On Sunday Louth played Derry in Clan na Gael in Dundalk chasing a place in the National Football League Semi-Final.
Louth’s opening score came from Laura Collins after only 1 minute 42 seconds and within the next minute Lauren Boyle did a classy piece of work, got in behind the full back and finished the ball into the back of the net. A great start for Louth!
Soon afterwards a Lauren Boyle free came back off the woodwork and was fisted into the net, however a square ball was called and the goal was disallowed. Derry made their first change with No 4 Orlaith McCloskey coming on to replace No3 Aoife McGough. There was a blood sub made foe No. 6 Daniella Kiviehan who had been playing very well. Our forwards were on song and our defense were not giving anything up. Louth had a good foundation set up with the score 1 – 4 Louth to Derry’s 2 points at the first water break.
The referee was very strict on the travelling rule and called several frees for both sides. Louth increased their lead to 1 – 7 to Derrys 5 points by half time.
After the break Louth looked very comfortable and took control. Two minutes into the second half Michelle McMahon made a great run through the Derry defense and passed to Kate Flood resulting in a goal. With the backs standing strong and moving the ball very well Louth went through a purple patch scoring 1 – 6 to 3 points from Derry.
Kate Flood received a yellow card for 2 fouls and was sent to the line for 10 minutes. Louth answered this sin bin scoring another great point with a pass from Laura Collins to Lauren Boyle. Louth now made their own changes replacing Aoife Russell with Roisin Kavanagh, Ceire Nolan with Clare Donnelly and Sarah Quinn with Seoda Matthews. With Kate Flood returning to play and Louth making their last change replacing Niamh Rice who had a great game scoring a total of 5 points, with Seona Halligan.
As these changes were made Derry were reduced to 14 players with No. 9 Katie Holly being yellow carded. Louth took advantage of the missing player with Kate Flood giving a great pass to Lauren Boyle resulting in another goal. Capping off an excellent performance from Boyle with a personal tally of 2- 9. Louth made their last change with Denise McKenna coming off to make way for Louise Byrne.
Louth ran out convincing winners and will meet Offaly in the Semi Final of the NFL Division 4 next Sunday (with location to be decided).
The other Semi Final will be contested between Leitrim and Limerick.
Report by Martina Nolan | Photos by Warren Matthews