FAI Umbro Junior Cup Quarter Final 28/07/2013

In years to come when people sit around a table reminiscing about the good ol days of Enniskerry FC, Sunday the 28th of July will certainly be one to be mentioned. History was made on Sunday as Enniskerry Ladies played their socks off and reached the FAI Umbro Junior cup semi final for the first time.

The Enniskerry girls took to the newly re-laid Bog Meadow pitch at 3pm on a day when the weather couldn’t quite make up its mind, lashing rain one minute and glorious sunshine the next! Our opponents had travelled all the way from Youghal in County Cork.
Unaffected by the weather, Enniskerry hit the ground running right from the off. Heather Blackbyrne had the first chance for the Red and Whites as she was put through from a lovely pass, she failed to get any direction on the ball however and the keeper easily collected it.
Soon after, the reds won a free kick just outside the box, Amie Byrne was unlucky not to put the Wicklow girls in front as she could only watch as her shot bounced off the post.
The breakthrough came mid way through the first half when left back Tasha O’Gara collected the ball outside the box and sent a rocket of a shot into the bottom left corner, leaving the keeper stranded. 1-0 Enniskerry.
New signing Belén Sánchez Lechado was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty as she went down in the box after a weaving run in and out of the defense, her quick foot work baffling the defenders throughout the match.
The Enniskerry defense remained calm and collected while keeping the Youghal attackers at bay, with great team work and communication paying dividends.

As the half time whistle went, Enniskerry returned to the dressing room, adrenaline pumping and rearing to get going again. After a few words from Karl Brauner and Cyril Blackbyrne, the ladies jogged back onto the pitch to wait for Youghal.
If the girls played well in the first half, the second half was a masterclass!
The girls went 2-0 up after some brilliant work by Amie Byrne, who crossed the ball across the box, catching the Youghal defenders off guard and leaving Blackbyrne with a handy tap in past the keeper.
Substitutions were made 10 minutes into the second half with Christine Murphy coming on to replace Kelly Hipwell in the centre of defense. When you’ve players of the caliber of Christine Murphy coming on, you know you have nothing to worry about. The bench every bit as strong as the starting 11, for the first time ever, NOBODY is guaranteed a starting position- testament to the hard work that is being put in from everybody in training.
The third goal came when Christine Murphy send a ball over the top of the Youghal defense. Heather Blackbyrne ran in between two defenders, headed the ball to control it, and slipped it under the keeper. 3-0 and looking very comfortable- thanks to a brilliant defensive performance, with keeper Katie Walsh manning her troops from the back. There was no let up from Enniskerry and they weren’t looking to shut up shop.
After tireless work up and down the left flank by Aoife Heffernan, a recurring knee injury hit her once more and she was forced off. Replacing her was Rebecca Murphy. Becca wasn’t long on the pitch when she received a ball on the edge of the box and after a brilliant strike, the ball ended up in the roof of the Youghal net. 4-0!
Right winger Sophie Nolan, deemed to have tormented the Youghal defense for long enough,was replaced by Lynsey Hipwell.

Amie Byrne was unlucky not to get on the score sheet after two shots just drifted over the crossbar. Byrne and Vicky O’Gara have formed a formidable partnership in the midfield, starting moves for Enniskerry and stopping Youghal from involving their main playmaker.
The icing on the cake for the Enniskerry outfit came with 10 minutes remaining on the clock, as captain Heather Blackbyrne notched her hat-trick after being put through by Sánchez and her left footed shot sailed into the net beyond the keeper.
Youghal did manage to get a goal with a few minutes remaining but it was little more than a consolation goal. The final score from the Bog Meadow was 5-1 to Enniskerry.

The final whistle sounded, much to the delight of the huge Enniskerry contingent but now all eyes focus towards the semi finals in 2 weeks time.

Team: Katie Walsh, Tasha O’Gara, Kelly Hipwell(Replaced by C. Murphy), Jessie Bursey, Orla Kearns, Sophie Nolan(Replaced by L. Hipwell) Amie Byrne, Vicky O’Gara, Aoife Heffernan (Replaced by R. Murphy), Belén Sánchez Lechado, Heather Blackbyrne (c) Subs not used: Patriece O’Gorman, Christina Lyons, Laura Bennett, Cristina Amago
Manager: Karl Brauner
Assistant: Cyril Blackbyrne