2016 All-Stars 7-19
2017 All-Stars 7-18
Emma Duffy reports from the Chulalongkorn University Stadium, Bangkok
SHE sparkled for Dublin as they stormed to All-Ireland senior glory in 2017, and Noelle Healy did so once again on Saturday to earn TG4 All-Star exhibition match bragging rights for the 2016 team.
An All Star in each of the previous two seasons, St Brigid’s forward Healy finished up with 3-2 in sweltering conditions at the Chulalongkorn University Stadium in Bangkok.
“Delighted,” she grinned after beating Mick Bohan’s 2017 team in 37C heat.
“Hopefully Mick won’t be too angry with us and pay us back with some runs but I’m sure he won’t take it too personally!
“It was really enjoyable. Very hot. They played it really well, they gave everyone a good break to recover so standards stayed really high.
“There’s nowhere to hide out there, everyone’s phenomenal and the pace was brilliant.
“There were some super goals and brilliant to see such unselfish players playing off each other. It was phenomenal.”
Healy was also pleased to play alongside see some inter-county rivals from around the country: “There’s only a one in two-year chance to play with the likes of Ciara O’Sullivan, Fiona McHale.
“Such players that you hate to see coming towards you but it’s brilliant to see them coming off you. It’s lovely.”
In an encounter where 14 goals in total were registered, there was some impressive football on show throughout.
Just a single point separated the sides at the death, with some of Dublin’s 2017 All-Ireland winning side leading the way for the 2016 team alongside Healy, as Lyndsey Davey (2), Sinead Aherne and Cork’s Orla Finn also fired home.
Armagh’s Aimee Mackin and Donegal’s Yvonne Bonner collected two goals each for the 2017 team, while Aisling Doonan, Niamh Hegarty and Niamh McEvoy found the back of the net too.
It was a game played at a remarkable pace despite the sizzling heat and one which had a mixture of everything. Not only was there some excellent score-taking, the saves on show from Ciara Trant, Martina O’Brien and Noelle Gormley were also top class.
Another interesting battle was in midfield, with Mayo’s Aileen Gilroy and Fiona McHale among those to impress as they went head-to-head.
The first quarter was an exciting one, the 2016 team finishing with two goals courtesy of Dublin’s star forwards.
Healy palmed into the net with just one minute on the clock while Sinead Aherne followed suit just before the whistle sounded to make it 2-8 to 0-10.
Monaghan’s Ciara McAnespie was another to keep the scoreboard ticking over, while Mackin, Doonan and Bonner were among those to split the posts for the 2017 team.
Healy was on fire once again in the second quarter, bagging two goals in quick succession before Orla Finn found the back of the net for the 2016 team’s fifth goal.
At the other end, Donegal’s Niamh Hegarty and Mackin rattled the net as the scoreboard read 5-12 to 2-15 at half-time.
On the restart and fresh from captaining DCU to Gourmet Food Parlour O’Connor Cup glory, Tipperary’s Aishling Moloney sprung to life collecting 0-3 to spur the 2016 team on. Meanwhile, Doonan fired home while Mackin continued to impress.
And despite the soaring temperatures, the glittering performances across the board continued into the final quarter as players from both sides capped the goal-fest.
Lyndsey Davey accounted for two of the 2016 team’s, while Niamh McEvoy, Bonner and Mackin slotted home at the other end to close proceedings.
But it was too little too late for the 2017 contingent as the bragging rights go to the 2016 All-Star team.
2016 scorers: Noelle Healy 3-2, Lyndsey Davey 2-1, Orla Finn 1-2, Sinead Aherne 1-1 (0-1f), Aisling Moloney & Ciara McAnespie 0-3 each, Fiona McHale 0-2, Sharon Courtney, Mairead Wall, Ciara O’Sullivan, Aoife McAnespie & Karen Guthrie 0-1 each.
2017 scorers: Aimee Mackin & Yvonne Bonner 2-3 each, Aisling Doonan 1-3, Niamh McEvoy 1-2 (0-1f), Niamh Hegarty 1-0, Sarah Rowe 0-2, Nicole Owens, Eimear Scally, Emma Spillane, Lorraine Scanlon & Aileen Gilroy 0-1 each.
2016 panel: N Gormley (Sligo); M Ambrose (Cork), B Stack (Cork), L Caffrey (Dublin); S Goldrick (Dublin), A McAnespie (Monaghan), S Finnegan (Dublin), F McHale (Mayo), S Courtney (Monaghan); N Healy (Dublin), C O’Sullivan (Cork), M Delahunty (Waterford); C McAnespie (Monaghan), S Aherne (Dublin), O Finn (Cork).
M Wall (Waterford), M Dunford (Waterford), K Guthrie (Donegal), A Moloney (Tipperary), L Davey (Dublin).
2017 panel: C Trant (Dublin); E Spillane (Cork), S Tierney (Mayo), M Carter (Mayo); C Kelly (Kerry); C Hegarty (Donegal), R Phelan (Cork); A Gilroy (Mayo), L Scanlon (Kerry); A Mackin (Armagh), N Hegarty (Donegal), N Owens (Dublin); A Doonan (Cavan), N McEvoy (Dublin), Y Bonner (Donegal).
M O’Brien (Cork), A Desmond (Kerry), S Burke (Galway), L Magee (Dublin), S Rowe (Mayo), E Scally (Cork)
Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry)