Leinster Junior Championship Final

Leinster Junior Championship Final
( Leinster PRO Michael Forde )
Wicklow 2-8 Louth 0-7

On Sunday the 18th of July 2010, four teams entered Dr. Cullen Park, County Carlow, to compete for glory in the TG4 Junior and senior championship finals.Wicklow and Louth were first to enter the Arena, with Louth looking to retain the title, while Wicklow were looking to build on their recent performances, and if all went to plan they would be in the reckoning at the end of the game.
But before the game even started, Wicklow’s plan suffered a set back when Sarah Hogan twisted her ankle during the warm up and had to be brought from Dr. Cullen Park by ambulance for treatment, thankfully the Tinahely club player’s injury was not as serious as first thought, we wish Sarah a speedy recovery.
Mean while back on the pitch, Louth were quickest to register points with Siobhan McDonald and Susan Byrne tagging on a point apiece , the Wee county could have gone further ahead but for some excellent defending from the Wicklow backs, who were well marshalled by player of the match Emer Miley.
Caoilfhionn Deeney opened Wicklow’s account with a timely free, Deeney was on target minutes later, this time it was the green flag that the Eire Og Player raised to put the Garden County two points clear (1-1 to 0-2). Sinead Boland notched up her first score of the game to extend Wicklow’s lead to three.
Louth pressed hard to put the brakes on Wicklow, their number ten Susan Byrne found a gap in the Wicklow defence, to find herself face to face with the Wicklow net minder, Emer Miley, unfortunately for Byrne, Miley was equal to the shot, pulling off a great save to deny the Louth wing forward.
With half time looming, Louth pared two more points off the Wicklow lead, but before referee Des McEnery called for the ball Deeney and Niamh Carroll restored Wicklow’s three point cushion at the break ( 1-4 to 0-4).
Although Wicklow made a brighter start to the second half, they struggled early in the third quarter to get a return for their efforts, Louth’s back line worked extremely hard to keep the Wicklow forwards at bay, but they were caught off guard by the ever alert Monica Lynch, Wicklow’s experienced number eleven took a quick free kick to Deeney, who tapped over her third point of the game, Wicklow’s Sinead Boland gave the screw a further turn when she found the back of Caoimhe Breen’s goal to put Wicklow firmly in the driving seat (2-5 to 0-4).
Louth have never been known to throw in the towel, and it was no different on this occasion, they continued to work hard, and they were rewarded with three well taken scores to close the gap to four points, however they were unable to take advantage, when Wicklow lost the services of their full back Janet Miley, Louth were awarded a penalty after Miley was dispatched to the sin bin for fouling Maria Reid.
Susan Byrne stepped up to the mark to go head to head with Emer Miley for the second time in the game, and although Byrne struck it well, Miley once again proved that she is with out doubt the best shot stopper in the Country. Wicklow went on to add a further three points, two courtesy of the sweet left foot of Amie Byrne, with the last point of the game coming from Aisling O’hAnnaidh, to give Wicklow a seven point winning margin.
Wicklow captain Caitriona McKeon was presented with the 2010TG4 Leinster junior trophy by President of Leinster Council, Sean McMullin.
Wicklow:Emer Miley,Caitriona Byrne, Janet Miley, Aoife Heffernen, Lorna Fusciardi, Sarah Miley, Niamh Kelly, Caitriona McKeon, Jackie Kinch, Caolifhionn Deeney, Monica Lynch, Niamh Carroll, Sinead Boland, Lucy Mulhall, Ann Marie Doran, Subs: Amie Byrne for Jackie Kinch, Aisling OhAnnaidh.
Louth; Caoimhe Breen, Aine McGee, Grace Rogers, Patsi McGuinness, Ann Marie Lynch, Grace Lynch, Patricia Marmion, Sandra Lynch, Rosanna Heaney, Susan Byrne, Catherine Page, Katie Rafferty, Maria Reid, Siobhan McDonald, Laura O Neill.
Referee: Des McEnery (Westmeath)

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