b'105Junior AThey really showed what that team could do and itMinor A It was a tough year for the Junior A girls. The teamcontinued into the next few games.Unfortunately, itAt the time of writing, in Lockdown duringhad improved so much from last year but so did a lotwas too late in the season to realize this but it taughtthe coronavirus pandemic, its somewhat ironicof teams we played against! They started the seasonthem all a good sporting lesson. It was a joy to coachto reflect back on a busy season. A long andoff playing against strong teams such as High Schoolthe girls and I hope they continue to develop andenjoyable season came to an abrupt end as schools and Muckross College. These games showed thelearn new things about hockey as they move into thewere shut and the hockey season ended overnight. girls that working hard in training and being cluedsenior side next year.It was a disappointing end for what can only be in really helps in games and then they stepped itEmilie Ryan Doyle described as an incredible year of hockey with a up in training. We had a full squad at nearly everyJunior B fantastic group of young ladies. training session which was beneficial so we couldThis group has a unique ability to be the giddiest, practice game-like situations. As the winter seasonThis year was very productive for the Junior B Girlssilliest and most entertaining bunch of girls off came in and only one pitch available, we ventured toteam. As with most teams, the season started off slow,the pitch but the moment they step on the pitch Abbotstown for training which the girls loved as theythe jump up from minor level to junior level causedsomething incredible happens. They become thought that the pitch was amazing!some getting used to. It was in the third game whenruthless, gritty and determined. As we spoke about all The next games were real battles and the girlsthis team really started to show what they were madeseason, when we step on the pitch were here to do showed that they could come out on top. The mostof - at half-time it was 2-2. Kilkenny, the opposition,business. memorable game was the first plate match wehad just scored 2 goals in the last 5 minutes and aThis unique mind-set made this group hugely played against Newpark. Both teams were very evenlylot of heads were down at half-time. I told them theysuccessful throughout the season as a team and as matched and it looked like it was going to go intohad nothing to lose and to believe in each other,individuals. Joint captains Julia Adams, Anna Doyle 1V1s. About 8 minutes before the end we scored awhich they did and ended up winning 4-2. This winand Zara McDonald led by example time and time goal. All the girls thought that this was it, that wegave them a taste of victory and the girls were moreagain and the team followed suit. Their tremendous were going to win. We had a strong defence withdetermined than ever.leadership exemplified the team spirit and Anna Peard and Abbi Rossiter holding the middleThroughout the rest of the season we went throughcamaraderie amongst the group. Their effectiveness and fast wingers to drive the ball down the outsidesome ups and downs but the girls always heldin their role made my job easy as I never had to push of the pitch. It is said that a team is most vulnerabletheir heads up high. After Christmas the team hadthe tempo and police the mentality of training or once they have scored a goal and this showed to bereally gelled, you could see that the result of thematches. true as Newpark got a goal back. There were onlygirls playing together in training and matches wasIn terms of results, the League consisted of 7 wins, about 2 minutes to go and we were on an attack withpaying off. A number of players started to show great3 draws and 6 losses. Notable wins coming against Isabel Angel running with the ball on the left side ofleadership but also determination on the pitch whichNewbridge, Temple Carrig and Mt Temple. the pitch. She passed it to Emma Blakeney who wasevery coach loves to see. in the perfect position at back post and the keeperComparing the first match I coached them to theAn early departure from the cup competition had no chance of getting it and another goal was in.last match, it was a totally different group of girls whofollowing a 1-0 loss to eventual Minor League winners, I think the girls knew at that moment that they couldhad all improved immensely.They were a pleasure toHoly Child Killiney, made room for what would be a not let Newpark score again. A minute later and thecoach and I wish them all the best as they continueremarkable plate campaign. The first round saw us final whistle blew and they had won. next year to senior level. travel to St Killians where Grace Bowden, Clodagh Gaffney and Ruby Lyons all scored to come awaySarah Baker with a 3-0 win.'