The Louth Ladies U16 team got their Leinster Championship campaign underway with a fully deserved 13 point win over Wicklow at a wet, windy and muddy Blessington on Saturday afternoon.
The foundation for the win was laid in the opening 10 minutes, as the visitors, despite playing against the wind and rain, raced into a 2–3 to 0–0 lead with Ellen McBride and Ava Briscoe hitting the net and Roisin Maguire (0–2) and Rachel Leonard adding points.
With the elements in their favour, the home side finally established a foothold in the game and hit the next four scores but some great defending, along with a couple of fantastic saves from goalkeeper Rebecca Lambe Fagan, saw Louth go in 2–3 to 0–4 ahead at the break.
With the conditions getting worse by the minute, the fear for the travelling supporters at half time was that the game would be abandoned but, thankfully, the rain eased a little as the teams took shelter for the break.
The second half was largely dominated by Louth and when Rachel Leonard added a third goal, the Louth management team gave all 11 replacements a taste of Leinster Championship action.
Glen Emmets’ Leonard added a further two points to her tally while the very accurate Roisin Maguire (0–4) and Sarah Gilmore (0–3) completed the scoring.
Louth will finish off their Group C campaign with two home games against Carlow and Kilkenny, the first of these at the end of March when Carlow visit the Wee County.
The management and players would like to say a special word of thanks to LENRA Construction from Tullyallen who have sponsored a new kit for the girls, and to LIDL Dundalk for supplying refreshments for the team.
LOUTH LADIES U16: Rebecca Lambe Fagan (Dowdallshill), Alice Ferguson (Cooley), Caitlin O’Reilly (Oliver Plunketts), Rachel Hynes (St Pat’s); Ella McEntaggert (Kilkerley), Kelly Carolan (Cooley), Louise Johnson (O’Raghallaigh’s); Sophie Turley (Naomh Fionnbarra), Mia Duffy (St Mary’s); Ava Briscoe (1–0) (St Fechin’s), Rachel Leonard (1–2) (Glen Emmets), Roisin Maguire (0–6) (St Kevin’s); Sarah Gilmore (0–3) (Westerns), Seona Halligan (Roche), Ellen McBride (1–0) (St Brides). Subs: Kerry Ann D’arcy (Geraldines), Amy Farrell (Glyde Rangers), Sinead Kneel (Kilkerley), Emily Johnson (O’Raghallaigh’s), Laoise McIlroy (Cooley), Evelyn Donnelly (St Pats), Caoimhe Crichton (Dowdallshill), Katie Conlon (St Pat’s), Leah McArdle (Geraldines), Kaylin Nugent (Newtown Blues), Abi Keenan (Roche).
Report by Dermot Woods.