Waterford 1-27 Fermanagh 6-12

Waterford Ladies Football

Waterford 1-27 Fermanagh 6-12 (AET)


Waterford and Fermanagh played out a high scoring draw in the Bord Gais, National League Division 3 Semi-Final played in Kiltoom, Athlone on Sunday last. Waterford were in the driving seat for most of this game after Grainne Enright scored a goal straight from the throw-in. Playing with the aid of a very strong breeze Waterford went into the half time break 1-14 to 1-2 ahead.Fermanagh’s first score of the match was also a goal, which was finished to the bottom corner of the net by corner forward Mary Cunningham after a strong run from their man of the match Caroline Little. Waterford’s cause was helped on 24 minutes when Fermanagh’s, Aine McBrien was sin binned for a late tackle on Linda Wall.

Fermanagh moved their all star midfielder Caroline Little to full forward at the start of the second half and Waterford management countered by moving Michelle McGrath to full back. The opening 10 minutes of the second half was very even with three points a piece. Fermanagh got their second goal of the match when Little fielded a high ball on the edge of the small square and rounded McGrath to hit the net from close range.

Waterford continued to push forward and had increased their lead back to 12 points on 37 minutes when Fermanagh got a rather fortuitous third goal. With 5 minutes left on the clock and Waterford 8 points in front Fermanagh’s tactic of kicking high balls into Little at full forward paid dividends with two goals in three minutes, one from Little herself and a second from her sister Sharon. Two points in added time saw Fermanagh draw level and send the game into extra time. (F.T. Waterford 1-20 Fermanagh 5-8)

Fermanagh won the toss and choose to play with the wind in the first period of extra time. A Shauna Hamilton free and a long range point from Caroline Little saw Fermanagh go ahead for the first time in the match, with all the momentum behind them. Waterford to their credit dug deep and stemmed the tide. A Linda Wall point and a Michelle Ryan free drew Waterford level.

Waterford suffered a hammer blow on the stroke of half-time (E.T.) when Little fielded majestically on the edge of the small square under intense pressure from the Waterford defense and found the back of the net with an unstoppable shot. A further Fermanagh point from Little saw Waterford trail by 4 points at the break. (H.T. Waterford 1-22 Fermanagh 6-11).

With Michelle McGrath back playing in her more familiar mid-field position Waterford raised their game again and McGrath reduced the deficit to 3 points with a well taken point. Michelle Ryan then proceeded to give a demonstration of free kicking that you would travel miles to see. Three long range frees and a Grainne Kenneally point saw Waterford edge in front again. With seconds left on the clock up popped Caroline Little to save Fermanagh with a well taken point. Ryan had a chance to snatch victory at the death, when she put a long range free from the side-line narrowly wide.

Waterford can go into next week-ends replay knowing that they have the scoring power to win, for in addition to their 28 scores they had 12 wides and hit the post and cross-bar four times in the 80 minutes.
Waterford : A Jordan, R Tobin, M Foley, L Hogan, E Power (0-3), N Dunphy, M Wall, McGrath(0-2), G Enright (1-1), L Ryan (0-2), S Power(0-3), L Wall (0-2), S Ryan (4, 2f), M Ryan (0-9, 5f), G Kenneally (0-2) , A McGovern (for G Enright 39 mins) D Hayes (for S Ryan 43 mins), A Wall (for S Power 50 min), G Enright (for L Ryan 65 mins), R Kirwan (for E Power 72 min), A O’Donnell, C Dunphy, T Fitzgerald, A Barron


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