Impressive Blue Nuns take Ballyfermot apart
Clontarf FC 4 Ballyfermot Utd 0
After a week off last weekend the Nuns took up where they left off as the Clontarf juggernaut gathered steam in the distinctly edgy environment of Le Fanu Road in west Dublin. Where wild horses once roamed freely on the streets and rolling plains of Ballyfermot, law and order has since replaced bareback pony racing with football fields a plenty. Today the Nuns were short 4 from the regular order and lined out with a mere 10 players. A one player handicap over 80 minutes might disturb most teams rhythm, but not the Nuns no matter wherever they line out. Our 10 Nuns nearly became 7 as one of our drivers mistook a crossroads for a T Junction along the route. Miraculously Sister Brennan, Lyons and O 'Neill appeared like three Mother Teresa's just before kick off after some frantic phone calls. Bring the Satnav the next time John Boy…
These Nuns have now nurtured a hard edge to accompany some finely honed soccer skills and kicked off around Noon, which as we all know is when the Nuns are at their most dangerous. In the first half our back four of Sarah Farrelly, Aoife Toal, Tara Beary and The Mother Superior Hannah Lyons took no nonsense and patrolled their side of the pitch like KGB Afghan Hounds as the shrills of the Ballyfermot girls on the receiving end of the tackling could be heard up on the Naas Road. These early stages were tricky as the battle for midfield was hard fought. Ballyfermot had picked up some useful players from nearby Liffey Valley FC and looked lively but after 15 minutes our Chocolate Eclair pairing of Lucy Barrett and Hannah Mac Williams (hard on the outside, soft on the inside) were starting to get the upper hand, Lucy was putting in some crunching tackles that had the local hard shaws on the sidelines grimacing and they wasted their time hurling abuse at the Nuns - may God forgive them all.... Our two wing forwards today, Aisleen O Neill & Khloe Bennett, worked like bull terriers protecting the back four when danger was sensed and attacking Ballyfermot from wide positions going forward, this pair were a right handful for the opposition.
Hannah Mac is a superb passer of the ball and created a succession of chances for our lone striker Hannah Walsh who looked razor sharp with her electric pace, although these early chances were well saved by a strong Ballyfermot keeper who was having a busy day. The Nuns opened the scoring on 25 minutes when from a corner kick Hannah Walshe found Hannah Mac on the edge of the box who looked up, saw the keeper off her line and struck a well guided shot to the top right corner, giving the keeper no chance. Well worked opener. Just before half time back came Ballyfermot with some real pressure which the Nuns soaked up well as we saw some great clearances from Hannah Lyons & Sarah, while Tara and Aoife, who picked up their best players, were first to every 50/50 ball. As half time approached Lord Lucan himself (Tom Barrett) appeared from the west wing with welcome coffee and a bag of doughnuts, this time strangely without Shergar who had probably been kidnapped by the local butcher. Mystery that one & we heard that burger sales were doing a bomb in the local Supervalu by half time…The girls took a well earned break and led 1 nil at half time and facing into a difficult breeze in the second half .play
The instructions for the second half were to keep ball possession, conserve energy and the ball patiently on the ground. For the next 20 minutes, the Nuns put on an incredible textbook display with Hannah Mac and our Blade Runner Lucy winning every tackle and using the ball very wisely. More chances fell to Aisleen, Lucy & Hannah Walsh but all went narrowly and despairingly wide as the Nuns pushed hard for the vital second goal. Khloe and Aisleen were buzzing about like hornets and starting to see a lot of ball and we were giving Ballyfermot a hard time . Eventually after 15 minutes the Nuns got the breakthrough after a great pass from Lucy found Hannah Walsh who stayed onside and raced into the penalty box at speed before shooting low across the gallant keeper who couldn't keep the ball out. A couple of long mazy runs from Sarah and Khloe electrified the crowd with some spellbinding football before Khloe slipped the ball into Aisleen who brilliantly lobbed the ball over the keeper to score the goal of the game. As Ballyfermot worked hard for a goal the Nuns, although understandably tiring, kept their shape and composure and Laura and Tara also made some fine clearances. The final goal came just before the end when Hannah Mac again found Hannah Walsh who had a lot to do before tucking the ball away again like an assassin.
At the final whistle the Nuns were elated and exhausted after chalking up another fine win, this time with a player shortage. The victory now puts the Nuns 9 points clear in the league and leaves them still undefeated in all competitions this season, you nearly have to pinch yourself as the band wagon just keeps rolling on. Forty eight competitive goals scored and just 9 conceded all season simply speaks for itself. Nun of the match was extremely hard one today with 10 heroic performances and some great character shown by leaders like Hannah Lyons, Tara, Lucy and Hannah Mac played like the pied piper all day. However, for her tireless running all day as a lone striker, with electric pace and some great shooting plus 2 sniper like goals, the NOTM today goes to Hannah Walsh. Well done Hannah and all the Nuns & keep it going now - only 6 games left.
Team: Laura Brennan, Aoife Toal, Hannah Lyons (Captain), Tara Beary, Lucy Barrett, Hannah Mc Williams, Khloe Bennett, Aisleen O Neill & Hannah Walsh