Inching Toward the Finals
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In some serious GAA football action on Sunday, July 22, the Notre Dames Ladies Football Club beat the national champion Mairead Farrell team, taking two games in the best of five to compete at the senior level at the national games in Philadelphia on Labor Day weekend.
That means, when play resumes on August 5, there could be more drama on the field. (This week, the teams were forced to show ID—including passports for the Irish players here for the summer—to prove there wasn’t a ringer in the bunch.)
The Notre Dames had taken a year off, and that could be the biggest reason they’re coming back from being “number 2,” acknowledged coach, Trish Monaghan. “The year out did us good,” she said. “It allowed us to regroup and has really helped us in going against the Mairead Farrells, which are a superb team.”
Our favorite Gaelic sports writer, Peter McDermott, had his hands full for the games on Sunday. He was in charge of admissions (only $5), then officiated at the last game, though he managed to keep track of the play-by-play. Here’s Peter’s account:
There was a buzz in the Air as Paul McCarthy was flipping the coin at midfield with Saint Patrick’s Captain, Liam O’Donnell and Kevin Barrys’ Captain, Paul McCarthy.
As soon as the Size 5 left the referee’s hands, the hard-hitting, intense football was underway. Great work by the backs and midfielders of Saint Patrick’s created opportunities in that first half that were wasted time and time again. Wide, followed wide, on top of wides. I believe there was anywhere from 9 to 10 wides in that first half, all within their range. The Barrys found their chances to be minimal but their forwards capitalized on the scraps they were getting.
At the Break, the Barrys were up by a scoreline of 1-04 to 0-03. Conall Duffy fed Peter Mallon for the goal, clubmates from home looking out for one another.
It looked as if Saint Patrick’s luck could change in the second half with a slight breeze at their backs and playing downhill and away from the carpark. It didn’t happen.
The Barrys had other plans. The start of the second half saw them pump ball after ball into the full forward line. Forwards out in front, turn, create space, and fire… over the bar. Textbook football. Were these the same backs we saw hoover everything thrown at them the past month, including most of the first half? On top of this, the Barrys were winning all the breaks around the middle of the park.
Barry’s were up 1-11 or 1-12 to just 0-04 or 0-05 points for Saint Patrick’s. Then, a resurgence took place. Long, high ball into the Barrys’ Keeper, which he palmed away from slipping beneath the crossbar, but the rebound came straight into Saint Patrick’s Ciaran Moore, who sent it into the Back of the Net. They scored 1-04 to the Barrys’ 0-03, but it wasn’t enough.
Best for the Barrys was Peter Mallon, Stefan McKenna, Kevin Clark, and Conall Duffy.
Best for Saint Patrick’s in the First Half were the backs and midfield: Paul Butcher, Patrick Kennedy, John Doherty, and Liam Moore. Forwards struggled. Second half: Lee Moore, Ciaran Moore, and Liam O’Donnell. Backs struggled, with the exception of substitute, Mark Peacock.
Kevin Barrys • 1-15
Saint Patrick’s • 1-09
St. Patrick’s will be taking on the Young Irelands on Wednesday, August 1, for division 1 honors at Cardinal Dougherty fields in Philadelphia, starting at 6:30 PM.
View our photos of the action.