Dooley's late, late goal secures opening day points for Kildare

Lidl NFL Division 3 Round 1

Longford 2-10
Kildare 3-10 

Kildare got their 2019 Lidl NFL Campaign off to a winning start on Saturday afternoon away to Longford. Kildare led at the interval by eight points but the home side put in a battling display in the second period that frustrated the visitors, leaving a very late injury-time goal from Neasa Dooley to secure the points for Daniel Moynihan’s side.


Sarah Shannon and Molly Price traded points in the early exchanges before the game’s opening goal came for the visitors, when Mikaela McKenna lobbed Longford’s goalkeeper Emer Esler from a tight angle. The home side replied with a pointed free but Kildare responded with two quick-fire points from Molly Price and Neasa Dooley.


Kildare’s second goal came via the penalty spot, Longford’s full-back Leanne Keegan dragging Dooley down on her way to goal.


She received a yellow card for the foul and was sent to the sin-bin. Dooley placed the ball on the spot and slotted home. Both sides traded points again through Aisling Greene and Kildare Captain Grace Clifford.


Orlaith Sullivan, on her senior debut, pointed next for Kildare as she won the Longford kick-out and ran direct at goal for the tap-over.


Longford replied with another point from Shannon but the score of the half came just before the break when Mikaela McKenna slotted over a free from the stand side, just a few feet in from the sideline.


From a tight angle, McKenna got plenty of height and just about enough distance as the ball landed on the crossbar and over, leaving the half time score: Longford 0.04 Kildare 2.06


Football is a game of two halves and while Kildare looked good and controlled proceedings throughout the opening period, it was now the home side’s turn to ask questions.


Kildare’s eight-point half-time lead was down to four within five minutes of the restart.


A pointed free from Michelle Farrell was followed by good interlinking play between Aisling Greene and Sarah Shannon, with the latter finding the back of the visitors’ net with a powerful shot.


Longford were unlucky with the next play not to nab another goal, winning possession from the kickout and breaking forward, only to see the shot hit the underside of the crossbar onto the line where Kildare were able to clear.


Orlaith Sullivan pointed a free for Kildare, pushing their lead out to five points. Both teams traded points for the next few plays and both sides were punished for indiscipline with yellow cards issued.


Longford made better use of the extra players and got stuck into Kildare, with Aisling Greene scoring 1-2 to bring the sides level in injury-time.


Spectators were now animated and urging their respective teams on to get the next score, which potentially could be the winner.


That chance fell Kildare’s way, working the ball from defence with Aoife Rattigan laying off the final pass to Neasa Dooley for her to strike low past the advancing Emer Esler.


 Kildare team.

Rebecca McGuirk, Rachel Cribbin, Rose Mernagh, Shauna Kendrick, Louise Scully, Lara Gilbert, Trina Duggan, Sarah Munnelly, Grace Clifford(Captain) 0.02, Lara Curran 0.01 free, Aoife Rattigan,Molly Price 0.03, Orlaith Sullivan 0.02(1 Free), Neasa Dooley 2.01 (1 Penalty), Mikaela McKenna 1.01 (1Free)


Cliodhna Malone, Amy Horan, Rachel Corrigan, Michelle Curley, Ellen Dowling, Claire Sullivan, Eadaoin Connolly, Aoife Wosser, Gemma Hartnett, Paula Doran, Lauren Kelly, Clara Wosser, Dervla McGinn, Amy Heffernan, Ciara Wheeler.


Subs used:

Amy Horan for Rose Mernagh, Ellen Dowling for Mikaela McKenna, Claire Sullivan for Sarah Munnelly,Michelle Curley for Louise Scully.


Longford Team.

Emer Esler, Rachel O Farrell, Leanne Keegan, Laura Gallagher, Clare Farrell, Mairead Moore, Niamh Darcy, Aisling  McCormack, Ciara Healy, Michelle Farrell 0.03(2Fs), Aoife Darcy, Emer Heaney, Caoimhe Lohan, Aisling Greene 1.05 (1Free), Sarah Shannon 1.02.


Aine Barry, Michelle Noonan, Ailish Noonan, Aoife O Brien, Una Clarke, Aisling Cosgrove, Kara Shannon, Orla Nevin, Mairead Victory, Deirdre Monaghan, Eimear O Brien, Megan Lynn, Dearbhaile Rooney, Eve Nerney, Ciara Fox.

Subs used:

Ailish Noonan for Ciara Healy, Kara Shannon for Caoimhe Lohan, Michelle Noonan for Clare Farrell


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