HomeFootballDrogheda ladies in ‘splashing’ form ahead of Irish Senior Cup

Drogheda ladies in ‘splashing’ form ahead of Irish Senior Cup

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These back-to-back victories were achieved on the back of many first-team regulars missing and were all the more sweet as the three defeated sides will form the opposition in the forthcoming Irish Senior Cup in Northern Ireland in a week’s time.

In their Saturday match the weekend before last Drogheda were pitched against Belfast side Diamonds who travelled with a full-strength squad to the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.

The first quarter was a frantic one, with nine goals in all, many more than are scored in some entire games!

Fortunately for the Boyneside outfit, they held the advantage at 6-3 at the end of this period.

This was a positive start, but Diamonds, following their two-minute team talk, scored three unanswered goals to level the score at 6-6.

This rally was over almost as soon as it began, however, as Drogheda ladies took a firm grip of the match by scoring the next five goals without reply to end the second quarter with an 11-6 lead.

It was more of the same in the third quarter as Drogheda pushed on with their superior skills and fitness to finish the period 13-8 ahead.

The fourth quarter saw a final push from the Boynesiders and a National Division 1 debut for Sophia Gilouska, with Drogheda emerging convincing winners by a margin of nine goals – 18-9.

This was a great confidence boost for the Boynesiders as Diamonds will be their first opponents in the Irish Senior Cup.

A buoyant Drogheda team entered the water again the following afternoon with a few sore limbs from the previous day, but they were eager to keep the momentum going and their new-found determination proved enough to see off local rivals North Dublin in the NAC.

Having dominated play in the first quarter and had three times as many shots on goal as their opponents, Drogheda ended the period in arrears 3-1, due in no small way to the heroics of North Dublin’s USA goalkeeper who was recently voted MVP of the National Division 1 Cup.

Drogheda had to regroup and set out a way to score against this seemingly imprenetable wall.

Nevertheless, the second quarter produced just one score, but at least it went to Drogheda and that goal cut the deficit to the minimum.

The third quarter ended with the teams level at what was probably the lowest score for any match this season, 4-4.

The Boynesiders went 5-4 up two minutes into the final quarter, only to have North Dublin level again. Then, with only 45 seconds left on the stop clock, Drogheda called their second timeout to come up with a final set plan to close out the match.

Gillian Fritz made a cross hole drive to receive the ball and put it past the North Dublin keeper for her fourth goal of the day to secure three points for Drogheda on a 6-5 scoreline.

What turned out to be an epic battle means that the Drogheda outfit go into the Irish Senior Cup Finals on the back of three strong wins, and their eyes are firmly fixed on the biggest prize in Irish water polo.

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