Twelve Angry Nuns make it cheaper by the dozen
Clontarf FC 12 Ratoath 0
Back at Fortress St Pauls the Blue Nuns served up a mouth watering display of skill laced with a bucket load of goals against a Ratoath side that tried hard but were simply no match for the league leaders who were in relentless form today. The Nuns have been gathering momentum since mid January combining the meanest defence in the NDSL with a gallery of strikers now hitting top form just at the right time with 5 league games to go. Today's game was a managerial challenge with GAA games clashing over the weekend and a need to avoid injuries combined with navigating the distractions of the St Paddy's weekend teenage night out at Wez. As a result in the Nuns line up looking like Lanigans Ball or the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace every 10 or 15 minutes. In spite of all this, the Nuns delivered a master class display which would be the envy of any team.
In the first half our strike force of Ailbhe Byrne and Hannah Walsh terrorised the Ratoath defenders with incisive fastball which any team would struggle to handle. The Nuns totally dominated midfield with Aisleen O'Neill, Hannah Mc Williams, Sarah Fagan and Lucy Barrett playing some outrageous rock and roll football the like of which we had not seen this season. There are days when you just sit back and savour the moment knowing that you are seeing something special - think of the Three Tenors in Barcelona Olympics in 2002, U2's performance in Slane in 2001 the same day Ireland qualified for the World Cup, or Ireland beating England in Croke Park in 2007. Now you can add the magic of The Blue Nuns playing soccer in St Pauls in March 2015, surely this was up there with the Brazil team in Mexico 1970 and 1982 ?
Goals in the first half from Ailbhe (2) who could easily have score a couple more, another from Sarah Fagan after waltzing like Mozart through the Ratoath defence, and a real gem from Hannah Walsh who chipped the keeper from the edge of the box, left the Nuns in a comfortable 4 nil position at half time. As we rested some key players in the second half, you could be forgiven for assuming that the Nuns would ease off the throttle in the second half having squeezed in a dozen Hail Marys and the Our Father at half time looking angelic and peaceful as they returned for the second half. Well, you would be 100% wrong as instead the Nuns moved up a few more gears in the second half and hit Ratoath with a combination of their usual high intensity game and swift forward movement. The Nuns always stuck to their football principles and played the ball on the ground all morning and played intelligent football in the right areas of the pitch. The two wide midfielders Aisleen and Khloe Bennett were busy bees again causing trouble in the Ratoath penalty box and working hard up and down the pitch and were a little unlucky not to score a few times.
The Nuns defence today was like the Swiss Guards in the Vatican with the central defenders our Mother Superior (Hannah Lyons) and Tara Beary going for every ball like their lives depended on it and our two speedy and tenacious full backs Aoife Toal and Sarah Farrelly turning defence into attack whenever called upon. Behind them Sister Laura Brennan brewed up tea like Mrs Doyle in between occasionally rising from her armchair to turn down the oven to stop the scones from burning.
Lucy and Sarah Fagan who were unstoppable today grabbed a couple more early in the second half to make it six nil, with Sarah weaving a path like St Brigids cross through the Ratoath defence leaving them dizzy. Hannah Mac once again played ball after ball into the strikers and controlled the game from midfield like David Copperfield at times. Hannah Mac took a rest to allow Aoibhe "Lazarus" Bell made a miraculous appearance in the second half after a late Weetabix and catching mass on her way to the game. To make matters worse for Ratoath, Aoibhe made it 7 nil with a great goal after being on the pitch less than a minute. In the last 15-20 minutes the goals rained in like US drones on a hairy night in Bagdad with Hannah Walsh getting four more very good goals and Aoibhe grabbing her second goal to make the final score an unbelievable 12 nil, the Nuns largest scoreline all season.
To their credit Ratoath tried very hard to stop the deluge and had a few very decent players but were simply outclassed by the Nuns who were utterly dominant in all respects today. Nun of the Match today was a hard call with in particular Lucy, Hannah Lyons, Hannah Mac and Sarah Fagan having brilliant games, but for her massive endeavour all afternoon, electric speed, clinical finishing and five goals, the NOTM today goes to Hannah Walsh who has continued her fine form over the last few games. The win extends the Nuns lead at the top of the U16A league with only 5 league games left now and looking in better form every week in spite of the difficulty of losing players for certain games for the run in . Let's hope the good form continues in the next few games as the Nuns continue to entertain us.
Team: Laura Brennan, Aoife Toal, Sarah Farrelly, Tara Beary, Hannah Lyons, Sarah Fagan (Captain), Lucy Barrett, Khloe Bennett, Aisleen O' Neill, Hannah Mc Williams, Hannah Walsh, Aoibhe Bell, Ailbhe Byrne