Newbridge Ladies 1st hockey team got the new year off to a fantastic start with a well deserved home victory over Bray 1st. The cold January afternoon did not put a stop to Newbridge's determination to start 2015 on the right foot.
Bray had to start without a goalkeeper as she had been delayed. Newbridge were unable to take advantage of this as Bray packed their defence until their goalkeeper arrived ten minutes into the match. The match was free flowing with both teams sharing the spoils with possession and time within the opposition's twenty yard line. Emma O'Connell and Kate Hannon were working well in the central midfield creating the vital link between defence and attack. Bray's forwards made some quick runs into Newbridge's circle, only to thwarted in their efforts by Newbridge defence.
O'Connell and Hannon's efforts were rewarded twenty minutes into the game, when a short corner was awarded to Newbridge. The set play broke down on the first phase, but some great work by the attack led to a superb second phase, when Suzanne Ward took a shot from the right hand side of the circle which was deflected in the goal by Laura Hannon.
Newbridge continued with their purple patch and were rewarded with a second short corner. There was no need for a second phase, as O'Connell struck sweetly first time and the ball hit the back board to register Newbridge's second goal.
With a two-nil lead at the start of the second half, Newbridge let their defensive guard down and Bray managed to breach the Newbridge's defence, when they crossed the ball from the right side of the circle and Charlotte Carney swept the ball past goalkeeper Emma McCann.
Both teams continued with their strong defensive displays with some of Bray's errors allowing Newbridge to counter attack. A third short corner resulted. Another second phase play by O'Connell, allowed Jane Tynan to deflect the ball past the Bray goalkeeper. Tynan was unfortunate not to grab Newbridge's fourth goal when her shot deflected off the left hand post.
Bray rallied again and hit the back board once again with similar goal to their first, scored again by Carney. Newbridge's defence held strong for the final ten minutes. McCann, in goals made her presence known in front of her goal, pulling off some great saves to deny Bray a draw.
Newbridge firsts are hoping to continue their winning ways of 2015 when they take on Corinthians away next week.
Scorers: Newbridge: Emma O'Connell, Laura Hannon, Jane Tynan. Bray: Charlotte Carney (2)
Newbridge: Emma McCann, Martina Kenny, Susan Waters, Jenny Kavanagh, Laura Hannon, Sarah McKinley, Kate Hannon, Emma O'Connell (C), Aoife Scallan, Suzanne Ward, Jane Tynan, Jenny Kelly
Bray: Trish Martin, Suzie Cantwell, Aoife Milford, Johanna Scully-Lane, Rachel Kenna, Helen Kingston, Michelle Lambert, Ashling Healy, Rachel Anglin, Claire Byrne, Charlotte Carney, Megan Shelley, Serena Rush
~ Aoife Scallan