It was an action packed day with lots of fun and excitement as the 2011 Digicel League entered Round 3 at the rugby club in South Sound last week.
Valentine’s Day may have been around the corner but there was little love or affection displayed on the field as all the teams were desperate to get points.
The first game was an open and entertaining match-up between Gabriels and the Wolfe Tones. Both teams had been comprehensive winners on the opening day but had both fallen to defeat in their second round match-ups so they were eager to get back to winning ways.
The Wolfe Tones had the benefit of a strong breeze in the first half but failed to take full advantage and they only led by one point at half rime.
They lacked a cutting edge in front of goal and they were made to pay dearly for their profligacy as Scott Brittain and Bryan Fitzgerald starred in the second half and inspired Gabriels to a seven point win which puts their team back on top of the league table. Adam Cullen and James Chiweshe also found the net for Gabriels whilst Tom Dillon scored a late consolation goal for the Tones.
In the following ladies game, fresh from two straight defeats Oliver Plunketts took on the ever strong Na Piarsaigh. The first half saw a flurry of goals by Oliver Plunketts, from Janice Gordon, Sharlee Henshaw and Jackie Ridgway, to take the lead 9-0.
However in a strong second half Na Piarsaigh came back with a goal and point by Liz Austin with Mary Dunne scoring an added point too. The second half was an outstanding show of teamwork from both sides as they fought to the bitter end. Oliver Plunketts claimed their first win of the season in a tightly contested match eventually winning 3-0 to 1-2.
The second men’s encounter was the battle of the Gaels as the Western Gaels went toe to toe with Cabra Gaels in a tough, bruising encounter with neither team holding anything back.
There was some magnificent high fielding for the fans to appreciate and the Western Gaels edged in front against the strong breeze and led by solitary point at half time.
They strongly fancied their chances in the second half with the wind at their backs but they were stunned as Cabra struck for two lucky goals against the run of play from Tom Elliott and Shaun Geils.
Dave O’Driscoll was in determined mood however and he kicked some great points to get Western Gaels back within touching distance. It was a tense affair with passions running high and the referee had to intercede to calm matters down on more than one occasion.
The Western Gaels dug deep and ball after ball was pumped into the Cabra danger area only to be repelled time and again. The clock was ticking down but with seconds remaining, Paul Broderick made a sensational high catch and laid the ball off for Trevor Murphy to finish in style to level the game.
It was an incredible finish to a hard fought game and both teams were happy to come away with a share of the spoils and are already looking forward to a rematch later in the year.
The final game saw Buffers Alley and Sarsfields take to the field, who were evenly matched. Sarsfield’s were missing both their captain Helena McGrath and vice-captaiin Helen Ennis, which was matched by Buffers captain Tammy Fu resigned to the sidelines due to injury.
Sarsfields led by one point at half time with the final score resulting as a five all tie.
Joan Murphy (3), Katie Fleming and Lija Godenzi scored points for Sarsfields and Buffers Alley benefited from a goal scored by Bobeth O’Garro and additional points by Megan Keppler and Sandra Parton.
It was a great day of competitive action and the players and spectators thoroughly enjoyed an incident packed day. They were many talking points to look back on and all the matches can be viewed on the Gaelic channel on www.caymanrugbyTV.com
Players can work on their skills at the weekly training sessions that are held at the International School in Camana Bay every Thursday evening throughout February at 6pm and everyone is already looking forward to the next round of the League which will be held this Sunday.
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