Bord Gais Energy National Football league Leinster News

Bord Gais Energy National Football league
Leinster News

( Michael Forde Leinster PRO )
At the start of the Bord Gais Energy NFL semi-final weekend, five Leinster counties set out to progress to the finals of their respective divisions, but at the close of business on Sunday evening, kildare are the only County that are still in the chase, after they drew with Armagh in a thrilling semi final game that went the full seventy minutes in Ardee on Saturday last.
This was an excellent performance by the Kildare side, who were reduced to fourteen players for ten minutes early in the second half of normal time, after they had a player sin binned by referee John Niland of Sligo.
The history books reveal that in their previous five meetings, Kildare were the victors in three, with Orchard County notching up two, so it was no great surprise that after 20 minutes of extra time the game ended in stalemate.
Kildares top scorer Tracey Noone opened the Lilies account with a well struck free, but Mags McAlinden wasted no time canceling out Noone’s score. Kildare’s Aine Gately finished a fine solo run with a point on 7 minutes and before that seventh minute expired, Armaghs number seventeen Aoife Lennon who started on the 40m line replied when fed a quick free by Sharon Reel, as the game moved in to the second quarter, a goal from Noone put the Lilies in the driving seat, but scores from Marie McDonnell, Kelly Mahon and Aoife Lennon with out reply put the Orchard County ahead by the slimmest of margins at the break (1-4 to 1-3).
Kildare stepped up a gear during the crucial ten minutes that they were down to fourteen players, a goal from Aine Gately put the Leinster side three points clear, but Armagh hit back with points from Aoife Lennon and Dervla Mallon to leave only the minimum between the sides with ten minute remaining , Lennon added a further twist when she drew the sides level once again, although both sides were fully focused on the winning line, they were unable to clinch the final score to close out the game in normal time, the score board reading Kildare 2 – 6 Armagh 1 – 9 after sixty minutes.
Kildare had a number of chances early in the first ten minutes of extra time, but they were unable to register a score, it was Armagh who were more accurate at this stage with Aoife Lennon crashing the ball to the roof of Therese Martin’s net to put the Northern side three points clear and the clock heading in to the red zone.
White flags may have been waving among the Kildare supporters put it was not to signal surrender, the kildare side regrouped and two points from the boot of Noonan and a heart stopping 35m shot from Deirdre Gately ensured that the side will have to battle it out once again to decide who will meet Donegal in the division two Bord Gais Energy NFL final on the 8th of May.
Armaghs Caoimhe Morgan was outstanding at full back winning the Player of the Match Award.
Kildare scorers: Tracy Noone 1 – 6 (0-5 f), Aine Gately 1 – 1, Louise Keatley 0 – 1, Brianne Leahy 0 – 1,
Deirdre Gately 0 – 1.
Armagh Scorers; Aoife Lennon 1 – 5 (0-4 f), Kelly Mallon 1 – 0, Shauna O’Hagan 0 – 2,
Mags McAlinden 0 – 1f, Dervla Mallon 0 – 1, Maria O’Donnell 0 – 1.
Thanks to Tom Ryan (Kildare)
Referee: John Niland (Sligo).
Meath stepped out of the Bord Gais Energy NFL spot light on Sunday last when they suffered an eight point defeat to Donegal in Templeport, Bawnboy, Co. Cavan. The Royal were with out Jenny Rispin, Rispin unfortunately broke her hand during a club game and will be out of action for several weeks. The Summerhill’s club player had been one of Meath’s consistent performers in the round robin stages of the National Football league, and her absence was severely felt against Donegal.
Meath were on the back foot from the off, with Donegal notching up three unanswered points in the first seven minutes. Meath’s goalkeeper Irene Munnelly pulled off a number of excellent saves including a penalty to deny Ailish Ward and keep the Royal in touch.
Meath started to rally in the 9th minute when Elaine Duffy raised the white flag with two superb points, ten minutes later Duffy was on target once again when she got her fist on the end of a Geraldine Doherty free that rebounded off the Donegal cross bar, Duffy made no mistake firing the ball to the back of McCafferty’s net, to draw the sides level 1-2 to 0-5, but it was the Donegal side that finished the half with a two point cushion at the break (1-2 to 0-7).
Donegal gave the screw a couple of twists from the restart, adding a goal and four points in a blistering five minute spell to scupper Meath’s hopes of reaching this years Bord Gais Energy NFL final.
Kellie Allen added Meath’s second goal on 39 mins, and the teams trading scores on 43 and 45 mins, Niamh Hegarty pointed for Donegal, while Duffy pointed from a free for the Royals.
Guthrie added Donegal’s second goal on 47 mins with McMonagle adding a further point a moment later. This seemed to seal proceedings as uncharacteristically Meath seemed to give up. Token scores from Duffy, Mary Sheridan (free) and substitute Vivienne McCormack on 54, 57 and 58 mins took the harsh look off the final score. Donegal finished up the scoring deep in injury time with McMonagle having the final say. Final score from Bawnboy, was Meath 2-06 to Donegal’s 2-14.
Best for Meath on the day were; Irene Munnelly, Aedin Murray, Ciara Dempsey and Samantha Monaghan. Meath Ladies County Board would like to wish both Jenny Rispin and Rebecca Considine a speedy recovery. Thanks to Aisling Clery Meath Ladies PRO.
Meath Team & Scorers: Irene Munnelly, Clare Coffey, Philomena Sheridan (capt.), Maria Kealy, Ciara Dempsey, Aedin Murray, Rebecca Considine, Ashley Leavy, Samantha Monaghan, Geraldine Doherty, Shauna Bennett, Bridgetta Lynch, Elaine Duffy (1-04), Mary Sheridan(0-01), Kellie Allen(1-00). Subs: S.Byrne for Considine, O.Duff for Kealy, T.Ryan for Doherty, S. Sheridan for Leavy, S. Martin for Bennett, V. McCormack (0-01) for Lynch, M. O’Malley for Monaghan.
Donegal Team: R. McCafferty, D. Toner, M. Devenny, K. Wilson, C. Hegarty, M. Herron, D. Foley, A. McDonald, K. Guthrie, G. Houston, N. Hegarty, U. Leonard, B. Gallagher, Y. McMonagle, A. Ward.
Referee: Gerry Guinan (Galway)

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