Mayo cruise into Suzuki Ladies National League Final Four

Mayo cruise into the last four

MAYO 0-11 ROSCOMMON 0-4 By Ivan Neill of The Western People

A place in the league semi-finals was assured after twenty
minutes of this quarter-final at Ballyhaunis on Sunday. Yet,
Mayo were far from impressive and an all-round improvement
will be necessary if a place in the final is to be secured
on Sunday week. Admittedly, the All-Ireland champions were
without a competitive game since defeating Monaghan at Ballinrobe
three weeks ago but this latest outing would have sharpened
them up for the Easter Sunday penultimate tie clash against
either Kerry or Waterford at Cusack Park, Ennis. The early
departure with a calf muscle injury to Ciara McDermott was
a big blow to the home county, as the Ardnaree native must
have ran the length and breadth of the field to gain possession
during her seventeen minutes in the action. Indeed it was
the corner- forward who set the example for others to follow
when landing the opening score in the fourth minute.

Leading by six points at the interval, Mayo were hard-pressed
by a determined Roscommon side to land scores in the second
period. In fact all Mayo could manage while assisted by the
wind in the second half was three points, the third one by
Cora Staunton in the 55th minute to end an unproductive period
of fourteen minutes. As has been the case in most games, the
Mayo defence earned the plaudits of the afternoon with a near-perfect
performance. However, errors crept in on a few occasions to
gift the visitors with a point in each period, having failed
to hold possession from high deliveries into the goalmouth.

The home defence, where Nuala 0’Shea, Helena Lohan and Yvonne
Byrne were very prominent, had kept the Roscommon attack off
the scoreboard until the 22nd minute when Emer Casey capitalised
on a defensive error in front of the Mayo posts. By then Mayo
had built up a 0-7 lead courtesy of scores by Cora Staunton
(3), Ciara McDermott, Marcella Heffernan (2) and Martha Carter.
When further points by Emer Casey and Caroline McCann reduced
the Roscommon deficit to five points by the 40th minute and
a close finish looked likely. However, the visitors failed
to score again over the remaining twenty minutes, while Mayo
were restricted to just two more points via Claire Egan and
Cora Staunton in that same final twenty minutes.

Scorers Mayo: Cora Staunton 0-5, Marcella Heffernan
0-2, Ciara McDermott, Christina Heffernan, Claire Egan and
Martha Carter 0-1 each.
Roscommon Scorers: Emer Casey 0-2, Caroline Conway
and Diane Dolan 0-1 each. Mayo: Linda Connolly; Caroline McGing,
Helena Lohan, Nuala O’Shea (capt); Edel Reilly, Yvonne Byrne,
Claire O’Hara; Claire Egan, Christina Heffernan; Kelly Colleran,
Marcella Heffernan, Cora Staunton; Ciara McDermott, Martha
Carter, Emma Mullin.
Subs used: Jackie Moran, Diane O’Hora, Annette Gallagher.

Roscommon: Alish Finneran; Christine O’Malley, Mary
Beades, Louise Tully; Annette McGeeney, Nuala Hoey, Olivia
Keogh; Natasha Began, Ann Marie Carley; Cathy McCann, Diane
Dolan, Caroline Conway; Claire Grehan, Emer Casey, Stephanie
Subs used: L. Glennon, O. Gavin, C Raftery, and G.
Referee: G. Guinan (Galway).

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