Bray L3s 1 (Sarah Martin) - 0 Portlaoise 1s
Bray set out for an early start for what they knew was going to be a tough cup quarter final clash against a strong Portlaoise team. Between the nerves and adrenaline, Bray took a little while to settle into the game but still dominated the possession from the first whistle. Lovely passes up the right hand side from Caroline Kennedy, through Caitlin Evans and up to Aisling Dalby created a lot of goal scoring opportunities which Bray were unlucky not to convert.
Juliette Kinghall played a crucial role in centre, acting as a pivot, teaming up well with both mids and forwards on both sides of the pitch. Portlaoise tried to put Bray's defense under pressure, but Niamh Byrne, Caoimhe Hardiman, Caroline Kennedy and Hannah Darcy were determined not to allow any goal scoring chances. Bray continued to attack but a first half goal wasn't to be.
Coach Ruth McDonagh made a few tactical changes to Bray's line up in her constructive team talk at half time which meant Bray started the second half focused and with nerves under control.
With a more postive start to the second half Bray's midline Juliette Kinghall, Helen Kingston and Isobel Demery pushed forward with the play, yet were quick to get back and defend when needed.
Isobel Demery switched the ball to Samantha Speidle in the circle who was unfortunate not to score, skimming the post. Excellent positioning on the left by Caoimhe Guilfoyle created even more goal scoring opportunities where the Portlaoise goalie had to make some impressive and crucial saves.
Bray were awarded a number of short corners in the second half and a solid stike from Juliette Kinghall finally found Sarah Martin's well placed stick on the left post which flung the ball into the net 🎉
Laura Stewart made some great runs on the right hand side of the pitch creating space and teaming up well with Aisling Dalby who confidently took on the Portlaoise defense. Niamh Byrne had a strong outing marking the Portlaoise centre forward out of the game and minimising any threats on the Bray goal, meaning that Bray's goalie Trish Martin, had little physical work to do but her constructive words were heard on every corner of the pitch. Bray didn't sit back with their 1-0 score line and kept feeding the ball into Portlaoise 25 putting the pressure on until the final whistle.
A well deserved 1-0 win for the Ladies 3s means they can now look forward to an exciting semi-final against UCD 6ths on March 11th.
A huge thanks to the three subs who travelled all the way to Kilkenny; Isobel Demery, Hannah Darcy and Laura Stewart and to Yani Scully Lane for umpiring.
Match report written collaboratively by Samantha Speidle, Helen Kingston, Caitlin Evans, Aisling Dalby and Isobel Demery on the journey home! ☺️