Ballingarry put pressure on leaders Abbeyfeale with a fine 2-1 victory at home to a spirited Newcastle West side.
Both teams started well and a tough contest ensued. Some excellent defending from Aoibhlinn O’Connor and Zara O’Kelly set the tone early on. It took until just after the half hour mark for Ballingarry to take the lead. Some great work down the left from Aimee McCarthy found Fiona Hickey free in the box. Her shot was well blocked but the rebound fell straight to Marion Neville who made no mistake. Ballingarry nearly doubled their lead when Hickey was again denied after being put through from a fine Jane Hickey ball. Shortly after NCW had their best chance of the 1st half after their striker broke free but a fantastic covering block from centre half O’Grady diverted the ball for a corner. The corner count for NCW grew as half-time neared but Mary Shire and Emer Hickey defended well.
The second half saw Ballingarry take control and but for the NCW goal keeper saving bravely at Fiona Hickeys feet Ballingarry would have doubled their lead.
With fifteen minutes remaining some quick thinking from a Mary Shire throw in set Olivia O’Keeffe through and she squared perfectly for substitute Eleanor Gaffney to score her second in two games. This proved to be the match winner.
Despite the best efforts of Orla Keating and Rachel Cronin chasing every ball NCW finally beat Catherine Murphy through an excellent individual goal for NCW set up a nervy finish but Ballingarry held out.
This was an excellent team win and puts Ballingarry back in the title mix.
Team: Catherine Murphy, Aoibhlinn O’Connor, Zara O’Kelly, Emma O’Grady (Orla Keating), Emer hickey, Mary Shire, Jane Hickey, Aimee McCarthy, Marion Neville (Eleanor Gaffney), Fiona Hickey, Olivia O’Keeffe (Rachel Cronin).
Training continues on Fridays over the Christmas break, details via text.