Under 16s into Leinster Final after win over Westmeath

Westmeath 2-10 Louth 3-09

Louth Under 16 Ladies completed a wonderful weekend for the county by surviving a nail-biting finale to defeat Westmeath in the Leinster C Championship semi-final in Mullingar on Sunday.

A very happy group after the final whistle.

The Reds got off to a dream start with a Roisin Maguire penalty inside opening five minutes, while points from Roisin and Mia Duffy had Louth had ahead after 10 minutes.

Westmeath fought back ahead of the interval, scoring two goals, to take the lead. Indeed, were it not for the defending of Amy Farrell, Caitlin O’Reilly and Aine Carolan, the home side would have been out of sight.

A Seona Halligan point late in the half was followed by a 40 yard run and goal by Rachel Leonard which left the interval score 2-5 to 2-4 in favour of the hosts.

Goal scorer Rachel Leonard of Glen Emmets

Westmeath re-emerged strongly and held a four-point lead entering the final 10 minutes, only for Louth to show their superior fitness, reducing the deficit to two points courtesy of Sarah Gilmore and Halligan efforts, before centre-forward Leonard went on another fabulous run which ended with her finding the net.

St Fechins’ Ava Briscoe on the attack

And Louth handled the five injury-time minutes well, keeping the Lake County at bay, with the final whistle being greeted by joyous scenes involving the large travelling support and their heroines.

The girls now have two weeks to prepare for a Leinster final against Laois on May 12

Seona Halligan of Roche Emmets makes a break

Louth: Rebecca Lambe Fagan; Amy Farrell, Caitlin O’Reilly, Rachel Hynes; Ella McEnteggart, Aine Carolan, Louise Johnson; Sophie Turley, Mia Duffy (0-3); Ave Briscoe, Rachel Leonard (2-0), Roisin Maguire (1-3); Abi Keenan, Ellen McBride, Seona Halligan (0-2)

Subs: Kelly Caralon, Sarah Gilmore (0-1), Alice Ferguson, Laoise McIlroy; Kerry Ann Darcy, Emily Johnson, Kate Kelly, Katie Conlon, Kaylin Nugent, Leah McArdle, Neasa Reilly, Sinead Kneel.

Photos by Warren Matthews.