Clontarf Girls Soccer Corner: The Blue Nuns
An Introduction to “The Blue Nuns”
The Blue Nuns are Clontarf’s only female local representative team playing competitive soccer at any level. Clontarf FC first introduced girls soccer seven years ago when local soccer stalwarts John O’ Neill and Ronan Smyth launched our first girls team. While boys soccer continues to be very strong in Clontarf FC with 24 underage league boys teams now playing football, the current girls vintage managed by Kevin Beary and John Toal playing in the NDSL Under 16A league remain the only local girls soccer team playing league football. These girls are setting a great example for younger teams to come through and having great fun to boot.
Over the next few months loveclontarf.ie will chart the progress of The Blue Nuns and hope that they will inspire more girls in the area to play.
These game reports are written for both children and adults, featuring both essential details and a healthy injection of humour!
Sunday 2nd November: Clontarf 7 Kinnegad 1
The Blue Nuns journeyed to the midlands to the town of Kinnegad in County Westmeath as the wagon rolled into Harrys Bar in the centre of Kinnegad for a strategic comfort break before the game. In the first half the Nuns played with a strong wind and toyed with the opposition for the first 15 minutes. At the back Hannah Lyons returned after an injury to play alongside Sarah Fagan in a very assured centre half pairing, flanked by the two tough and speedy full backs Heather Bolger and Aoife Toal. Behind them Laura Brennan was in commanding form.
The midfield pairing of Tara Beary and Lucy Barrett took no prisoners. Sarah Fagan was given a roaming license to explore space whenever there is weakness. One of those runs paid off as Tara launched a trade mark Rory Delappe throw which put Sarah clean through and she made no mistake to make it one nil from the edge of the box with a great strike. After a sustained period of dominance Aoibhe Bell used the tail wind well to swing in a wicked corner which Lucy tucked away to make 2 nil after 20 minutes.
A wild tackle on Aoibhe resulted in a free kick from outside the box which Hannah Lyons struck to the net from 30 yards to make it three nil. In defence Heather Bolger was having her best game of the season and the ever vocal Hannah Lyons and Aoife Toal both in uncompromising mood beside her.
The attacking line up ahead with Ailbhe Byrne, Hannah Walshe, Aisleen O Neill and Aoibhe were running tirelessly at Kinnegad all morning. In that passage of play all four girls went close with some great chances before Aoibhe eventually made it 4 nil with a real poachers goal. Then just before half time young Fagan made another sweeping run from the halfway line, straight from the Kevin Moran vault of 76/77 vintage, to break through 3 or 4 lines of defence and smash in the 5th goal.
Sarah Farrelly came on at half time to play very well in midfield in the second half. Hannah Lyons' kick outs against the strong breeze were excellent as she seemed to find Sarah Fagan, Lucy and Tara with relative ease. Ailbhe was tormenting her markers with some wonderful trickery out on the right and after rounding 2 players grabbed a great 6th goal.
With such a commanding lead the Nuns inevitably took their foot off the accelerator and allowed Kinnegad in for a consolation before Sarah Fagan once again ran from her own half before sticking a pile driver into the roof of the Kinnegad net to make the finishing score 7:1 after 80 minutes of play.
This was a third successive win for the Blue Nuns who are now top of the Under 16A league and are starting to look like serious title contenders. Progress can be followed during the season on this website.
Team: Laura Brennan, Aoife Toal, Sarah Fagan (captain), Hannah Lyons, Heather Bolger, Tara Beary, Lucy Barrett, Ailbhe Byrne, Aoibhe Bell, Hannah Walshe, Aisleen O' Neill & Sarah Farrelly.