Latest Laois Sport: Mo show in Longford as Laois ladies’ winning run continues
Mo Nerney leads Laois charge as O’ Moore women had too much firepower for Longford
By John Hayes
Longford 1-09 Laois 3-14
Half-time in this free-flowing encounter saw Laois with a substantial 1-10 to 0-03 lead over their hosts. However the Laois players didn’t need telling that a brace of stone-cold goal chances were passed up in that opening period. In reality the match should have been over as a contest by then. Those missed Laois chances gave Longford a chink of light and something to fight for in the third quarter. And fight the Longford women certainly did and the hosts edged a third quarter before Laois pulled away again after the final water break to keep their winning run rolling on.
The razor-sharp Mo Nerney got the scoreboard ticking over with a point inside the opening minute. Both sides traded a flurry of wides before Longford landed their equaliser in the tenth minute. Then Laois went through the gears and threatened to run away with this tie. Sarah Ann Fitzgerald landed the point of the match to kickstart Laois’ assault. Eva Galvin then tacked on a sweet brace of points in proved to be a wonderful outing for the St. Conleth’s player. Laois were now pushing up on the Longford kickouts and causing mayhem. That pressure told soon after and Andrea Moran, profiting from a poor kick out, pointed. Mo Nerney grabbed the next point to put Laois into a six points to one lead.
Some individual battles caught the eye in this period but none more so than the titanic tussle between Leanne Keegan and Laois’ Sarah Ann Fitzgerald. The Laois dual star was in scintillating form but Keegan did well on her. Longford tapped over the next two points before disaster struck for the home outfit. The move of the games saw smart interplay between a host of Laois players before Mo struck for the game’s first goal. Almost immediately Fitzgerald got the better of Keegan but pulled her shot wide with the goals at her mercy.
Laois were now completely on top and the quartet of Nerney, Fitzgerald, Galvin and Alannah Havill proved unstoppable. The visitors then broke forward with Jane Moore starting off the attack. Havill broke through on goal but a stupendous save from Riane McGrath thwarted the St. Conleth’s forward. Jane Moore, Anna Healy and Mo Nerney points finished the scoring for the opening half. Indeed Healy’s point off her left was nonchalantly stroked over to underline the Laois dominance of proceedings.
Laois’ first-half wastefulness in front of goal came back to haunt them in the ten minutes after the interval. The home side tapped over a brace of points early on in Longford’s best period. Then great defending from Aimee Kelly kept Longford from getting a goal their play deserved. The cause of the home outfit was boosted when the electric Fitzgerald was sin-binned for ten minutes. Down to fourteen Laois fought bravely to counter a resilient home side.
At the other end Mo sent a free wide into the teeth of a strong breeze. Laois, slowly but surely, found their rhythm again and the Longford keeper did so well to get a touch on Orla Hennessy’s piledriver of a shot and concede just a point. Niamh Darcy and Nerney traded points before Fitzgerald, just back on after her sin-binning, lobbed McGrath for her side’s second goal.
Longford kept fighting bravely however. Points from Sarah Shannon, Michelle Farrell and Niamh Darcy kept Laois on their toes. Then great defending from Ellen Healy forced Darcy into a poor wide. Undeterred Farrell kicked another sweet point in what was a very good display from the forward. Darcy then turned provider and her pinpoint cross was fisted into the Laois net by the alert Farrell. However the visiting side soon tacked on a third goal to quell the Longford resistance. in a sweeping move started by Andrea Moran newly-introduced Aoife Kirrane fired home to raise another ‘green flag’.
For Longford Riane McGrath and Leeane Keegan sHone at the back while Aoife Darcy and Michelle Farrell were the pick of the home forwards. For a victorious Laois side Mo Nerney and Sarah Ann Fitzgerald proved unplayable at times. They were ably supported by Eva Galvin and Alannah Havill. In defence Aimee Kelly and an excellent Ellen Healy excelled.
Scorers: Mo Nerney 1-4 (0-1f), Sarah Ann Fitzgerald 1-2, Eva Galvin 0-3, Aoife Kirrane 1-0, Andrea Moran, Orla Hennessy, Leah Tarpey, Jane Moore, Anna Healy all 0-1 each.
Team: Eimear Barry (Shanahoe); Jenny McEvoy (Sarsfields), Amy Potts (St Brigid’s) Aimee Kelly (St Conleths); Rachel Williams (Sarsfields), Ellen Healy (Portlaoise), Laura Nerney (Foxrock-Cabinteely); Fiona Dooley (Portlaoise), Jane Moore (St Brigid’s); Anna Healy (Park Ratheniska), Eva Galvin (St Conleth’s), Andrea Moran (Ballyroan); Mo Nerney (Timahoe), Sarah Ann Fitzgerald (Portlaoise), Alannah Havill. (St Conleth’s). Subs: Orla Hennessy (Timahoe) for Anna Healy (H/T). Leah Tarpey (Sarsfields) for Havill (40). Aoife Kirrane (St Conleth’s) for Hennessy (inj) (46), Emily Mulhall (Ballyroan) for Willaims (48), Roisin Larkin (Timahoe) for McEvoy, Rebecca Balfe (St Paul’s) for Moran, Erone Fitzpatrick (Park Ratheniska) for Fitzgerald.
Scorers: Michelle Farrell 1-4, Sarah Shannon 0-2, Aoife Darcy 0-2 (0-2f), Emer Heaney 0-1.
Team: Riane McGrath; Katie Crawford, Leeane Keegan, Aisling Cosgrove; Michelle Noonan, Eimear O’Brien, Clare Farrell; Niamh Darcy, Grace Shannon; Emer Heaney, Aoife Darcy, Anna McDonnell; Louise Monaghan, Michelle Farrell, Sarah Shannon. Subs: Caoimhe Lohan for Grace Shannon (H/T), Ciara Mulligan for Michelle Noonan (42), Ciara Healy for Anna McDonnell (42), Kara Shannon for Niamh Darcy (42), Lauren McGuire for Sarah Shannon (50), Sorcha Dawson for Eimear O’Brien (inj).