Close Affair Decided by 2 First-half Goals
In what proved a tight and defensive game, Charlestown Ladies were ultimately unable to fight back from two unfortunate goals conceded early in the encounter. With a half-time score-line of 0-1 to 2-5 one would think that Charlestown were completely dominated, however, both teams enjoyed close to 50% possession and territory in the half with the telling factor being that Westport took their goal chances when they came while Charlestown missed 2 or 3 gilt-edged chances to reduce the deficit. Looking back at the game that 5 minute spell before half time where Charlestown missed those goal chances would prove one of the key moments in the game. A goal here would have sent them into the dressing room with renewed energy, however, looking at the solitary point on the scoreboard as they walked in at half time would must been a tough pill to swallow.
Westport would only register 2 more points for the rest of the game. The second half was dominated by Charlestown whose never-say-die attitude was the stand-out feature that rose above all others as the game wore on. Westport retreated into their own 45 for much of the half, desperately holding onto the big lead they had been fortunate to get in the first half. In truth Charlestown probably needed to throw more bodies forward and get the ball into the box quicker and more frequently while pressing the Westport kick-out more effectively. However, they were slow to shift a defensive mindset which had served them so well throughout the season, partly due to Westport’s quick speed on the counter attack. In the end they were only able to register 4 score’s in the second half, a poor return for their massive collective efforts.
For many of the Ladies this was their first taste of a County Final at Senior level and they will learn a massive amount from the game. Westport were the much more experienced team of the two and this told on many occasions. Westport were both physically stronger and mentally better able to handle the pressure of the occasion, attributes that can only be developed over time, something this extremely young and talented Charlestown team have in abundance. Their rock-solid defence and hard-working midfield is a perfect base to build a great team from and if they can add a little bit of attacking flair there is no reason why they can’t be back here in the final again this time next year.
Onwards and Upwards!