Brave Gers unlucky in Leinster Championship

Tinahely 0:10 Geraldines 0:09

A brave Geraldines came up just short in this Leinster Intermediate Championship tie at McGeough Park on Saturday afternoon last. The recently crowned Louth champions gave their all in an exciting contest played in terrible conditions against a talented Tinahely outfit.

The home side started well and after an early wide from Sandra Lynch they created the first goal chance when a quickly taken free by Ciara O’Connor found Ava Kieran in space and as the teenager took aim she lost her footing on the wet surface and the chance was lost.

The Wicklow side gradually settled into the game and after a sweeping move were denied a goal of their own as county star’s Jackie Kinch and Emily Mullhall both had shots brilliantly stopped on the line by Irene Hoey and Eilish Hand in the fifth minute. Just moments later Laura Hogan broke through the Gers defence and her goal bound shot was superbly kept out by Grainne Boyle, the first of many fine stops the home keeper would make.

With Gorman and Kinch beginning to dominate the midfield exchanges, points from Ciara Byrne (2) and Gorman had Tinahely 0:03 to 0:00 ahead after 12 minutes. Shortly after Boyle again was called into action to again deny Hogan.

Without key forwards Bonnie and Tess Fleming, Gers had to wait until the 17th minute for their opening score when Rebecca Carr was on target and were soon level when Ava Kieran and Linda McCabe both raised white flags.

Laura Hogan restored Tinahely’s lead from a free before a wonderful pass by Rebecca Carr set up Ava Kieran to level again. After Ciara Byrne and Abbi O’Connor swapped points, Laura Hogan took advantage of a defensive error to force another fine save from Boyle who did well to get a hand to Hogan’s well hit shot and divert it over the bar. Rebecca Carr from a free ensured the side’s were level 0:06 each at the break.

Carr from a free had an early chance but her shot came back off the post with Emma Gartlan going close from the resultant play.

Influential midfielder Jackie Kinch returned to the action having spent ten minutes in the sin-bin and this was the signal for a period of Tinahely dominance which saw them hit four unanswered points with Mullhall (2) Byrne and Kinch all on target. Tinahely then appeared to have put the game beyond the Haggardstown club’s reach in the fithieth minute when Ciara Byrne got on the end of a fine Kinch pass but the goal was disallowed for a foul on a defender in the build up.

Just two minutes later Mullhall eventually found the net but to the frustration of the Wicklow side, match official Sullivan rightly disallowed the score for over carrying.

After Emma Gartlan hit the woodwork, Carr from a free had Gers first score of the half after 52 minutes. Boosted by this score the home side put the Tinahely defence came severe pressure with centre back Jessie Byrne becoming their second player to see yellow.

Carr was on target twice more to ensure a nervy finish as Geraldine’s gallant effort fell agonisingly short. Having won their first senior Championship, Geraldines will now dust themselves down and continue their quest to land a domestic double.

Tinahely; Emily Garden, Ciara Stokes, Sarah Hogan, Niamh Kenny, Shannagh Goteleen, Jessie Byrne, Aimee Maher, Aoife Gorman, 0:01, Jackie Kinch, 0:01, Ciara Byrne, 0:04, Aine Byrne, Emily Mullhall,u Loretta Gilbert, Laura Hogan, 0:04, Sarah Byrne.
Geraldines: Grainne Boyle, Irene Hoey, Eilish Hand, Megan Scully, Aine Lynch, Lauren McFaul, Amy Dalton, Helen Ryan, Sandra Lynch, Ava Kieran, 0:02, Rebecca Carr, 0:05, Lisa McCabe, 0:01, Abbi O’Connor, 0:01,Ciara O’Connor, Emma Gartlan
Subs used, Sarah Morgan Fionnuala Cafferty, Andrea Lennon
Referee, Lorraine O’Sullivan (Dublin)

In the Leinster Junior Championship Louth champions St. Patrick’s were surprisingly beaten by Kilkenny City on a 1:15 to 0:07 scoreline.

Report by Dermot Woods