Waterford 1-15 Westmeath 2-9

Bord Gáis Energy round 4.
Ladies National football league
(Patricia Dolan Westmeath Pro)

Waterford 1-15 Westmeath 2-9 ( 28.03.09)

Westmeath made the journey to Lemybrien Co Waterford on Saturday last to play Waterford in round 4 of the Bord Gais National League. This is Westmeath’s 3rd outing in the League and after suffering a heavy defeat by Sligo the previous week the Westmeath side had a hard task ahead of them facing yet another senior side. The Team that lined out for this challenge was again changed from previous outing but the management team of Dermot Brady, Eoghain Kevelihan and Aidan Lennon want to see all players on the panel perform in the league to see all strengths and weakness.
From the Start it was Waterford who took the lead with a point on the board within the first 30 seconds. The Waterford side had the advantage of a strong wind in the first half. They had a missed free scoring chance in the 4th minute to edge them further ahead. After some good ball movement by the Westmeath side they managed to get the ball down to the forward line and a foul by Waterford 14 meters out gave Fiona Leavy her first scoring chance of the game and she gave Westmeath their first point of the day. It was Waterford who were on the attack again and a great save by Westmeath’s Keeper Niamh Mulligan denied the corner forward.
The Westmeath side had lots of good procession however they we unable to penetrate the Waterford side.
Waterford made another forward run at Westmeath and this time they found the net after the ball came off the upright and into the hands of Waterford’s No. 9.
Waterford again from the kick out were making advances into the Westmeath side except from a good interception by Westmeath’s Deirdre Robbins, the ball was turned round and worked down the pitch and Ruth Kearney put her name on the score sheet as she slotted the ball over the Waterford Bar from play. Waterford quickly cancelled out this score when they travelled down field and pointed another .Westmeath were rewarded a close in free in the 17th minute and Fiona Leavy done the necessary to add to Westmeath’s Tally.
The Waterford side dominated for the next period scoring 5 points in quick succession. The Westmeath girls continued to battle hard and in the 25th minute again from a free Fiona Leavy clocked up another score. Westmeath were on the attack from the kick out and this time ended up with a 45 however this was narrowly missed. Waterford added 2 further points to their tally in the 1st half. The half time score was not a fair reflection on the Westmeath side performance the girls gave 100% in the half.
Half time score Westmeath 0-04 Waterford 1 -11

Second Half started and a change in the Westmeath side with Laura Newman replacing Regina Croash. Both teams competed well in every position but it was Westmeath who got the first scoring opportunity of the second half and Ruth Kearney put over to reduce the Westmeath deficit. The Waterford side continued to mount pressure but Westmeath’s Keeper and back six stood firm and kept them out. Westmeath conceded a free and the Waterford full forward sent it over the bar. Westmeath made another change and Sarah Dolan was introduced for Karen McDermot. Westmeath were on the attack again and again Waterford gave away a free and Fiona Leavy was on hand to punish. From the Kick out Johanna Maher sent a quick ball into Katie Sommers who was on the edge of the square and made no mistake sending it to the back of the Waterford net.
Another change in the Westmeath side this time it was the introduction of one of Westmeath stalwarts Lisa Burke who replace Deirdre Robbins at full back. Westmeath appeared to be having the upper hand in the second half and in the 17th min it was Johanna Maher who found the back of the Waterford’s net for a second Westmeath goal. This was followed quickly by another Westmeath point as Fiona Claffey went on a great solo run and found Ruth Kearney who got her 3rd point of the day. Ball down field again by Waterford and Johanna Maher made a timely interception to start the Westmeath counterattack the ball ended up in Fiona Leavy hands and in turn over the Bar. The Westmeath side had edged to within 3 points of Waterford and continued to battle hard and never gave up. Ruth Kearney added another point to her own tally which now saw Westmeath within two points of the Waterford side. Waterford went on the counterattack and slotted the ball over again for their final score. Time ran out for the Westmeath side and it finished Waterford 1-15 to Westmeath 2-09.
This was a hugely encouraging result for the Westmeath side in view of previous performances this season. Though disappointed that they didn’t win they can take a renewed sense of pride in their performance as they played with great determination, heart and courage. They face Tipperary on Sunday next in Cahir.

Westmeath: Niamh Mulligan, Carol Finch, Deirdre Robbins, Edel Marshall, Triona Durkin, Elaine Finn, Karen McDermot, Johanna Maher, Jenny Rogers, Fiona Claffey, Emer Connellon, Ruth Kearney, Katie Sommers, Fiona Leavy, Regina Croash. Subs: Laura Newman for Regina Croash, Sarah Dolan for Karen McDermot, Lisa Burke for Deirdre Robbins

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