Leinster review Ladies National Football League round 2

Leinster review
Bord Gáis Energy
Ladies National Football League round 2
(Michael Forde Leinster PRO 14.2.2010)

When the majority of ladies up and down the country were being pampered with flowers and chocolates, those involved in Ladies Gaelic Football were battling it for their Counties in the Bord Gáis Energy NFL.
In division 1. Dublin (1-9 to 2-6) had a near miss when they played host to Galway on Sunday last, the Tribes women who were reduced to fourteen player twice in the game, pushed the Jackies all the way, and when it looked as through the Dubs were going to register their first loss, up popped Orla Egan to fire the ball to the back of the Galway net in the dying minutes to draw the sides level.
Also on the score board for the Jackie were Sinead Ahern (0-8 (5f), and Noelle Healy (0-1), both sides did not just level on the score board, they are also level on the league table, where the four top teams are all on equal points.
After their two point win over Mayo, the Laois Ladies made the long trip to take on Monaghan, The sides were level on no fewer than five occasions during the game, including half time and the final whistle, giving a good indication of how close the exchange's were through out the game. Opinions after the match were divided on the issue of a point lost or a point gained, but the general feeling in the squad was that it was a satisfactory day's work.
Laois had plenty of opportunities to get the winner in those seemingly endless extra minutes but again the failure to find the best placed colleague cost them dearly. It also must be said that Monaghan could have snatched it but for some marvellous defending by the Laois rearguard, who certainly had an immensely satisfying day out and particularly so in those last few minutes as Monaghan tried everything to get across the winning line. Aisling Quigley, in particular, was outstanding, as she covered acres of ground and snuffed out the threat of Ciara McAnespie in the corner. She was closely followed by Lorraine Muckian, Tricia Fogarty, Emma McEvoy and Angela Casey in the defending roll of honour. Laois now take on Kerry in Stradbally on Sunday next Feb. 21 at 2pm.
Laois Scorers: Martin Dunne (1-0); Tracey Lawlor (0-3); Mary Kirwan(0-3); Noirin Kirwan (0-1), Aisling Kehoe(0-2).
In division 2. Meath (2-10 to 3-6) got back on track by the narrowest of margins, when they played host to Sligo on Sunday last. The Royal's went in to this game on the back of a loss in their first round game to neighbours Kildare.
However, that's for the history books, and on Sunday last, Meath full forward Kellie Allen led the Royal charge, with in ten minutes of the throw in, Allen hit the back of Emma Cullens net with two well struck goals in as many minutes, and forced Cullen to pull off a great save seconds later, to deny Allen a hat trick.
Meath finished the half with a two point advantage (2-3 to 1-4), and Brendan Dardis and Co. were well aware that the Yeats County were going to come out with all guns blazing in the second half, however Meath were first out of the traps, rattling off four unanswered points before Sligo realised what was happening, Ger Doherty and Elaine Duffy with two a piece
( 2-7 to 1-4). Duffy then hit the crossbar with a rocket of a shot but unfortunately the ball was collected and cleared by Sligo full back Cammie Kennedy.
Sligo gave the screw a couple of turns as the game moved into the final quarter, Stephanie O'Reilly and Nicole Fowley firing one apiece to the back of Irene Munnelly's net, Sligo pointed twice more before Doherty Duffy and Jenny Rispin made it a very hard fought one point win for the Royals.
It has to be said that Meath won this game with a mixture of youth and experience. With the likes of Fagan, Lynch, Allen and McCormack coming into team and the experience of Mary Sheridan, Ger Doherty and Shauna Bennett to name but a few it sure makes for exciting times ahead for the Royal County. Meath now move on to play Donegal in the next round of the NFL. This game will take place on Sunday next February 21st in Pairc Tailteann, Navan. Throw In will be 2p.m.
Meath team and scorers: Irene Munnelly, Áine Fagan, Aedin Murray, Maria Kealy, Ciara Dempsey, Jenny Rispin (1pt), Therese Cosgrave, Mary Sheridan, Eve Wardick, Shauna Bennett, Stephanie Byrne, Geraldine Doherty (4 pts), Elaine Duffy (4pts), Kellie Allen (2 gls), Bridgetta Lynch (1pt). Subs: Vivienne McCormack for Wardick, Orla Sheridan for Byrne, Deirdre Flynn for Lynch. Referee: Garry Owen McMahon (Dublin )
Kildare lost their second round game (1-9 to 6-7) to a strong Tipperary side, and must now prepare to meet table toppers Armagh at home on Sunday next.
In division 3. Wicklow collect their first points of the league with a well earned win (3-13 to 3-9) over Westmeath, a rejuvenated Garden county seemed to have a bit of a spring in their step and a point to prove this season, with seven players registering scores on the day, Geraldine Norton and Niamh Carroll combining to notch up two goals and six points for the East coast side.
Wicklow went in at the break with a two point advantage ( 1-5 to 1-3), and the plan was to keep as much pressure as possible on the Westmeath side in the second period. Mick O'Rourke introduced Aisling O'hAnnaidh, Laurie Ahern, Sarah Miley, Jackie Kinch and Laura Hogan to freshen up the Wicklow side. Westmeath lifted their game in the final quarter, with Laura Walsh hitting the back of Emer Miley's net twice followed by two points from Sarah McManus, Wicklow put up the shutters at this stage, and when referee Gerry Sheridan called for the ball the Wicklow squad were delighted with their performance, next up for Wicklow is a home game against Fermanagh, while Westmeath face another stern test, when they take on Cavan. Log on to www.wicklowladiesfootball.com for a full report. Scorers for Wicklow on the day were: Caoilfhionn Deeney(0:3) Laura Hogan (0:1) Niamh Carroll (1:4) Geraldine Norton(1:2) Niamh Reid (0:1) Jackie Kinch (0:1)AnnMarie Doran(1:1)
An under strength Wexford team put in solid performance against Waterford on Sunday last, the Deise side share top spot with Cavan in division 3., and although they lost ( 1-9 to 2-10), which most people would see as disappointing, Wexford manager Jim McGovern would have to be happy with the work rate and positive attitude of this young Wexford squad. On Sunday next the Model county travel to take on Longford, the Longford side suffered a heavy defeat to Cavan on Sunday last, and they will be hoping to collect all three points this weekend.
In the division four clash between Louth and Kilkenny (0-13 to 1-4), Louth's Susan Byrne was the scoring hero, The St Kevins player kicked an impressive seven points as the home side came from a point down at the break to record a comfortable victory In a fine all round team performance the Wee County picked up their first National League win of the season, After a disappointing display against Limerick the previous week.
Kilkenny had a golden spell in the first half when they notched up a goal and four points with out reply, to go in at the break a point up over the home side. But they were unable to build on their lead in the second period, while the home side added a further seven points to run out comfortable winners. Log on to www.weecountynews.com/news for a full report. On Sunday next Kilkenny are at home to Leitrim, while Louth travel across the border the take on Antrim.
Thanks to; Michael O'Loughlin (Laois), Paul Flynn (Wicklow), Anne Dungan / Aisling Cleary (Meath), Dermot Woods (Louth).

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