Last Wednesday’s Tumble Jungle Connacht Senior C Ladies Final proved to be a tough experience for the Ballinamore school as they came up against an Ursuline College team, led by Emma Hansberry and Lauren Boles who were ruthless from start from start to finish.
Ballianmore PPS 3-2
Ursuline College 3-14
By Philip Rooney
Playing against the likes of Hansberry and Boles proved to be an understandably tough challenge as Hansberry represented Ireland at the U-17 World Cup in Trinidad in 2010, a tournament in which Ireland reached the quarter final while Boles featured in a recent Irish squad for qualifying matches for the 2012 U-17 Euro qualifiers.
While they may have been aware of threat posed by the Ursuline College players before the game, it proved to be a very tough task trying to contain these talented players. The Ballinamore defence was overworked for the majority of the opening and despite the best efforts of midfielder Laura O’Dowd, they were finding it very difficult to produce sustained pressure on the Ursuline goal.
In the second full-forward Claire Rowley was deployed to a deeper position and given the unenviable task of trying to keep Hansberry quiet but to her credit she did a very good marking job as Hansberry did not have the same impact on proceedings in the second half. However, such was her impact during the opening half, the fact that she was a little quieter after the break meant there a Ballinamore comeback was always going to be an uphill challenge to say the least.
On a bitterly cold day in Fenagh, Ballinamore were given an early indication of what they were up against as Emma Hansberry gave the first glimpse of her lightening pace before slotting the ball over the bar inside the opening minute.
That score was followed by a Shaunagh Brady and a further Hansberry point before Ursuline College struck for the game’s opening goal and there was no surprise to see that once again it was Emma Hanberry who was causing havoc in the Ballinamore defence.
Emma Keavney and Shaunagh Brady helped create the opening for Hansberry and she then shot across the Ballinamore goal and into the corner of Shannon O’Rourke’s goal to leave six points between the sides with just nine minutes played.
A further Hansbery point extended the lead before Ballinamore struck for their opening score of the game and it was one that brought a huge cheer from the vocal supporters.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.