Third time lucky for Sligo Ladies

Third time lucky for Sligo Ladies

Sligo 0-8 Leitrim 0-4

All-Ireland JFC Final by Rory Kerr

SLIGO, the beaten finalists for the last two years,
finally captured the All-Ireland ladies junior championship title
at the third attempt at Croke Park yesterday.

And in the process they avenged their Connacht final defeat to Leitrim
in July.

Leitrim’s direct running had caused Sligo problems early on, but
the winners eventually took control and restricted Leitrim to just
one point in the second half.

Sligo took an early lead with a point from Stephanie O’Reilly, but
Leitrim captain Ann Marie Cox – who accounted for all their scores
– then landed two frees.

Sligo ‘keeper Katriona Connolly then dived bravely at the feet of
Aoife Kelly to keep out a goal attempt before Cox slotted over her
third point of the afternoon with 13 minutes gone.

And while the Leitrim full-back line had dominated their sector,
Sligo were still only a point in arrears following Etna Flanagan’s
point midway through the half.

A low-scoring first period finally burst into life in injury-time
when points from Helena Haran and Therese Marren put Sligo ahead
by 0-4 to 0-3 at the interval.

Louise Brett’s introduction for Sligo was to have a major bearing
on the game, and with Noelle Gormley, Marren and Brett all finding
the target, they opened up a 0-7 to 0-3 lead on 47 minutes.

With five minutes remaining, Sligo full-forward Anna Conlon looked
to have a clear run on goal only for Grainne O’Gara to intervene
at the last moment.

Cox then added a free, Leitrim’s only score of the half, but the
goal they needed continued to elude them. The closest the came was
when Connolly produced a late save to divert Sharon Kerrigan’s close
range shot away for a ’45’.

Nothing came of the resultant ’45’ and Sligo’s Therese Marren then
cemented victory with her third point of the game.

SCORERS – Sligo: T Marren 0-3, N Gormley (1f), E Flanagan, H Haran,
L Brett, S O’Reilly 0-1 each. Leitrim: A Cox 0-4 (3f)

SLIGO – K Connolly; F Maye, G O’Gara, M Keane; T O’Hara, C Kennedy,
L Harte; B Byrne, S McTiernan; E Flanagan, S O’Reilly, A Doohan;
H Haran, N Gormley, T Marren. Subs: I McNulty for Flanagan (37),
L Brett for Doohan (45), R Goodwin for Harte (60), K Maloney for
Haran (60), L Smith for Gormley (60).

LEITRIM – L Loughlin; E Kelly, S Brennan, M Stenson; T Mylott, E
McGlade, C Creegan; M Quinn, S McLoughlin; M McKeon, L Brennan,
S Kerrigan; A M Cox, S Quinn, A Kelly. Sub: A Conlon for Kelly (40)

REF – B Gallagher (Tyrone) Report courtesy of the Irish Independent

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