Bray Ladies 2s travelled to Old Alex keen to put their cup disappointment from the previous week behind them. Well almost everyone travelled that is, as the team warmed up Tooler was a notable absentee. With about 10 mins to go the team spotted the space cadet pulling up. Tooler’s excuse was that time got away from her which I think is a valid excuse - as we all know time waits for no man or woman.
The plan was to start strong and Bray certainly did that winning a short corner early on. Although the short corner broke down Rachel Anglin managed to get the ball back in play to Luca Dunne who spectacularly swept the ball into the back of the net and Bray were 1 up. Emer o Reilly under coaches orders was playing in a more advanced position from centre midfield and make a great break into the circle, a super shot at goal rebounded off the keepers pads and Claire P was on hand to slot home. As the game progressed some great work from Niamhy put Claire P in behind the defence and bearing down on the goalkeeper, a diving save was not enough to keep Bray out as Rhona was well placed to knock the ball in. 3-0 to Bray and what could possibly go wrong right?? Read on.......
The play was end to end and Bray’s defence were soaking up a lot of pressure ably helped by midfielder Saoirse Guilfoyle who had returned from her international commitments in Belgium! Do or Di Dunne was a rock at the back (Definitely marble as she’s so smooth - boom!) Anna Lawlor was her usual unflappable self, so it was against the run of play when Old Alex managed to pull one back for 3-1. Bray were a little nervy and Tooler must have borrowed Rhona’s clown shoes during the week as she managed to get a big size 9 in the way on the goal line and a stroke was awarded! Luckily Bray have one of the best keepers in the league with Suzy Kenna and she proved it once again with a stunning save to keep the penalty out. With only 2 minutes to half time Old Alex however pulled another back and it was 3-2 going into the half time break.... Go and get the kettle on there and settle in before reading on for the second half.
The instruction at half time was clear, refocus and get the next goal.. Did we follow that instruction - no! Not long into the 2nd half and Bray conceded again and the game was finely poised at 3-3. Most teams would drop their heads at this point but not the brave and courageous ladies of Bray 2s. Almost from the tip off a quick ball from Yani Scully- Lane saw Kathy o Toole score a collector’s item, a reverse stick effort into the bottom right corner! Bray were in the ascendency again and 4-3 up.
More drama was to follow and Bray were periodically down to 10 men, I know what you are all thinking but this time it was not the usual culprit but angelic Luca Dunne who found herself in the bin!! Tut,Tut Luca. Some good advantage allowed by the umpires saw Claire P benefit from a foot in the circle and she slotted home to put Bray 5-3 ahead. Vicky Coen was her usual mercurial self on the left wing and was unlucky not to get herself on the scoresheet although she did score a nice point with a fine effort!
Old Alex just wouldn’t lie down and in the dying minutes of the match they pulled yet another goal back to leave the game on a knife edge at 5-4. Thankfully the final whistle went saving coach Niamh from a probable heart attack. A fantastic match and a well earned 3 away points for the ladies 2s sets them up nicely for a number of home games before Christmas. On this performance the ladies 2s are well worth the entrance fee so please do come and support our push for the league! Thanks to Hannah O'Connor for umpiring - you needed eyes in the back of your head for that one!
Match report by Claire Prendergast.