Latest Laois Sport: Sweet tang of success for Laois ladies
Great weekend for Laois women’s sport sees footballers into league final
LIDL National League Division 3 Semi-Final
Blistering last quarter sees Laois through to league final
Laois 4-15 Roscommon 5-09
A wonderful weekend for female sport in Laois was capped off by the O’ Moore County’s lady footballers booking their place in a league decider with a truly breathtaking final-quarter display. Our women were in big trouble as play stopped for the second water break. Roscommon had completely dominated the preceding quarter and looked set to finish strongly. The Connacht outfit hadn’t counted on the steely resolve of Laois however. it was the Leinster side that finished the game like a runaway train to book a spot in next weekend’s decider against neighbours Kildare.
The setting of Tang GAA Club saw a very high-scoring game which could have seen a tally of at least fifteen goals racked up. Both goalkeepers did excellently but Eimear Barry pulled off some marvellous saves especially early on to keep her side on track.
Erone Fitzpatrick shot the first Laois point of the game after Roscommon pointed from a free. The Rossies over carried on their play which allowed Laura Nerney nip in, dispossess her opponent and spark off a scintillating break that finished with Anna Healy looping her shot over the Roscommon keeper for the encounter’s first goal. Undeterred Roscommon broke away but a smart Barry save kept the Connacht women out.
Despite Barry’s heroics Roscommon went on to notch up two quick fire goals to remind Laois of their cutting edge in attack. The Rossies were enjoying a purple patch and when McHugh was fouled the resulting free was tapped over. Having soaked up all that pressure Laois then burst into attack with a lung bursting run from Rachel Williams which ended with a sharp Fitzpatrick finish for a second Laois goal. The O’ Moore women then drew level at 2 goals and four points apiece when a sweeping move involving Fitzpatrick, Galvin and Tarpey finished with a fine point. Not content with that Sara Ann Fitzgerald roamed outfield to get on the ball before setting Mo Nerney through on goal. The Timahoe attacker made no mistake and took her goal with aplomb. Fitzpatrick then fired over another point to stretch the Laois lead to four points at half-time.
The Laois ladies started the second period like they finished the first, on the attack. After a good save from Barry Amy Potts started a sweeping move that went through five sets of hands before Tarpey pointed. So far, so good for Laois but then Roscommon took over the remainder of the third quarter to an alarming extent. Time and again the Connacht worked the overlap well especially down their left flank. With a near monopoly of possession Roscommon soon obliterated that five-point Laois lead until, amazingly at the second water break, the Western outfit found themselves five points up.
The final quarter did not go to script for Roscommon however. Yet another swing in this see-saw game saw Laois dominate especially after their opponents were reduced to fourteen players. Jane Moore, Laura Nerney and Rachel Williams provided the launchpad for attack after attack and Laois racked up score after score. Laura Nerney, Ellen Healy, Erone Fitzpatrick and Anna Healy all kept tapping over the points to keep Roscommon at bay right up to the final whistle.
For the final against Kildare the army of Laois supporters will be hoping that their side turn in a performance like that final quarter. A repeat of that third-quarter showing will not be sufficient to quell Kildare. For the victors Erone Fitzpatrick, Jane Moore, Rachel Williams and Laura Nerney shone. Orla Hennessy did well when introduced. Eimear Barry excelled with some amazing stops. However our Laois People ‘Player of the Match’ was Sarah Anne Fitzgerald. She came out from her full-forward berth to telling effect, got on the ball, passed it simply and well and thus ensured the forward unit functioned well around her.
LAOIS: Mo Nerney 2-5 (4 x f), Erone Fitzpatrick 1-3, Anna Healy 1-0, Leah Tarpey 0-2, Orla Hennessy, Ellen Healy, Anna Healy, Laura Nerney, Aoife Kirrane all 0-1 each.
ROSCOMMON: Laura Fleming 2-1, Rebecca Finan 0-4 (3 x f) Aisling Hanley 1-1, Natalie McHugh, Joanne Cregg 1-0 each, Mikaela McHugh, Jenny Higgins 0-1 each.
Laois: Eimear Barry; Clodagh Dunne, Amy Potts, Aimee Kelly; Rachel Williams, Ellen Healy, Laura Nerney; Fiona Dooley, Jane Moore; Anna Healy, Eva Galvin, Erone Fitzpatrick; Mo Nerney, Sarah Ann Fitzgerald, Leah Tarpey. Subs: Orla Hennessy for Dooley (39), Aoife Kirrane for Tarpey (42), Andrea Moran for Fitzgerald, Kate Jacob for Clodagh Dunne (33).
Roscommon: Helena Cummins; Niamh Feeney, Sinéad Kenny, Megan Kelly; Saoirse Wynne, Sarah McVeigh, Rachel Brady; Ellen Irwin, Laura Fleming; Róisin Wynne, Natalie McHugh, Joanne Cregg; Aisling Hanly, Jennifer Higgins, Rebecca Finan. Subs: Rachel Fitzmaurice for McVeigh (21), Mikaela McHugh for Finan (32), Sinéad Glennon for Higgins (47). Christina Beirne for Rachel Brady (60)