We're beginning to run out of superlatives for this determined Under 14 side who travelled to Portlaw on Wednesday night to win an absorbing semi-final against Portlaw. With a significant entourage of coaches, mentors and positively vocal parents, we were all given a great night’s entertainment; mind you the end game surely tested any of us with a weak ticker, but not our Under 14 girls.
While Tramore ran out winners in the round robin games, there was no complacency from Tramore as they set about their task for the evening. With the benefit of a strengthening breeze and playing down the hill in the first half, early pressure resulted in a number of 45's. On ten minutes, Sally Kelly struck with such accuracy that for the umpteenth time in this championship, she hit the woodwork. On this occasion, Clara Griffin reacted quickest to pick up the loose sliothar and opened the Tramore account with a point.
There was a battle royal going on between the half forward/ half back lines and Portlaw were giving as good as they got. On 15 minutes they broke further forward to the Tramore end and scored a goal.
Jordan Scholtz and Clara were harrying and pressurising the Portlaw midfield and sending in ball to the half and full forward lines. On twenty minutes after a strong run from Sally, Flora Dooley got on the end of the move and brilliantly pulled to hit the back of the net and raise the green flag (is there a better colour?)
Sally followed up with two further well executed points from play as the half wore to its conclusion. Between Sally's points, Portlaw again showed their proficiency in attack and plundered a second goal.
So at half time after playing with the elements of the breeze and the significant hill, the scores were tied at 2-0 to 1-3.
The second half started and seemed to last for an age for us on the sidelines. Undoubtedly it flashed in a heartbeat for the girls as they applied themselves with tenacity and lots of skill to fashion a number of chances and to doggedly hold out at the other end.
After ten minutes of the half, Sally scored a fantastic goal directly from a 45. The accuracy with which Sally maintained throughout the game meant there was always the live possibility for a goal even if the sliothar fell short. Portlaw responded with a point which Sally cancelled out with one of her own from a well won free by Clara Griffin.
Emma Barry switched to the right half forward position during the half and excelled with a number of fine runs and clean striking into the inside forwards.
As the match seesawed, Portlaw pointed again to leave 2 between the sides and on to the end game.