Contributed by: Leiha Shrubsall
The Dublin Angels and the Kilrea Kookaburras flew over to Edinburgh, Scotland, last weekend for what would turn out to be a thrilling Haggis Cup match. This was the first match of the year for both teams and it was heavily anticipated too as it had been almost 7 months since these sides last met. It was another historic day for women’s football in Europe, with the first time the Haggis Cup included a ladies section.
This was also a special day for some players as it was to be their first ever Aussie rules match. The Angels were also welcoming back their captain, Avril Robinson, after being sidelined due to a knee injury. There was a few minutes warm up at the Peffermill playing fields, the all important team photos and we were ready and roaring to go.
From the minute the siren sounded, it was action galore. The first goal was kicked by Vanessa Temple as she bound through the middle pack to get the Angels on the scoreboard. Rain then forced scrappy play in the middle of the grounds, making it hard for both teams to convert chances. Kilrea forward Nuala O’Hagan taking some excellent leads for her side and making her mark on the game scoring 2 goals.
Kookaburra’s centre Marie Keating was on form; slipping through the Angels mid to pump the ball forward or through the sticks. The tackling was heavy and hard, Kilrea captain Emma Kelly making heavy contact with Temple after taking a clean mark to give away a 25m penalty in the 2nd half resulting in an Angel’s goal.
Both the girls in the ruck made excellent efforts every time the ball was thrown up, Aimee Hazley and Laura Stewart both enjoyed a good number of disposals. Not afraid to go in hard, Hazel Stevenson made a slide tackle in the centre to get to the ball but had given away the free in the process, we’ll have to get slide-tackle prone Adam Goodes to have a chat with you regarding those attempts! The score at half time: Kilrea 3.2.20 to Dublin 4.4.28.
The fourth quarter saw pressure intensify, the Dublin Angels accuracy on goal proving to be a thorn in their side but they managed to contain the Kookaburras from surging up the ground. Kilrea had a chance to goal to bring score line back within reach but narrowly missed from the boundary. The Angels sealing the deal towards the end with a little right foot accuracy from Avril Robinson, Angel’s captain, pumping in 2 goals close to the end of the game. Both teams fought a brilliant battle in what was one of the most competitive matches between the two sides to date!
The final score:
Dublin Angels 6.11 (47)
Kilrea Kookaburras 5.3 (33)
A special thanks to Douglas Hunter for providing the ladies section for this year’s Haggis Cup, we’ll be back next year for more. A special thanks to those also who joined our teams for the day, Hazel Stevenson (Glasgow), Tobie Rhyman (Manchester), Vanessa Temple (Cumbria), Stacy Hughes (Glasgow), Niamh Breslin (Glasgow), Eileen Myles (Glasgow). If anyone is interested in having a kick in Glasgow these girls can show you how to do it. www.glasgowsharks.co.uk
Team of the Tournament: Avril Robinson, Nuala O’Hagan, Emma Kelly, Marie Keating, Vanessa Temple.
Tournament best and fairest: Marie Keating.
Kilrea Kookaburras - M.Keating (3) N.O’Hagan (2)
Dublin Angels – V.Temple (2) A.Robinson (2) K.Fitzsimons (1) A.Hazley (1)
Dublin Angels Team list:
Sabrina St. Claire
Cáitlín Keenan (Injured)
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