Wicklow 3 – 19
Louth 1 – 07
An Tochar’s fine complex in Roundwood was the venue for the Lidl NFL round 5 against Louth on Sunday. Wicklow started briskly and when Amy Murphy, playing in front of her home crowd, and Claire Walsh both finished to the net by the 8th minute the tone was set for the rest of the match. Walsh then completed a rare feat when pointing directly from a ground 45 metre kick. Points followed from Murphy, Walsh, Laura Hogan and Molly Cullen for Wicklow while the only replies from the Wee County were from Paula Murray and midfielder Aoife Byrne. Then in the 18th minute of the half Amy Murphy again flew through the Louth defence for her second and her sides’ third goal. However in fairness both net minders Alannah Finn (Louth) and Shauna Birmingham (Wicklow) had fine games throughout the hour and both showed remarkable prowess with great saves and clearance. As a result of both keepers efforts the half time score was 3-10 to 0-02 in the garden county’s sides’ favour following a flurry of late Wicklow points from Aoife Gorman, Molly Cullen, Hannah Dowling and Claire Walsh.
The second half began and a period of Louth dominance resulted in 2 points for Ann Marie Murphy with Wicklow replying with scores from Amy Murphy and Aoife Gorman. Then in a breakaway Shauna Birmingham in the Wicklow goal fouled and the resultant penalty was coolly dispatched to the net by Susan Byrne leaving the score at 3-12 to 1-5. But this was only a spur Wicklow to again surge forward and points from Walsh (2), Gorman, Katie Miley, Clodagh Fox and Murphy closed out the game. Both sides had by this time began to empty their benches. When referee Jonathan Murphy from Carlow blew the long whistle Wicklow again had proved victorious on a score line of 3-19 to 1-06. Wicklow’s defence was very solid with Emily Mulhall, Sarah Hogan, Shauna Byrne and Niamh McGettigan showing particularly well. The defence was ably backed up by a strong showing by young Aoife Gorman and the evergreen Jackie Kinch. However it was probably up front that the most eye catching work was done with all the forwards moving in unison – particularly in the early exchanges with Amy Murphy, Claire Walsh, Molly Cullen, Helena Dowling and Katie Miley upon her introduction showing well in what was a great team performance. Louth, who are currently rebuilding, fielded a young side and certainly never gave up the ghost. As stated goal keeper Alannah Finn together with Aoife Byrne, Ann Marie Murphy and Paula Murphy were the pick of the Louth side and they will certainly improve given time. On a side note it was interesting to see John O’Leary the former Dublin goalkeeper who is part of the Louth management team deep in conversation with former colleague Joe McNally who was in Roundwood supporting Wicklow. Wicklow currently sit on top of their division level with Longford and their next assignment is Antrim next Sunday in Antrim while Louth will entertain Derry in a must win game for them.
Wicklow ; Shauna Birmingham (Coolkenno), Emily Mulhall (Tinahely), Sarah Hogan (Tinahely), Shauna Byrne (Blessington), Jessie Byrne (Tinahely), Niamh McGettigan (St. Patrick’s), Sarah Jane Winder (Baltinglass), Aoife Gorman (Tinahely) 0-03, Jackie Kinch (Tinahely), Helena Dowling (Baltinglass) 0-01, Molly Cullen (Blessington) 0-01, Claire Walsh (Kilbride) 1-08, Laura Hogan (Tinahely) 0-02, Naoise Baker (Clara), Amy Murphy (An Tochar) 2-02. Kim Connors, Tara Costello, Sarah Fennelly,Aoife Grace, Lauren Rowe, Amy Ryan, Lisa Lawlor, Aisling McDonald, Ciara Byrne, Clodagh Fox 0-01, Laurie Ahern, Aoife Gillan, Georgina Canavan, Claire Grace, Katie Miley 0-01. Louth ; Alannah Finn (Geraldine’s), Cathy Reilly (Clan na Gael), Eimear Murray (St Kevin’s), Amy Dalton Geraldine’s), Andrea Lennon (Geraldine’s), Sara Moore (St Fechin’s), Aimee McNally (St Bride’s), Aoife Byrne (St Mochta’s) 0-01, Rebecca Carr (Geraldine’s), Paula Murray (St Kevin’s) 0-01, Sinead Woods (Kilkerley Emmetts), Aoife Gregory (St Kevin’s) 0-01, Susan Byrne (St Kevin’s) 1-00, Ann Marie Murphy (Foxrock/Cabinteely) 0-04, Grainne Murray (St Kevin’s)
Referee ; Jonathan Murphy (Carlow)