Latest Laois Sport: Lillys wilt as Laois power to victory in second half
National Football League (Division 3 B Round 1)
Laois 2-16 Kildare 2-13
By John Hayes
Half-time in this encounter saw Laois trail by three points. The home side seemed to up against it to turn this tie around. Turn it around the O’ Moore women did however and emphatically so with a barnstorming display after the interval. The introduction of Leah Tarpey and Erone Fitzpatrick in the second half was instrumental in the Laois resurgence.
Indeed Tarpey had been listed to start in midfield but her starting spot went to Jane Moore instead. That wasn’t the only alteration in the stating lineup. Three changes in total saw Rachel Williams, Jane Moore and Eva Galvin in for Sarah Larkin, Leah Tarpey and Erone Fitzpatrick.
Whether those switches unsettled the hosts or not the truth is Kildare started much more brightly. With the Lillywhite captain Grace Clifford getting on the ball the visitors flooded forward and Eimear Barry was called on three times in quick succession to keep her goals intact. Olive Sullivan and Roisin Byrne in particular were doing well off the ball Clifford supplied. Clifford turned finisher for the games’s first point. Laois’ first foray upfield saw Andrea Moran fouled and the free was duly pointed.
Laois were doing well when they pushed up on the Kildare kick outs but whenever the Lillywhites broke the Laois press Clifford was allowed too much space to run punishingly through the home cover. When the Kildare captain was fouled invariably the frees were from a kickable range. However the hosts counter attacked after a stupendous Barry save and Aoife Kirrane fed Mo Nerney and her unstoppable shot raised the game’s first green flag. Nerney pushed the Laois lead out even further when her free cannoned off the post and the lethal corner forward reacted first and fired over the rebound.
Truth be told that Laois lead of 1-03 to a single, solitary Kildare point flattered the home side as Kildare looked ominous when pouring forward through the heart of the host’s defence. Soon after that pressure told when neat interplay between Clifford and Byrne released Dooley in on goal and the Castledermot forward gave Barry no chance when blasting to the net. Inside two minutes and Kildare were celebrating a second goal through Curran. That left Laois trailing 2-02 to 1-04 at the first water break.
On the resumption the Laois goal threat reappeared but Eva Galvin fired over with the goals at her mercy. Then Nerney slalomed through the Kildare cover but again pointed when a goal was there for the taking. Converted frees from Nerney were then followed up with a peach of a point from play from the Timahoe ace after some neat team interplay. However in defence Laois were conceding frees in kickable areas. The visitors didn’t pass up those chances and converted a quick brace of spot kicks to keep the pressure on. That late Kildare flurry saw them lead 2-08 to 1-08 at the interval.
Laois’ task looked horrendously hard on the resumption. However Kildare never kicked on. Their shooting became increasingly poor as the second half progressed. The Laois defence stopped conceding frees in the kickable zone. The introduction of Tarpey and Fitzpatrick also swung the tie the way of Laois. In defence and attack Tarpey was magnificent. How or why she didn’t start the match is a wonder. Increasingly Kildare struggled at the back and Nerney proved unerring from a series of frees. At the other end it took Kildare until the 42nd minute to register their first point of the half.
A minute later and Kildare were rocked back on their heels. Tarpey, sniffing an opportunity, ghosted onto the ball fifteen yards out and her shot looped over the Kildare keeper Brooke Dunne. From thereon Laois were in control. Having bottled up danger woman Clifford the home side played a possession game that pulled their opponents out of shape. Whereas neither side used the wings in the opening half Laois spread the play well late on and pushed on for a deserved win.
For the victors goalie Eimear Barry and full back Amy Potts did well in defence after a nervy period early on. Up front Mo Nerney and Sarah Ann Fitzgerald were supreme. However the introduction of subs Fitzpatrick and Tarpey was decisive and Tarpey gets our Laois People ‘Player of the Match’ award on this occasion. For Kildare Clifford, Dooley and Byrne really caught the eye at times up front.
Referee Ciaran Groome (Offaly)
Eimear Barry; Cloadgh Dunne, Amy Potts, Aimee Kelly; Rachel Williams, Ellen Healy, Laura Nerney; Fiona Dooley, Jane Moore; Anna Healy, Eva Galvin, Andrea Moran; Mo Nerney, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald, Aoife Kirrane.
Brooke Dunne; Claire Sullivan, Lara Gilbert, Mia Doherty; Lauren Murtagh, Laoise Lenehan, Hazel McLoughlin; Orlaith O’Sullivan, Grainne Kennedy; Orlaith Sullivan, Lara Curran, Grace Clifford; Ellen Dowling, Nessa Dooley, Roisin Byrne
Mo Nerney 1.08 (7f), Sarah Ann Fitzgerald 0.03, Jane Moore 0.01, Laura Nerney 0.01, Eva Galvin 0.01, Leah Tarpey 1.00, Orla Hennessy 0.01, Erone Fitzpatrick 0.01,
Erone Fitzpatrick for Andrea Moran, Leah Tarphy for Aoife Kirrane, Orla Hennessy for Fiona Dooley, Sarah Larkin for Ellen Healy, Emma Lawlor for Erone Fitzpatrick, Sinead Farrelly for Mo Nerney
Grace Clifford 0.01,Neasa Dooley 1.03, Lara Curran 1.01 (1f), Hazel McLoughlin 0.01, Roisin Byrne 0.05, Orlaith Sullivan 0.01 (f), Gráinne Kinneally 0.01
Aoife Rattigan for Ellen Dowling, Mikaela McKenna for Orlaith Sullivan, Ciara Wheeler for Lara Curran, Shauna Kendrick for Hazel McLoughlin, Caoimhe Fagan Hynes for Siobhan O Sullivan, Sarah Munnelly for Lauren Murtagh