Enniscorthy first XI hockey ladies were met with tough opposition for their first match of the new year, having to travel to meet pre Christmas league toppers Kilkenny. A strong squad travelled only missing Stephanie Kinsella and Nancy Dunphy. Kilkenny started the better, forcing goalie Fiona Rothwell to make a save in the first few minutes. Enniscorthy’s defence of Fiona Rothwell, Aine O' Brien, Julie Watchorn, Laura Smith and Katie Owen worked very well together and they dealt with a number of strong attacks and short corners in the first half. A special mention must go to 15 year old Laura Smith who has recently joined the ladies squad, she had a superb game at centre back and showed a level of skill and nerve beyond her years.
The even scoreline was changed early on as the forward pairing of Anna Flood and Sonja Rynhart showed great skill to take the ball out of defence, work it around several defenders with Flood beating the goalie on a one on one. The Kilkenny ladies fought back hard and did eventually penetrate Enniscorthy's defence with a well worked goal from play 20 mintues into the half to level the scoreboard again.
Both teams had good passages of play in the second half, Kilkenny were however the more clinical, their second goal coming 15 minutes into the half. Both Sonja Rynhart and Laura O' Leary made great attacks down the left and right wing respectively, however, their attempts were dealt with by a strong Kilkenny defence. Jessie Flood, Olive Lett, Leah Chapman, Ruth Harrington and Marti Rudd put in a great effort in the middle of the field, making several tackles and passes and providing the crucial link between defence and attack. Kilkenny scored one more time before the final whistle to leave the scoreline at 3-1, a score which doesn't reflect the closeness of the game.
Enniscorthy Ladies put in a superb team effort and are now looking forward to next Sunday’s league fixture against local rivals Wexford which is scheduled for 10am at the Astro Active Centre.
Enniscorthy Squad: Fiona Rothwell; Julie Watchorn; Aine O' Brien; Laura Smith; Katie Owen; Jessie Flood; Olive Lett; Leah Chapman; Ruth Harrington; Sonja Rynhart; Anna Flood; Laura O' Leary; Marti Rudd
Coach: Donal Doyle. Manager: Irene Doyle.