Both teams started the game well with early ventures into each other’s halves, but North Kildare started the stronger keeping the ball in the visitors half for most of the first half of the game. The experienced defence of the Wexford men of Mick Jordan, brothers Ivan Rothwell and Jonathon and their cousin Andrew Rothwell were capable of dealing with the attacks. However, when it came to the Kildare sides short corners the ‘goalie Luke Doyle and his previously named defenders seemed to struggle as after 8 minutes the home side struck and scored their first goal in the bottom right corner of the goal. Enniscorthy did have early ventures into the oppositions half with defenders Andrew and Jonathon both pushing forward trying to pin North Kildare back in their own half. Halfway through the first half Jonathon took a ball to the knee and was forced to take a break on the bench, Fraser Rothwell, father of Jonathon came on to replace his son. Shortly after Kildare found the net for the second time again from another short corner. Kildare came close to putting a third passed Enniscorthy but ‘goalie Luke Doyle was more than capable to deal with the shot. A third goal was to come for the home side as after 25 minutes they scored a well-structured goal during open play. At this point Enniscorthy upped it and gave it everything, as at this stage of the game they had nothing to loose as they went in search of their own goals. Forwards Ciaran O’Leary, Rory Maguire and Eamon Sweeney began to get more ball from their midfielders and defenders. Alan Smith, Jacob English and captain William Durnan controlled the ball well in midfield, and feed Eamon Sweeney who distributed the ball to his wingers with purpose and power and Enniscorthy gained some confidence. Half time came with Kildare up by three goals.
The Slaneysider’s travelled with a relatively young team and even though they were behind they knew they were capable of getting back into it. The second half was a much more even affair with both teams getting into each others halves and putting their oppositions ‘goalie under pressure. Enniscorthy pushed up from the back with the visitor’s defenders player much higher in the second half, as they knew they had nothing to lose at this stage. Enniscorthy won their first short corner of the game half way through the second half but a shot from Mick Jordan went narrowly wide. Ciaran O’Leary had a shot saved shortly after. Enniscorthy were giving it everything and were up for the fight. Unfortunately, Enniscorthy’s attacks were to no avail as Kildare were able to see out the game with a three-goal win. The visitors can be proud of how they came back and gave North Kildare a game to remember.
Christmas break begins for Enniscorthy Hockey Club, they will return early in the New Year as they play their first game on the 9th January at home to St. James Gate.
Enniscorthy Squad: Luke Doyle; Andrew Rothwell; Ivan Rothwell; Jonathon Rothwell; Mick Jordan; William Durnan; Alan Smith; Jacob English; Ciaran O’Leary; Eamon Sweeney; Rory Maguire; Fraser Rothwell.