The Louth Ladies Senior Football Championship got off to a wonderful start on Bank Holiday Monday with four matches taking place around the county. All games were in the balance entering the last quarter and provided plenty of excitement for those in attendance.
Senior Championship Round 1
Geraldines 5-10, Cooley Kickhams 3-10
Rebecca Carr was the scoring hero as Geraldines got their defence of the Louth LGFA senior Championship off to a winning start after an absorbing contest played before a large attendence in McGeough Park on Monday evening. The home side opened the scoring direct from the throw-in when Rebecca raced through to slot over inside 15 seconds.
Gers were then rocked as Cooley struck for two goals within a minute, as first Megan Ferguson when highest to fist a Lauren Boyle cross to the net and the same player found the net again, which was quickly followed by a Lauren Boyle point to put Cooley 2-1 to 0-1 ahead after just five minutes.
The home showed admirable composure and reeled off six points in a row to be level midway through the half and might have been in front but for a fine save by keeper Coirin Rice to deny Abbie O’Connor
Kickhams came back strongly and were back in front just moments later when Alice Ferguson latched onto a wonderful Lauren Boyle pass some 20 yards from goal and placed an exquisite low drive that had too much power for keeper Boyle and nestled in the bottom corner.
Showing why they are champions Haggardstown side responded almost immediatley as Ava Keenan finished a good move with a superb shot into the roof of the net. (3-1 to 1-7)
After county stars Carr and Boyle swapped points, Gers had a chance to go back in front when Ciara O’Connor was fouled and Rebecca Carr made no mistake from the spot. Two late points from Boyle left just the minimum between the sides at the break 2-8 to 3-4 at the break in favour of Geraldines.
The home side resumed with an early score as the outstanding Rebecca Carr went on a fine run before unleashing a cracking shot into the Cooley net. The peninsula side came back strongly with with two excellent points from Evelyn Rice only to be hit with an another major blow as Abbie O’Connor hit a fourth Gers goal in the 43rd minute(4-9 to 3-6).
The 2018 champions had the next three scores from Boyle (2) and Niamh Rice before a well taken Ciara O’Connor goal gave Gers a commanding seven point lead with just two minutes remaining. Cooley never give up and Gers netminder Grainne Boyle had to be alert to keep out goal bound shots from Niamh Rice and Lauren Boyle and while Boyle did add a point it proved a mere consolation.
Geraldines manager Paula Lavin was pleased with how her side reacted to Cooley’s good start;
“Two Cooley goals in a minute was perhaps the wake up call we needed. Silly mistakes cost us those two goals and the girls knew they had to push themselves even more out there now, for no-one was going to do it for them.
We showed great determination, to be 6 points down in a minute to go in at half time leading by one point, that took some character and team effort. Just because you are County Senior Champions doesn’t give you any entitlement out there and they were told that, so we needed to take a good look at ourselves and just calm down and do the simple things right and once we did, we settled better into the game.
The water breaks were very welcome, for it allowed our girls to just calm down and remain composed. Rebecca Carr’s penalty in the 34 minute was a crucial score for us. It takes courage to step up and take a penalty and she took it brilliantly.
Another goal from Rebecca straight from the throw in after the second half, was the turning point in the game. We got some great points and scores from our forwards, great goals from the O Connor sisters Abbi and Ciara who always play well alongside each other and another fine goal from Ava Kiernan and even our corner back Gemma Mc Grave came up the field of play to score a lovely point.
We kept our composure and discipline. Each player stepped up to the mark when we needed it most and some of our older girls like Lisa Mc Cabe, just knew when to take control at key moments and that takes leadership. Our attitude out there was always going to determine how well we did against Cooley and collectively as a team we worked hard to get that win, right till the end with our goalkeeper Gráinne Boyle pulling off two fine saves.
The girls listened and they worked hard and it was a good, competitive game of football between two good teams. Look, Cooley are a decent outfit, they never give up and I respect them as a team, I have no doubt they will be still there in the weeks to follow”.
Geraldines; Grainne Boyle, Megan Scully, 0-1, Eilis Hand, Gemma McCrave, Amy Dalton, Holly Lambe Sally, Aine Lynch, Lisa McCabe, Rebecca Carr, 2-7 (5f,1-00,pen) Ava Keenan, 1-00, Lauren McFall, 0-2, Emma Gartland, Victoria Fee, Ciara O’Connor,1-00, Abbie O’Connor 1-00. Subs; Sharon O’Connor, Louise Corcoran
Cooley Kickhams; Coirin Rice, Shauna Markey, Claire Donnelly, Hazel Malone, Kelly Carolan, Katelyn Quinn, Laura Traynor, Niamh Quigley, Niamh Rice, 0-2, Aoife McDaid, Evelyn Rice, 0-2, Ciera Quinn, Megan Ferguson 2-00, Lauren Boyle, 0-6(4f) Alice Ferguson 1-0, Subs; Renee McGlynn, Elisha McElroy, Laura Grills
St.Mochtas 1-11 Newtown Blues 1-14
Newtown Blues edged a tight affair in Louth Village in an exciting game. While it was the home who had the first score, it was very much score for score for the remainder of the half, with the Drogheda side 0-8 to 0-6 in front at the break
The second half followed a similar pattern until miday through the half when Blues hit five unanswered points , three of them from Laura Collins and while Mochtas came back with a couple of scores of their own a late Ciera Nugent goal ensured the win for the visitors
N.Blues, Laura Collins 0-6, Niamh McAllister 0-5, Ciara Nugent 1-2,Kate Gerrard 0-1
St.Mochtas, Christine Carolan 1-1, Emma Quinn 0-4, Eimear Byrne 0-3, Aoife Byrne 0-2, Laura Kieran 0-1
St.Patricks 1-19 Kevins/Hunterstown 1-11
County star Kate Flood was at her brilliant best hitting 0-11 as last year’s Intermedite champions St.Pats finally saw off a spirited Kevins/Hunterstown in Lordship. It was level at the interval 0-10 to 1-7 but the home side were dominant thereafter.
St Pats; Kate Flood 0-11, Grace Trainor 0-3, Mary Loughran 1-00, Aisling O’Doherty 0-2, Aine Breen 0-2, Katie Hanlon 0-1
St.Kevins/Hunterstown; Paula Murray 0-7, Roisin Maguire 1-1, Susan Byrne, Stephaine Callaghan and Aine Sannin 0-1 each
Stabanonn 1-07 St.Brides 2-14
Another game that was well contested with Stabannon taking an early lead courtesy of a Rachel McNally goal and led by 1-7 to 1-5 at the break. Parnells received a major blow early in the second as star defender Orla Byrne limped off with an ankle injury.
Points from from Aimee McNally and Lily Fegan had the sides level midway through half the before a late flurry of scores saw Brides run out comfortable winners with the home’ side failing to raise a flag after the break.
St.Brides; Bronagh McArdle 1-2 Lily Fegan 1-1, Aimee McNally 0-3, Kodie McEnaney 0-2, Ruth Hanna 0-2, Ellen McBride 0-2, Sarah Fegan and Ailish Noonan 0-1each
Stabannon; Rachel McNally 1-1, Danielle Sharkey 0-3, Jenny McGuinness 0-2, Maeve McNamee 0-1.
Round 2 matches will take place on Sunday next at 11am
Review by Dermot Woods | Photos by Warren Matthews
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