2018 was the first ever season in the history of the Cumann Pheadair Naofa club that there was a Senior Ladies team, a season that ended on a high note – a Down Junior Championship Semi Final, another first ever for the club.
2019 began with optimism and wonder – could this group of girls replicate 2018’s Semi Final achievement, or perhaps go one better?
The season got off to a flying start with 22 senior players registered, 11 new players 4 of which had never played competitive football in their lives, this alone was a great achievement in itself.
An in depth pre-season campaign saw the senior ladies take on St Johns of Down, Correnshigo of Armagh and saw the new players blooded into the team getting a taste of competitive action. Following these tough battles the senior ladies entered into the first round of the Down Junior League on a high, but first up was a strong, and determined Saul side out for revenge following 3 stinging defeats in 2019 at the hands of the Blues.
Saul managed to overturn these losses and deliver and beating to the Blues sisters from Warrenpoint, one which saw the Point girls loose Sian Keenan (Back) and Molly MacNeela (Forward), two important players in the sides plans for 2019. However a determined Blues team began to pick up wins against Ballykinlar and St Michaels, Magheralin to again lift their season and renew hope. Further blows to the team saw Kate Kelly break an ankle and Captain Kirsty Fegan badly injure her ankle, sidelining Kelly for the remainder of the season and Fegan for 6 weeks.
In 2018 the Blues season was riddled with forfeits which inevitably held the development of the team back against tougher opposition like Tullylish, Tecconaght and Loughinisland and this was evident in the defeats that they received from these sides, however while defeated the Point girls never gave up and battled to the end, a learning curve in itself and the side realised the importance of attending training to ensure they were able to play like team as well as keep up with the fitness of these sides.
With the league finished for the year the focus switched to the Championship and a tough away tie to Tullylish, in the Quarter Final, Tullylish in the league defeated the Blues so this added extra bite to the fixtures as the Warrenpoint side were out for revenge.
The Blues trained hard over the lead up to the Quarter Final however in the 2 weeks leading up to the game absences took its toll and left the Blues 2 weeks without a training session but positivity remained high and a never give up attitude was encouraged among the ranks of the senior ladies.
The Quarter Final was played on Tuesday 20th August on a stifling hot summers evening so this was going to be a challenge in itself for the young side.
Right from throw in our girls were aggressive and determined, a point needed to be proved in the teams minds and as a collective group they battled ferociously for each and every ball. Tullylish got a good start leading 2 points to nothing after 5 minutes but from here on the Warrenpoint girls took control and a spectacular goal from Niamh Doherty saw the side go into the lead.
The First half saw a determined Warrenpoint side defend with their lives and get rid of cobwebs kicking 8 wides. The sides went in level at half time.
The second half saw the point bag 3 hard worked goals, Niamh Doherty again finding the net as well as an inspired performance from Ciara Morgan caping her day off with 2 goals, a fantastic performance from a highly skilled player. Ciara Downey, the ever reliable, had a fantastic game at Full Back where she has excelled week in week out at training and games and would fit in on any team in down.
The second half saw Tara Cunningham, Meabh O’Hare and Enya Quinn kick score to leave the game tied and heading to extra time.
However extra time saw the Blues Sisters come out winners 3-11 to 1-12, an absolute heroic performance by the side from start to finish.
The blues next up had Clonduff in the Semi Final, a huge challenge against a side filled with All Ireland winning camogs and more experienced players and in this Semi Final this was evident. However 2 semi finals 2 years in a row, in their first 2 years of being a side is no feat to be laughed at.
While the 2019 season may not have went their way this victory sends out the message that they are a talented group who have much to prove in the coming years.