Today’s Tesco Minor Championship Semi-Final was expected to be a good game, but what everyone got was a great game – intense, hard-hitting, physical, skillful and fast.
Mayo started the match with intent and began scoring early on with five unanswered points. It took Wicklow a little while to settle into the game and get their first score on the board.
But once they settled in they scored a goal and a point by the first water break. The game was on and it proceeded to be score for score from each team from that point onward.
At no point during the match did either team pull away from the other significantly – such was the battle for each and every ball.
At the half way mark there was only 2 points in the game, a lead which could prove difficult to hold onto.
Wicklow embarked on the second half as if on a mission and began very strongly making their presence felt at every position. The game was very intense all the way through and physical with all players from both teams giving it everything.
The midfield battles were particularly tough and to win a ball was a feat, such was the skill level and tenacity shown by all on the pitch.
By the second water break Wicklow had the game by one point and Mayo were a player down. This is the type of situation where a team can drop their heads, not Mayo. They held their composure admirably and fought to the end of normal time and took the match to extra time. Final score after full time was Mayo 0.16 to Wicklow 2.10.
Mayo were back to 15 players for extra time as it is as such a new match. Wicklow scored the first point of extra time and then Mayo added a point and then Wicklow another.
It wasn’t until Mayo scored their only goal from Niamh Greally that the composure, skill and experience of the Mayo team began to shine through. Mayo built up a small lead that Wicklow were unable to claw back despite some massive points scored. Mayo fought hard to win this semi-final, and a much deserved win they took with 4 points to spare at the extra time final whistle.
Mayo 1.19 (22)
Wicklow 2.12 (18)
Mayo: Roisin Lynskey, Caragh Burke, Aoibheann Crawley, Eabha Delaney, Emily Kelly (0.1), Aoife Doherty (0.7), Niamh Greally (1.0), Caoimhe Delaney, Geri-Maye Henry, Lilian Keane, Claire Flanagan (0.1), Fionnuala McLaughlin, Emer Delaney (0.4), Eimear Geraghty, Saoirse Delaney (0.5)
Subs: Laoise Greally for Lilian Keane; Ruby Lambert for Laoise Greally; Kate Tener for Geri-Maye Henry.