenny victory

It was another weekend, another intense and exciting hockey battle for the Kilkenny ladies as they travelled to North Kildare to take on the home side in the Irish Hockey Trophy.

After a tremendous battle the travelling team lost in shuttles after the game finished in a draw.

Both teams battled hard until the full-time whistle. Superb play from midfielders Laura Walshe, Sinead Connery, Paula Farrell and Abby Gilsenan saw plenty of ball delivered to attacking players Gemma O’Dywer, Aisling McGrath, Sara Browne, Ava Murphy and Aine Buggy. That helped Kilkenny create lots of goal chances, but the North Kildare ’keeper put everything on the line to keep the ball out of her goal.

In the first half of the game the home side made a break and got into the Kilkenny circle. Niamh Spratt O’Shea, Ciara Clarke and Lainey Gilsenan combined to get the ball out of the Kilkenny circle but with North Kildare's determination they were awarded a short corner.

Doireann McCurdy made a fantastic save for Kilkenny but the opposition were sitting waiting for the rebound and grabbed the goal.

The strike caught Kilkenny off-guard, but it didn’t take the away team to react. Aisling McGrath used her skills to win a short corner. Niamh Spratt O’Shea pushed the ball out to the top left which found the end of Paula Farrell’s stick who sent the ball into the bottom corner of the goal like a rocket.

The sides battled out for the second half but neither could break down the opposing defence. The teams fought all over the pitch for the remanding 35 minutes but the final whistle blew and the teams then had to select five players to take the shuttles.

Paula Farrell, Sinead Connery, Laura Walshe, Aisling McGrath and Abby Gilsenan each took on the North Kildare ’keeper in the eight-second one v one shuttles, and came out with two goals. Doireann McCurdy played a stormer in the game, and in the shuttles but the North Kildare side managed to score three goals having been rewarded two strokes in the shuttles.

The Kilkenny ladies have a busy week ahead with two league games, Wedesday and Saturday and a Leinster Cup game on Sunday.

Kilkenny Firsts: Sara Browne, Niamh Spratt O’Shea, Ciara Clarke, Aisling McGrath, Aine Buggy, Sinéad Connery, Paula Farrell, Ava Murphy, Laura Walse, Doireann McCurdy, Lainey Gilsenan, Abby Gilsenan, Gemma O’Dywer.