Louth out of All Ireland IFC after QF defeat to Roscommon

Louth 0-6 Roscommon 1-10 (Report from Dan Bannon, independent.ie. Photos by Warren Matthews).

Louth are out of the TG4 All-Ireland intermediate championship after a quarter-final defeat against an experienced Roscommon side in Kinnegad on Sunday afternoon. Settling earlier into the game, staying ahead, a killer goal before half-time and excellent game management down the stretch helped the Rossies advance.

Roscommon wing-forward Laura Fleming spun into space and fired over the first point of the game after two minutes of action.  Louth dominated possession early on but their Connacht opponents were happy to soak up the pressure. Jenny Higgins tapped over for the victors after it looked like Natalie McHugh was in for a goal.

Louth then got in on the scoring act with two registers in a minute. Laura Collins converted a tough free having dealt with a tricky, crossfield wind. From the resultant kick-out, Rebecca Carr burst on to it and fired assertively over the bar.

Underdogs star Fiona Tully quickly cancelled out Louth’s settling points with an excellent brace. Aisling McCauliffe then got the crucial hand in to break Rebecca Lambe Fagan’s kickout at the end of the opening half. The ball was worked to Tully who found Aisling Hanly to palm to the net.

That goal gave Louth a difficult, 1-4 to 0-3 margin to breach in the second half. Laura Collins responding with a free, and again with her first point from play upon the resumption, but missed a free to narrow it even further.

Fleming then took over, the game’s most influential player popping up everywhere and steering her county over the line with two points in a row in the midst of a raft of four Louth substitutions.

The elusive Fleming nearly decided the game with a quarter of an hour to play when she was expertly denied by Lambe Fagan. The St Patrick’s stopper went full length to her right-hand side to deny Fleming, but Roise Lennon was there to tap the ball over the bar.

Fleming added three more points to her tally despite Collins’ best efforts with a free and a rattled crossbar. Céire Nolan was rewarded for a strong display with a point, but it was a goal Louth needed and try as they might to get it, Louth could not sustain enough momentum to do so and exited the championship.

LOUTH: Rebecca Lambe Fagan; Holly Lambe Sally; Sarah Quinn, Eimear Murray; Céire Nolan 0-1, Shannen McLaughlin, Aoife Russell; Aoife Halligan, Roisín Kavanagh; Rebecca Carr 0-1, Ciara Woods, Hannah O’Neill; Laura Collins 0-4 (3f), Kate Flood, Eimear Byrne. Subs: Jennie McCourt for O’Neill (35), Áine Breen for Carr (43), Seona Halligan for Woods (47), Sarah Moore for Byrne (47), Katie Mathews for Russell (56).

ROSCOMMON: Helena Cummins; Sineád Kenny, Roisín Wynne, Rachel Fitzmaurice; Rachel Brady, Aisling McCauliffe, Niamh Feeney; Lisa O’Rourke, Jenny Higgins 0-1; Michaela McHugh, Fiona Tully 0-2, Laura Fleming 0-6 (3f); Caroline Conway, Nathalie McHugh, Aisling Hanly 1-0. Subs: Rosie Lennon 0-1 for Hanly (43), Kate Nolan for Fiona Tully (53), Ellen Irwin for (56).

REFEREE: Gus Chapman (Sligo).