Late Flood goal for Louth sets up repeat of 2010 junior final with Limerick

TG4 All-Ireland junior championship semi-final

Louth 3-7

Derry 2-9


Louth have reached the TG4 All-Ireland Junior decider as a dramatic late Kate Flood goal floored last year’s runners-up Derry in a pulsating finale in Aghaloo.

The semi-final will long stand out in the memory for the scenes in the game’s closing stages. Louth full-back Michelle McMahon went down after a collision with her own player.

A long stoppage ensued, both sets of players retreated to the dressing room as McMahon received treatment and was removed from the venue by ambulance.

The match itself was in the melting pot with minutes of normal time remaining and Louth two points down.

After returning to the field Flood found the net with Louth’s next attack and they then hung on for a famous victory, with the added drama of a scorable missed free by Derry’s Emma Doherty.

Slight favourites going into the game after defeating Derry earlier in the year in the Lidl League, Louth started the visibly more nervous side. Clarragh Connor settled Derry’s nerves with the opening score.

The returning Jennie McGuinness opened Louth’s account after returning to the panel in recent weeks and Louth corner forward Lauren Boyle quickly levelled the game after an Emma Doherty free for Derry.

Doherty added another free before Katy Holly exploded into the game with three unanswered scores. The scoring blitz stretched their deserved lead to 0-6 to 0-2 as they pilled pressure on the Louth kickout.

Louth were handed a lifeline when Derry goalkeeper Rachel Glasgow spilled a high centre from Bonnie Fleming. Remarkably, Kate Flood levelled the game with a free – 0-6 to 1-3.

Connor and Ciara McGurk responded with two fine points for the Oak Leaf ladies, but Louth dug deep again to stay in contention. Flood, growing into proceedings, found Boyle inside and the corner forward was brought down for a penalty, which Flood expertly finished to give Louth the lead for the first time.

There was still time for Derry full-forward Megan Devine to leave it all square at half time – 2-3 to 0-9.

Louth started the second half the brightest, Rebecca Carr, McGuinness and Niamh Rice opening up a three-point lead.

Derry quickly wiped out the advantage with two quick fire goals midway through the half and at that stage looked very much in command. Connor got the first and Holly, the game’s most outstanding player, surged through for Derry’s second. Following that lengthy delay, Flood’s heroics set up a repeat of the 2010 final between Louth and Limerick.

Scorers – Louth: K Flood 2-2 (1-0pen, 2f), B Fleming 1-0, J McGuinnes 0-2, R Carr 0-1, N Rice 0-1, L Boyle 0-1.

Derry: K Holly 1-3, C Connor 1-2, Emma Doherty 0-2 (2f), C McGurk, and M Devine 0-1 each

Derry: R Glasgow; C Glass, A McGough, A Frizelle; K Holly, N Nugent, D Kivlehan; C McGurk, Emma Doherty; C Lynn, C Moore, A Laverty; Erin Doherty, M Devine, C Connor.

Sub: D McNicholl for Moore (58).

Louth: U Pearson; S McLoughlin, M McMahon, E Murray; A Russell, E Byrne, C Nolan; S Woods, R Carr; J McGuinness, B Fleming, N Rice; L Boyle, K Flood, Á Breen.

Subs: R Kavanagh for Boyle (43), E Hand for McMahon (58).

Referee: Declan Carolan (Down).


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