Bray Ladies 4ths travelled to Mullingar on a mild Tuesday night to play the quarter final of the 9/10 cup. There was a nervous excitement before the match as Bray knew Mullingar are top of the league 9 and that this would be a tough match. Saoirse O’Neill and Caroline Bell were keen to add to Sunday’s u16 cup win and coach Niamh Breathnach made some tactical changes to the Bray set up to deal with a team from a higher league.
The match started at a frantic pace with both teams pushing hard for an early breakthrough. Bray’s defence of Hannah O’Connor (Captain), Hannah D’Arcy, Rowena & Sile stood firm tackling and clearing every ball that was hit at them. The midfield of Caroline, Lauren, Nuala and Frances linked up well to get the ball to forwards Annette and Rebecca S. The fast tempo meant subs Ciara, Elena, Alice and Rebecca W were rolled in as Bray attempted to gain the upper hand and with the last play of the first half a well worked short corner lead to Hannah D’Arcy scoring, 1-0.
Following a good team talk where words of composure from Niamh helped to refocus Bray’s minds the teams came out for the 2nd half. If it was possible the game became quicker Bray buoyed by having the lead were looking comfortable and beginning to boss the game. Super supporter Gary Coady even managed to drown out the opposition 20 strong support all on his own. The intensity grew as following a Mullingar attack Rowena took a stick to the face, a minute to breathe as nurse Hannah showed she does more that score goals. 10 minutes to go and Bray were undone by a well taken Mullingar short corner, 1-1. The remainder of the match was end to end with players from both sides defending excellently, Bray managed to get a series of short corners with 2 minutes remaining but Mullingar and their excellent goalie weren’t to be beaten.
The match level at full time the dreaded 1 v 1’s was next. Bray went first but still couldn’t get past the Mullingar goalie and despite Saoirse making a penalty save Bray were behind 2-0 after 3. Annette stepped up and scored her 1 v 1 but Mullingar couldn’t be caught and progress to the semi-finals, good luck to them against UCD.
Next up for Bray is a home league match @ 3pm this Saturday, 16th February against Loreto, all support is welcomed.
Match report by Ross Wellwood.