Championship Semi Final: Cumann Pheadair Naofa 2-06 vs Dundrum 4-11
Into the great unknown, into the realm of “what if” and “maybe…just maybe”, thats where the Senior Ladies of Warrenpoint found themselves with this Semi Final. “I have never known a group of players with such heart and such a close bond as this team have, this is the beginning of a journey that will take us wherever this group want to go in the next few years”, Sean O’Hare, joint manager said in the aftermath of this game and based on their second half performance this is something that is without doubt possible.
No follower of ladies football at the start of the championship would have given the Warrenpoint ladies any chance if making a championship semi final, however after a fantastic performance against a great Mayobridge side in the Quarter Final saw them earn respect in footballing circles and enter into their semi final as serious underdogs. The massive task of facing favourites Dundrum along with the nerves of playing in their first ever Semi Final in the Clubs history sat prominent in the minds and thoughts of all players taking to the pitch on Tuesday evening.
After a moment silence for the tragic passing of Dundrums Conall McKee the ball was thrown in and from the off the Warrenpoint defence where met with wave after wave of attacking runners, the superb Point defence met these attacks with turnover after turnover however the panic and nerves saw the ball breaking from defence kicked into the open arms of a Dundrum player.
After a barrage of this in the first 10 minutes a sense of Shellshock reverberated around the Warrenpoint ranks, the occasion clearly getting to the Blues Sisters. It was after 15 minutes that a well won ball by Meabh O’Hare found its way to the hard working and double marked Ciara Morgan who calmed the Warrenpoint nerves and within a minute Ciara did the same with a free from 30 yards.
At half time the girls got time to find themselves again, the nerves had vanished and the realisation that they had not played as they should saw a rejuvenated Warrenpoint take to the Field, in the opening exchanges the Blues won every ball and claimed the first 2 scores of the half.
Goals from Meabh O’Hare and Tara Cunningham and points form Ciara Morgan saw the Warrenpoint ladies close the gap on Dundrum, but the damage inflicted in the first half had taken its toll and at the Final Whistle it was the Dundrum Ladies who marched on to the final vs Loughinisland on the 8th September in Castlewellan.
Sean O’Hare , Warrenpoint Joint Manager said this,“Incredibly proud of our girls in this game and in this season, they have given their all in the last and have a bright future ahead of them, our nerves got the better of us in the first half but we will learn from that, this is our first year as a senior ladies teams so of course we have things to learn. To progress we must learn and move forward equipped with those learning points. This team are only getting warmed up, we have achieved our goals for this season and we have our goals for next season already so our focus is set already for another season.”