Kildare Hold Off Leitrim Fight Back

The Kildare ladies side have qualified for the All-Ireland Intermediate Football Championship semi-final after emerging as four-point winners over Leitrim in a thrilling clash in Kinnegad this afternoon. They conceded four goals on their way to victory, but a stunning haul of 2-5 from ace attacker Roisin Byrne helped to push the Lilywhites over the line.


Kildare got off to the perfect start in this game as they managed to race into a 1-5 to 0-1 lead within the first six minutes. Emer Fogarty and Roisin Byrne were the ones to kickstart the Kildare charge as they both managed to split the posts, while Eadaoin Connolly’s fourth minute goal further improved their fortunes. Aisling Holton’s point soon after ensured that the Lillies were catapulted into a seven-point lead at such an early stage.

Leitrim found a way back into the tie however, and led by the duo of Áine Tighe and Michelle Guckian they gained some momentum. Guckian plundered home a goal in the tenth minute, while Tighe also added a couple of points to the Leitrim tally. A second Guckian goal helped Leitrim into a 2-3 to 1-5 lead as they looked to blow Kildare out of the water in a seven minute period.

Kildare needed to settle themselves down, and they managed to do so as Noelle Earley, Connolly and Maria Moolick all hit the target to push them back into a 1-9 to 2-4 advantage after 24 minutes.

Leitrim had a good knack of scoring goals at crucial times however, and that was exemplified when Tighe powered the ball to the back of Mary Hulgraine’s net to send her side back into the lead once again. A Michelle Heslin point late in the half sent the sides in with Leitrim leading 3-5 to 1-9.

The reigning Leinster champions started the second half in excellent style though, and they soon wiped out the Leitrim lead. Connolly cracked over three points in quick succession, before Sarsfields’ forward Roisin Byrne rifled home a goal to push Kildare into a 2-12 to 3-5 lead.

It was a sizeable four-point gap that the leaders would manage to cling onto for the remainder of the game, but Leitrim made them sweat throughout. Roisin Fowley and Áine Heslin both posted scores to narrow the gap, but when Byrne struck a third goal for Kildare it was game over.

Fowley ensured that there would be a slightly nervy finish to the tie with a late goal, but Kildare remained composed and saw the game through to mark their progression into the last four of the All-Ireland championship for the second year running.


Kildare Team

Mary Hulgraine, Trina Duggan, Paula Keatley, Rachel Cribbin, Shauna Kendrick, Aisling Savage, Rachel Reidy, Erica Burke, Aisling Holton (C) 0.01, Roisin Byrne 2.05 3f, Maria Moolick 0.01,Eadaoin Connolly 1.02. Mikaela McKenna 0.01, Noelle Earley 0.02, Ellen Dowling 0.03  1F

Aoife Molyneaux, Rachael Corrigan, Tara Hallinan, Jane O Donoghue, Michaela Nolan, Emer Fogarty, Grainne Lyons, Briona Hoban, Orlaith Moran, Rose Mernagh, Niamh Mulhall.


Leitrim Team

Michelle Monaghan, Mairead McCauley, Mary Farrell, Claire Owens, Aine Heslin 0.01,  Melissa Hewitt, Anna Conlon, Lorraine Brennan,  Deirdre Ward, Michelle Heslin 0.01, Sharon Kerrigan, Roisin Fowley 1.01, Ailish O Dowd,Aine Tighe (C) 1.03, Michelle Guckian 2.02.

Sinead Tighe, Roisin McHugh, Bronagh Rooney, Claire, Beirne, Carla LeGuen, Caoimhe Canning, Emma Guckian,Bronagh O Rourke, Annette Ferguson, Stephanie Reynolds, Dearbhaile Beirne, Eimhin Quinn, Aisling Quinn, Patricia Forde. 

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