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Leinster Ladies Minor Semi-Final: Laois v Kildare

Match Report Competition: Leinster Ladies Minor Championship Semi-Final
Venue: Radley Park Leixlip
Date: Saturday 10/05/2003
Time: 3 PM
Kildare: 1 10 Laois 4 – 8
Score at Half Time: 0-3 to 1-4
Score at Full Time: 1-10 to 4-8

In the end, Laois won this Semi-Final with a handy looking seven points to spare but that final margin does not reflect the battle put up by a gallant Kildare fifteen.

All through the first half, from the moment Aisling Jennings pointed a free for the first score of the game in the fifth minute, Kildare matched the much vaunted Laois team with great defence by Carol Keogh Nicola Kavanagh, Aisling Savage, Leah Purcell and Andrea Brereton. At midfield, Maria Moolick and Aileen Taaffe fought tigerishly for possession and when injury forced Aileen off, just before half time, and soon after she had kicked an inspirational 40 yard point, Aisling Holton fitted in seamlessly.

In the Kildare attack, Aine McGivern caused endless problems with her fighting spirit and strong running, Elaine Dillon was a tireless worker on the ’40’ while Sinead Dowd and Aisling Jennings were always capable of winning the ball and taking a score. The game was tight and tense with score for score until two minutes from the break with Laois 0-4 to 0-3 in front when a Laois long range free came off the post. Martha Kirwan reacted first to snap up the break and as her shot came off the crossbar, Mary Reilly was on hand to slide in the goal.

When these players met at Under 16, two years earlier, Laois handed Kildare a fifteen pasting in Emo but this time, Kildare were in no mood to play dead. Maria Moolick caught the second half throw in, laid off to Aisling Jennings, out on the wing, and Aisling shot over the bar. Two Kildare attacks then broke down. Aileen O’Loughlin, the Laois Senior, picked up at midfield and soared in for a goal and made it all look so easy. But Kildare fought back and a panicky Laois defence hauled down Aisling Holton and Aine McGivern in quick succession and Aisling Jennings exacted retribution on both occasions and again only a goal separated the sides but two bad wides followed and a great Laois move saw Martha Kirwan and Lisa Dunne send Aoife Cleary through and she shot a third Laois goal.

Again Kildare responded. Leah Purcell and Jackie Kelly set up Elaine Dillon for a good point and Maria Moolick shot another as Aine McGivern and Sinead Dowd did the spade work and, despite a Laois point from Aoife Cleary, Kildare were flying. Elaine Dillon won a great ball, passed it on to Michelle Drumm who popped it in front of Sinead Dowd, on the run thirty yards out. Sinead advanced on goal and hit a screamer to the net and two minutes later Jackie Kelly shot over and the margin was down to a single pint with ten minutes left. Within a minute, a Laois defender went down injured, the, then the goal keeper had to be replaced and after the long delay, Kildare could not get motoring and Laois took charge. Aileen O’Loughlin shot a point to record their first score for ten minutes and then a fortunate goal killed the contest as Carol Keogh advanced to collect a long low ball, the covering Aisling Savage and a Laois forward collided with the goalkeeper, a Laois forward toe-poked the ball free and as she and Aisling lay prone, Mary Reilly walked in the goal. After the two injured players got treatment, referee Joe Murray booked a selection of home players, mentors and medics who had passed comment but all that followed were wrap up Laois points from Martha Kirwan and Aileen O’Loughlin who both displayed the polish a couple of years on the Laois Senior panel has applied.

Laois had other impressive performers in fullback Anna Walsh, half backs Catriona Fogarty and Aoife O’Donoghue, midfielder Maggie Murphy and wing forward Lisa Dunne. Kildare were not flattered by the final score and more will be heard of players like Nicola Kavanagh, Carol Keogh, Leah Purcell, Maria Moolick, Aisling Holton, Elaine Dillon, Aisling Jennings and Sinead Dowd.

Scorers Kildare: Aisling Jennings 0-4 (0-3 frees), Sinead Dowd 1-1, Maria Moolick 0-2, Aileen Taaffe 0-1, Elaine Dillon 0-1, Jackie Kelly 0-1
Scorers Laois: Mary Reilly 2-0, Aileen O’Loughlin 1-3, Aoife Cleary 1-1, Lisa Dunne 0-2, Martha Kirwan 0-2

Teams Kildare:
1 Carol Keogh 2 Nicola Kavanagh 3 Rachel Dufficy 4 Aisling Savage 5 Andrea Brereton 6 Leah Purcell (Captain) 7 Orlene O’Brien 8 Aileen Taaffe 9 Maria Moolick 10 Aine McGivern 11 Elaine Dillon 12 Michelle Drumm 13 Jackie Kelly 14 Ashling Jennings 15 Sinead Dowd
Subs Played: Aisling Holton for A Taaffe (inj. 29 min )

Teams Laois: 1 Cassie Dunne 2 Nicole Dunphy 3 Anna Walsh 4 Laura Durkin 5 Catriona Fogarty 6 Aoife O’Donoghue 7 Louise Delaney 8 Maggie Murphy 9 Emma McEvoy 10 Fiona Whelan (Captain) 11 Martha Kirwan 12 Lisa Dunne 13 Mary Reilly 14 Aileen O’Loughlin 15 Aoife Cleary

Referee: Joe Murray, Dublin

Report By: Tom Ryan http://www.club.ie/seagull/kelf/

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