Wexford End Louth Leinster Hopes

Louth 0-07 Wexford 2-16

Louth bowed out of the Leinster Intermediate Championship at the semi-final stage last Sunday in Wexford Park and now only have the All Ireland Intermediate Championship to look forward to. The Reds were forced to admit defeat to a stronger Wexford team on the day but the score line does not reflect the effort and dedication of the Louth players who fought hard to the very end. Louth were forced to travel with a weakened squad of only sixteen fit players due to unavailability resulting from pre-planned holidays of a youthful squad and injury. Indeed the injury crisis unfolded further on the day with Emma Singleton, due to lack of numbers, forced to start at full back instead of her normal half back role, and finishing as a reluctant full forward. Goalkeeper, Una Pearson went down with an ankle injury in the second half and was replaced by substitute keeper, Alannah Finn, the only substitute available for Louth on the day.

27 September 2015; Susan Byrne, Louth. TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Junior Championship Final, Louth v Scotland, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

Louth fought hard in the first half and contributed to an evenly contested game with their defence making life difficult for a Wexford team who showed their ability to pass well and support their players with good movement off the ball. Louth kept the pressure on, forcing turnovers and shots from distance.

Wexford opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a fine point from Fiona Rochford who contributed 1-07 on the day and added two more from Rochford and Maeve Quill before Louth registered their first score, a converted free by Kate Flood from the twenty metre line, in the twelfth minute. Wexford began to dominate from the half back line pushing Louth deeper as the half progressed and finally made the pressure pay with a goal from Rochford on the eighteenth minute. Louth replied two minutes later with a point from play by Paula Murray. On twenty minutes Catriona Murray pointed from a free off the ground from twenty metres for Wexford before Louth took the game to Wexford for a spell with three unanswered points from Paula Murray (2) and Kate Flood before Wexford finished the half with three of their own from Catriona Murray (2) and Rochford again.

The teams went in at half time with the score at 1-07 to 0-05 in favour of Wexford leaving Louth in with a chance. However the second half was to be a different story as the Louth players were unable to hold on to Wexford as they tired with no respite available on the bench and many of their passes went astray. Unluckily for Una Pearson but lucky for Louth was the fact that the one replacement necessary due to injury was that of goalkeeper as Alannah Finn came on with ten minutes to go.

The damage had been done at that stage as Wexford had doubled their first half tally with scores from Rochford, Murray and Kellie Kearney with Louth’s only reply, a pointed free from Kate Flood. The last ten minutes yielded only three points with two for Wexford and Susan Byrne finishing the scoring for Louth as Wexford ran out convincing winners on a score line of 2-16 to 0-07 and Louth returned home to reorganise before the upcoming All Ireland championships.

Louth: Una Pearson (Alannah Finn), Rebecca Howell, Emma Singleton, Ciara Nolan, Michelle McMahon, Eimear Murray, Janine Kelly, Emily Norton, Rebecca Carr, Aoife Gregory, Susan Byrne 0-01, Shannon White, Paula Murray 0-03, Kate Flood 0-03 and Emma McArdle.

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